Ingredient List Print Recipe
- 1 gallon whole milk
- 2 teaspoons citric acid or 8 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cheese salt (or to taste)
- Large pot
- Fine cheese cloth
- Large slotted spoon
DIY Paneer Cheese
I love paneer, a mild Indian farmers’ cheese that softens when heated, but doesn’t melt. It takes on flavors really well, soaking up the sauce it cooks in. Paneer is great in curries (try this quick vegetable curry), soups, crumbled on a sandwich, in the classic Indian saag paneer (one of my favorites), or as a topping for roasted vegetables—really, the possibilities are endless with this versatile cheese.
SERVINGS: MAKES ABOUT 2 POUNDS OF CHEESE
Measure the citric acid into 1/2 cup of water and stir until dissolved. Set aside. (Note: if using lemon juice, you do not need to mix with extra water).
Line a colander with cheese cloth. Side aside.
Pour the milk into a large stock pot. Set over medium heat, stirring often to prevent scorching or a skin from forming. Save the empty milk jug to fill with water and use as a weight later on.
Heat over medium heat until the milk reaches 200 degrees F. Do not allow the milk to boil.
Turn the heat to low, and slowly drizzle in the citric acid solution (or lemon juice). Curds should form very quickly. Gently stir for 2 minutes to heat through.
Remove from the heat and continue to stir gently. You should now have white curds separated from the yellowish whey.
Place the colander in a heat proof bowl to catch the whey. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, transfer curds to the colander lined with cheesecloth (or pour it into the colander if you’d prefer). Allow the whey to drain, then add one or two teaspoons of cheese salt. Mix gently, but thoroughly.
Gather the corners of the cheesecloth together and twist at the top, making sure the bundle remains tight. Place in colander.
Place a small plate on top of the bundle of curds. Weigh it down with the gallon of milk, filled half way with water. Let press for 30 minutes to an hour.
Unwrap the cheese. You can eat it right away, or cover and refrigerate for extra firmness.
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