Paneer is also known as Indian cottage cheese. It is prepared by curdling milk. It can be easily prepared at home. The one which is prepared at home is soft when compared with the store bought one and is free of additives and preservatives. Thus, it is high in quality.
Use full-fat milk to prepare paneer. To curdle it either of these ingredients can be used- Vinegar, lemon juice or yogurt.
-Full fat milk- 1 liter,
-Lemon juice- 1-1.5tbsp or a ¼th cup of curd or a few drops of vinegar
-Boil the milk in a preferably heavy bottom pan.
-Add lemon juice or vinegar or curd to it and give a gentle stir.
-As soon as one of these ingredients is added, milk curdles.
-Turn off the gas. If the flame is not turned off, paneer does not turn soft.
-Let everything set for a couple of minutes or so.
-Take a colander. Line it over with a muslin cloth. Pour the mixture over it.
-Rinse the curdled milk properly under running tap water. It will help to get rid of lemon juice or vinegar smell. In case curd is used for curdling, there is no need to run it under tap water.
-Tie the muslin cloth by making a knot. Any excess amount of water that is present should be removed using squeezing.
-Hang muslin cloth for a period of 30-40 minutes to get rid of excess water.
-Take a plate on which many holes are present. Keep the muslin cloth which contains curdled milk on it. Above it -place a heavy object. It will help in the setting of paneer. Around 1 hour is enough to help it to set.
-After an hour, remove the heavy object. Open the knot and remove the set paneer.
-Cut the paneer into small or big cubes as per the requirement.
Shelf Life of Homemade Paneer-
Homemade paneer can be refrigerated for a period of 2-3 weeks. If kept in the freezer, it lasts for 1 month.