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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    The first paneer venture - storage and cooking tips

    With the essential requirement to increase my protein intake, I bought a slab of paneer from the local farmers' market over the weekend. This is the first time in my life I have bought and cooked it! I had only once or twice, when dining out, eaten paneer and never quite liked it. Due to the Dr.'s advice, now have decided to make an effort to acquire a taste for it.

    So embarking on my first venture (adventure?) into cooking paneer was, as advised by my sister, lightly frying paneer cubes on a flat pan until they became brown, then dunking them in a tomato gravy and mixing in a bit of salt and garnishing it with coriander leaves. That was yesterday.

    Today, the next venture was to heat a little oil, toss in curry leaves, cumin seeds, sesame seeds and a pinch of turmeric powder, then the paneer cubes and sprinkle some sambhar powder over it with salt to taste.

    Well, I am feeling quite pleased with myself! I changed my dislike for paneer into acquiring a taste for it and making something which actually turned out to be quite tasty.

    Now I would like some helpful tips from members. First of all, only after I brought the paneer home did I realize that I was clueless about the first basic thing - how to store it?! Please see the attached image. Is it Ok to store the slab of paneer as it is, in its plastic wrap? As per my relative's advice, it is fine to do so and it can be put kept in the wrap in a bowl or on a plate and put in the refrigerator with no necessity to put it in the freezer or chiller tray. So how do other ISCians who eat paneer store it? Do let me know. I will put further queries here or in our Ask Expert section as when I get doubts.
  • #648018
    In our house, we use regularly Paneer. My sons and daughters in law use Paneer very frequently.

    The paneer will be kept in a bowl preferably made of glass or plastic. Then water will be poured in the bowl till the paneer is submerged in the water. Then the lid will be kept on the bowl. Then the bowl will be kept in the refrigerator, not in the deep freezer. By keeping like this we can store paneer for 7 to 8 days. But the important point is that daily water in the bowl is to be replaced with fresh water. This will keep the material fresh without any deterioration in the taste or quality. Generally, this the way our people follow in our house.

    always confident

  • #648025
    I had suggested that you start eating paneer in response to your question in the Ask Expert section. Provided you with ways in which it can be incorporated into your diet.

    Tip 1 Paneer is best stored in a bowl of water, in the fridge. This will prevent it from turning hard. Refrigerators sap up moisture from foods, and dunking it in water will keep the paneer soft and moist.

    Tip 2 Paneer need not be fried before cooking. You can use it as it is.

    Tip 3 Make paneer at home. It is a healthier option. Bring milk to a boil and add a few drops of an acidic agent into it – lemon juice, vinegar, citric acid etc. Stir and continue to boil, until the milk solids separate from the whey. You'll notice the liquid become watery as the milk solids turn into a mass. Boil until the two separate.

    Strain and collect the whey (use it for kneading dough – it is nutritious) and the milk solids become the paneer. You can spread it in a muslin cloth, as thick as you like and weigh it down with something heavy, so the excess water is removed. After a couple of hours, you'll get a slab of paneer.

    A few years back there were reports that dairy owners add blotting paper to the paneer, to increase its quantity. It's always better to make your own paneer. You can use any milk.

    There are tastier paneer recipes that you could try.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #648026
    I generally make my own paneer. I just made some fresh paneer, using two litres of milk. It is very easy to make. Sharing a pic of it.
    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

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  • #648036
    Paneer is a North India's dish. Being from south India, I never tasted paneer until I went to Delhi. It is a very tasty and delicious dish to eat. Now a days, I am very fond of eating paneer in hotels. This thread gave me an insight as to what is paneer and how it is made, and how it is to be stored.

    I will surely show this thread to my good lady, and ask her to prepare Paneer at home.

    Thanks to Vandana and Juana.

    No life without Sun

  • #648047
    What I advise you to prepare a Paneer Kurma which is very much suitable as the side dish for either Aaloo Parotha or even Rotis or Puri. Even Rumali rotis go with Paneer Kurma.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #648050

  • #648051
    Oh sorry. Neeraj thanks for point out the spelling mistake and that stands corrected now.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #648057
    Yes, paneer can be eaten as it is, but I wanted to make it more agreeable to my taste buds and hence lightly browned it. My sister did say that I had over-done it and that it should remain a bit soft!

    Regarding the water in which the paneer should be put - that would be water at room temperature (drinking water) and not warm water I presume?

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #648068
    If you are frying the paneer then I suggest you dip it in water, to retain its softness. You can transfer the soaked paneer into the gravy, once the base is ready.

    When storing paneer the water should be at room temperature. However, change the water daily, otherwise, a slimy coat could form on the paneer.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #648074
    Keeping Paneer in a bowl of water in fridge is the best technique to preserve it and has been well narrated by other members.

    I want to add that Paneer is used in variety of ways which can satisfy the taste buds of foodies all over our country as it is one of the common item available in market.

