Home made fresh paneer/ cottage cheese...a post long over due ! Every time I make paneer, I simply forget to click the steps or it happens and after am halfway through, I realize I havent clicked the steps pics useful for beginners...so finally decided to keep a small cam handy in my kitchen to capture as I work.
Not great pics though but will do for the explanation. I guess.
It is always better and safe to make paneer at home , healthy, fresh and so utterly soft and succulent just as you would like to have it in dishes after cooking.Of course excellent brands are available and I have bought them for emergency needs, but nothing like a fresh home made paneer block made to as much quantity you need.
1 litre milk or the qty you want..method is same.
1-2 tbsp lime juice.
Boil milk in a vessel, as it comes up boiling , slowly add the lime juice while stirring the milk gently with one hand, ( see pics )
You will see that milk begins to curdle..wait for few minutes and add more lime juice only if you see there are some milky liquid left...the curdling process will leave all the thick fat and water separate..
Now add some ice cubes if you have or chilled water to the curdled milk, to stop the cooking of fat and to get a correct texture of the paneer, and to remove the lemony taste, remove water by draining the whey ( save this whey for making chapati dough )
when all the watery liquid is removed, drain in a sieve
, or a colander with fine holes, even a tea sieve will do as I have used in the pic above..keep a cup or bowl below to collect more water.
Sieve it through a colander and then make the bundle.
After an hour, remove the thick collected fat from the tea sieve, now use a fine cheesecloth or any good clean thin white fabric to tie the paneer and to get a firmer cheese.
Make a bundle, wring it as much as you can to remove water , then keep tied on a door handle or above a vessel, or tie it to a kitchen tap to drip water.
I used a colander upside down,placed the thick paneer which is almost water free, placed a heavy vessel on top
After 4 hours or so, the water completely drained out and I got a nice round firm block of paneer.
To make it even more firm, I stored in fridge.
This is my easy method for small quantities of paneer making process especially when my milk curdles by itself due to intense heat ( weather )
You can also simply tie in a bundle, let it hang from a tap, for few hours, check on it, wring it more and you will get a nice big roun d of firm paneer. To get a shape you need to keep a heavy object on top of the bundle like a stone !.
Get perfect crumble free paneer ...so good to slice!
Stored in fridge for use next day!
The summary in pics