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How to Make Fresh Paneer (Cottage Cheese) at Home

Chitrangada has nutrition in mind when cooking for her family. Making tasty nutritious food is a skill she has perfected over the years.

Homemade paneer (cottage cheese)

Homemade paneer (cottage cheese)

Making Fresh Paneer at Home

Paneer is perhaps the most popular food for vegetarians in India. My children love it and have it as part of nearly every meal.

How to Serve Paneer

It is extremely versatile and can be used in many different ways.

  • You can use it to make sweets, including rosogullas, sandesh, and ras malai.
  • You can also use it to make salted preparations, including malai kofta, malai paneer, palak paneer, kadhai paneer, paneer pakoda, and numerous other mouthwatering dishes.
  • You can make cutlets, grill it, or stuff it in a paratha.
  • Grated paneer can be used to make delicious and nutritious sandwiches.

As you can see, paneer is a must-have in your refrigerator. It is delicious, nutritious, and so easy to make.

Although it is readily available in supermarkets, nothing can beat the taste of fresh, homemade paneer. It's so soft, and it's so satisfying to know you made it yourself.

Ingredients

  • 1 liter milk
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice

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Instructions

  1. Add 1 liter of milk to a thick-bottomed vessel. Bring the milk to a boil over a burner. Let it boil until it starts rising, but do not let it spill. Remove from heat.
  2. Mix lemon juice into the boiled milk and stir thoroughly. You will see the milk curdle or separate. Do not boil the liquid after curdling.
  3. Place a large sieve over a large bowl so that it covers the bowl. Carefully transfer the entire curdled mixture onto the sieve. The paneer will collect inside the sieve, and the water will collect in the bowl underneath.
  4. Let the paneer drain completely. Allow it to cool.

Storage

Now the paneer is ready to be used. You can store it in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, if you do not want to use it immediately.

It can be stored for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. If you want to keep it for a longer period of time, store it in the freezer. When you want to use it, remove it from the freezer around 15 to 20 minutes before cooking.

Tips for Making Paneer

  1. Although the cheese can be made with toned or skimmed milk, making it with full cream milk will yield more paneer. To keep it low in calories, however, I prefer to use toned milk.
  2. Do not overcook the cheese. It will lose its softness and become hard.
  3. The water that is collected in the bowl after sieving the paneer still has the goodness of milk. It can be used to knead dough or as a stock. You can also drink it as is, after adding a pinch of salt or sugar.
  4. You can also use white vinegar or curd to curdle the milk.
  5. Paneer tastes best when fresh. Although it can be preserved for a considerable period of time in the refrigerator, try to make it fresh every time you want to make a paneer recipe.

Enjoy your homemade paneer!

Have You Made It?

More Notes From the Cook

  • Paneer, or fresh cottage cheese, is so versatile that you can turn it into exotic recipes, both sweet and salty.
  • It's good to make some and keep it in the refrigerator if you want a quick meal.
  • Avoid overcooking the paneer. Otherwise, it may turn out rubbery and lose its natural juices.
  • Homemade, fresh cottage cheese is always softer and better-tasting compared to store-bought options.
  • When preparing sweets, always use fresh paneer.
  • The water left behind after separating the paneer is rich in nutrition, so it should not be discarded. It can be used for kneading dough or as a soup stock.

What's Your Favourite?

Rasogulla is one of the most popular sweets made with cottage cheese (paneer).

Rasogulla is one of the most popular sweets made with cottage cheese (paneer).

© 2013 Chitrangada Sharan

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