Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Paneer (cookbook challenge #2)
The theme for week two of the cookbook challenge is citrus. I decided to put a spin on this and make paneer, where lemon is a crucial ingredient when making the cheese (although other acidic ingredients such as vinegar can also be used).
It's a pretty simple process but results in a delicious fresh cheese that is tastier than what you can buy at the supermarket (and probably cheaper too, depending on the milk price).
2L of good quality, full cream milk, unhomogenised is ideal. I used Ashgrove's Green milk.
1/8 cup lemon juice
Heat the milk in a heavy-based saucepan until it is almost boiling.
Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.
Place back on the heat briefly while gently stirring the milk.
Remove from the heat as soon as curds start forming, cover the saucepan, and set it aside for 5 to 10 minutes.
Line a colander with cheesecloth (and place a bowl underneath if you wish to collect the whey - it's great for watering roses and rhododendrons)
Use a slotted spoon to gently transfer most of the curds from the saucepan into the cheesecloth.
Pour the remaining curds and liquid through the cheesecloth.
Gather the edges of the cheesecloth and twist it tightly to squeeze out more liquid.
Place a saucer on top of the twisted parcel and weigh it down with heavy cans or jars.
Leave to drain for at least 30 minutes.
Remove the cheese from the cloth, wrap with damp paper towel then place in the fridge in an airtight container.
Leave overnight before using.
After adding the lemon juice to the milk:
The finished paneer after resting overnight - I got 290g cheese out of 2L milk:
I used the cheese in a really tasty curry, the recipe is posted here