In preparation for an upcoming dish, Malai Kofta, I had to make some paneer for the stuffing.
Paneer is one of the most simple cheese to make. Really. It is like ricotta - except that ricotta has cream.
I followed Manjula's recipe on her ever plenty Indian food website. She is endearing and I want to rest my head upon her bosom.
PANEER (makes a bit more than a pound) Total time 1-2 hours
- 1 Gallon milk (either whole or 2%)- 1/2 c lemon juice- 1 t salt
You will also need so cheesecloth and a strainer. And something heavy to press the ricotta. Like a kettle.
1. In a large saucepan, heat the milk and salt on medium to a boil. Stir frequently so that the bottom does not burn. It is best to use the thickest pot you own. The thicker the pot, the more consistent the heat, the less burn. Don't boil over!
2. Mix the lemon juice with 2 cups of hot water.
3. When the milk comes to a boil, gradually pour in the lemon juice while stirring. The liquid will start separating. Turn the heat off, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. If you need more acid to further clump your clumps, add a touch more lemon juice.
3. Once the curds have seperated, pour the solids and liquids through a strainer equipped with cheesecloth.
4. Turn on the faucet and wash the curds off to rid it of the lemon taste. I don't like the lemon taste, especially if you are using bottle lemon juice. Gag me. Rinse for a few minutes and taste. Salt to taste.
5. Fold the cheesecloth around the cheese and try and wring out some more liquid. Place a heavy object on the top of the cheese (still in the strainer) and allow the cheese to press for at least half an hour.
To test if it is done, take a bit of cheese and play with in in between your fingers. It should clump when pressed, and hold shape if shaped. Yeah! Now fore Malai Kofta...
So easy. Don't belive me, watch Manjula herself!