I’ve been curious about cheese making for a while, but many of them need special ingredients like rennet or are quite long to make. Paneer (or panir) on the other hand, is a soft, unripened cheese made from a few simple ingredients. I’ve first learned about how to make paneer in the book Home Cheese Making. It’s a good read if you want to learn how many popular cheeses are made :
I usually use it like tofu in a variety of dishes, since it’s a bit bland on its own. Paneer can also be found in some grocery stores if you’re lucky : I’ve bought some once and it was firmer and less creamy than the one I make with this recipe. With more weight, my homemade paneer would probably be as firm, but it hold together well enough for my needs.
Ingredients (Yield : about 140g)
1 liter (4 cups) of whole milk (I used milk with 3,25% fat)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Warm the milk slowly over low/medium heat until it boils gently, stirring often so it won’t burn. Remove the pot from the fire as soon as the milk boils to prevent spills, especially if you have a small cooking pot.
Pour the lemon juice over the milk, stir slowly until large curds form and let them set for about 10 minutes.
Ladle the curds gently in a mold or a colander lined with cotton cloth or cheese cloth (I used my tofu mold). Hold the corners of the cloth together and rince the curds under a light stream of water to wash off the lemon juice.
Put the curds back in the mold, close the cloth over them and cover with a weight. Leave the cheese to press for about two hours. After this, the cheese can be used right away or stored in the refrigerator for two weeks at most.