Some amateur cheesemaking – homemade paneer
With Sabras closing recently we have been deprived of their mutter paneer. It’s been a while since we made Indian food so I decided that I would make some paneer last night and follow up with mutter paneer tonight. I am lactose intolerant so can’t have cows milk, but this usually isn’t a problem for paneer making as living in London and so I can get my hands on buffalo milk quite easily. Well, I could, until Waitrose stopped selling it. So, it had to be goat’s milk which isn’t my favourite but it will do. Next time I’ll have to plan it and get some buffalo milk at the farmers market.
It’s very easy to make paneer. All you do is boil some milk, reduce the heat and add something acidic to separate the curds and whey – white vinegar, lemon or lime juice will do, and then press out the excess moisture. I had a lime to hand last night so I used lime juice, roughly, a couple of tablespoons for a litre of milk. Once you add the lime juice/lemon juice/vinegar you will notice that the curds and whey start to separate immediately. If they don’t seem to be seperating add more of your lime juice/lemon juice/vinegar. Give it about 5 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t stick or burn and the curds will get bigger and the whey will get clearer. After the 5 minutes or so are up, strain through some muslin or cheesecloth to separate the curds. You can suspend your ball of paneer in waiting from the tap or I usually just put mine in a sieve suspended over an empty pot. Leave it for about half an hour or so to cool down and drip then squeeze the excess liquid out. I place a weight on it (a jar of beans and a saucer) at this point for an hour or so and then it’s ready to refrigerate. Easy peasy!