Paneer is one of the simplest unripened cheeses made by adding acidic or curdling agents like lime or lemon juice to milk. This process separates the milk into solid (curd) and liquid (whey) forms. The whey is discarded and the curd pressed to form a block of soft cheese. The quality of paneer depends on the milk. Full fat milk results in a richer curd cheese. Curdling agents also have an effect of the taste of paneer. Lemon or lime juice may leave a slightly sour taste if you use too much of it in relation to the milk quantity.
For this recipe I used 2L full fat fresh milk and 3 tablespoons (60ml) lemon juice to yield 1 ½ cups paneer. To increase the yield of paneer simply increase the amount of milk and lemon juice proportionately i.e. 4L liters milk will require 6 tablespoons (120ml) lemon juice. Although simple the process of making paneer at home takes at least 4 hours.
• 1L full fat milk
• 6 teaspoons lemon juice
• Heavy based pot
• Large bowl
• Muslin cloth or similar clean cloth
1. Boil the milk in a heavy based pan on low heat.
2. Once the milk has boiled, add the lemon juice. Stir then set aside for an hour or two.
3. Drain the curdled milk into a strainer lined with clean muslin or similar cloth.
4. Wring the cloth until all the liquid has drained.
5. Place the curd on a plate. Cover with another plate then place a heavy object to set the form of the paneer. Allow 60 -90 minutes to set.
6. Paneer can be stored in the fridge. Keep in an airtight container. It stores well for up to 4 days but chances are it will be eaten on the first day.
7. Paneer can be added to vegetable curries, in a salad or in samoosas or pies, even as a pizza topping.
Paneer and Pea Curry Recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Yield: serves 4
- 4 cups fresh or frozen peas
- 1 onion
- half teaspoon ginger and garlic
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 medium sized tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable curry masala or chilli powder
- when using chilli powder add half teaspoon garamasala
- 1 ½ cups paneer ( see paneer recipe)
2. I prefer adding the paneer in at this stage, just to give them a golden colour. Frying the paneer with the onions also gives it a good flavor. Fry, turning the paneer cubes until browned on all sides. Remove the paneer, set aside.
3. Add the ginger and garlic. Fry for 2 minutes.
4. Add the masala (or chilli powder and garamasala). Stir to avoid spice sticking to the pan.
5. Add chopped tomatoes. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.
6. Add the peas. Add a cup of water. Cover and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
7. Remove the lid. Add paneer. Cook on medium heat for 3- 5 minutes or until the water has evaporated.
8. Remove from heat. Serve warm with rice, roti or a salad.