Make your own cheese! Homemade paneer is surprisingly easy, and you only need two ingredients – whole milk and lemon juice. You just need to slowly boil milk, add the lemon and then strain when it separates into curds and whey.
It’s a very satisfying thing to make, and you’ll feel very impressed with yourself. Paneer is something that I keep in my fridge most of the time, ready to whip up a quick curry after work – this homemade paneer will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge and you can also freeze it too – nearly as handy as shop bought!
The recipe is from Ottolenghi, via one of my favourite Indian bloggers and chefs Maunika Gowardhan.
Homemade Paneer, makes enough for 2 people
1 litre of whole milk
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Line a colander with a double layer of clean muslin cloth and place in the sink (tap out of the way!)
In a large saucepan, bring the milk slowly to a boil, don’t be tempted to heat it quickly – it should take about 20 minutes to boil, stir it occasionally. Once it is gently boiling turn the heat down to low and add in half the lemon juice. As the milk starts to split stir in the rest of the lemon juice and keep stirring until the milk splits into curds and whey.
Pour the mixture into the lined colander and allow the liquid to strain out. Once it has mostly drained out run cold water over the cheese to remove the rest of the whey. Gather up the ends of your cloth and squeeze the cheese into a ball, squeezing out the water as you go. Flatten it slightly and then tie and place on a plate with a heavy saucepan or casserole dish, or a few of your least favourite cookbooks, and a few tins, and place in the fridge for 2 hours til the cheese is set.
When set remove from the muslin, use immediately or wrap in kitchen paper and then cling film – it will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge. I fried mine up in black mustard and cumin seeds to top a bowl of dal, you could also use it to make my chilli paneer recipe.