    Some of the mouth watering propositions for Paneer recipes are - Paneer Parotha, Paneer Pakoda, Paneer Bhurji, Shahi Paneer, Paneer Masala, Methi Paneer, Palak Paneer, Matar Paneer etc.

    Paneer is one of the most common item used in hotels and catering business.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #648085
    In past, I also did not like paneer much but once I got diagnosed with Vit B12 deficiency, being vegetarian my doctor suggested me to eat paneer as much as I can. Having panner without frying is more nutritious and the best way for me is to prepare paneer stuffed paratha.
    I grate the paneer cube and add some spices like salt, chili powder, turmeric powder, etc and use this stuff for paratha. This paratha can be eaten with curd, pickle, sauce, etc.
    For my son, I just add some chat masala in grated paneer as he cannot eat much spicy food.
    Another way to have it is to surface fry it in a olive oil and eat it with coriander chatani or sauce as per your taste. This can be a part of your healthy breakfast.


    Living & Learning- simultaneous processes!

  • #648196
    Many thanks for the useful advice and tips from everyone. I also put grated paneer in my ragi dosa for breakfast. Doing a lot of experimenting!

    My next query - Dr. Rao mentioned keeping the panner for 7 to 8 days. Is that a good idea? Wouldn't the paneer become stale/spoil if kept for that many days? Also, does one know if paneer is spoiled from taste or colour? Like, does it turn yellowish or something odd?

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #648201
    Paneer will turn sour when kept for long and will eventually taste bitter, is what I have heard; have not experienced it. Stale paneer does change colour, it takes a yellowish hue.

    Homemade paneer is not as white as paneer sold in shops. I wonder if the latter bleach it to give it its white colour.

    I have never stored paneer for more than a day or two, so don't know if it can last that long. All I know is that it gets a slimy layer if the water is not changed every day. So. don't take a chance. In any case, milk products do not have a long shelf life.

    By the way, I am writing an article with tricks to include paneer in the diet. I am likely to post it today.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #648365

    Your article on easy ways to add paneer to your diet for more protein, which I read just now, is really insightful. Thank you. I will post further queries directly in the comments box to that article for quick reference and make sure to save it in my list of favourites. One aspect I wish to clarify here since you mentioned making paneer at home from 2litres of milk. How much paneer approximately would come from a lesser quantity of milk, say just half a litre?

    Also, based on the time and effort it takes, I was wondering if it would be better to buy paneer rather than making it at home? Taking in the cost factor, would be it more economical as it costs Rs.80/- for quarter kg. paneer whereas 2litres of milk would be more expensive? Please let me know your views on it.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #648373
    With half a litre of milk (toned) you should get approximately 100-125 grams of paneer. How much paneer you get depends on the type of milk you use. Full-cream milk has more milk solids, so the quantity of paneer will be more. You can get about 275-300 grams of paneer from 1 litre of full-cream milk. Buffalo milk is thicker than cow milk, so the former will give you more paneer.

    Making paneer does not take much effort. You can leave it in the strainer, press it down with the back of a spoon and let it stand for a few hours. The paneer will take the shape of the strainer. You can tap it out, without effort and cut it into pieces. You won't get all perfect shapes, but it shouldn't matter since it's you who's going to consume it.

    I use toned milk, packaged at the Government dairy. A litre of milk costs me Rs.34 and full-cream milk costs Rs.43/litre. I not only get paneer, I also get whey, which is a rich source of protein and minerals. I use it for kneading the dough.

    Let's say you are a dairy owner, would you cut short your profits? At Rs.80/250grams the trader makes enough money to pay salaries, cover the cost of overheads – at the factory, the refrigeration, electricity, packaging, transportation etc., and still make his profit.

    Moreover, you cannot be sure of what is going into the paneer. Are there additives added to enhance the shelf life or the colour? I have already mentioned the use of blotting paper. Homemade paneer is not as white as the shop bought one. And, it's not that I do not buy paneer, I do, if I need it urgently.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #648419
    I am very excited and thrilled, like a child discovering a treasure! I made paneer today as per the instructions which were given by Juana and those by Reena in my AE query thread on how to make homemade paneer and am attaching a photo of my success. On the left is the small slab of paneer made from only part of a half litre milk pouch (we buy cow's milk and I wanted to use only a small quantity as this is my first attempt). On the right are the cubes soaked in water and kept in a steel box which I have put in the refrigerator. I plan to mix them with some spicy corn to have with my night meal.

    There was a lingering taste of the lemon to the paneer, but, yes, it was good! So I will be making paneer myself from now on. It was really simple and I don't know why I felt lazy to try it out and buy paneer from outside. ISC is truly a wonderful learning platform.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

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  • #648420
    How much lemon juice did you add? You need just a few drops. I make paneer regularly and have never had a problem with the flavour.
    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #648424
    I happily put the juice of half a lemon, squeezing it in directly through the squeezer. I did not mind the flavour, actually, as I do love lemons and put it often in some of the vegetables I cook. I would be putting a few drops on the corn too, but since am putting the lemon-flavoured paneer, will not be adding any further juice.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

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