Homemade Paneer or Indian Cottage cheese is a rich source of protein and a must in the Indian Vegetarian Kitchen.
Paneer is one such ingredient that can be used in all the three courses. i.e. starters, main course, and desserts, and Paneer is one of them. Milk is the main ingredient in making paneer and the best paneer is made from full-fat milk.
Paneer can be eaten raw or sauteed in ghee (Clarified butter) or butter. Sprinkle it with salt and butter and you have an easy energy booster snack or even finger food for your baby or toddler. It was one of my go-to dishes when my son was a baby.
Another easy and kid-friendly dish is Paneer Paratha, which serves as finger food for toddlers or is good in lunch boxes too for kids and grown-ups.
Paneer is a very common replacement for vegetarians for many chicken-based dishes. Simply swap the chicken with paneer and you should be okay.
I love to make Rasgulla the famous Bengali dessert which is best made from cow milk’s paneer or Rasmalai.
How is Paneer Made and How long it takes
Making paneer at home is very easy. There are no special tricks you need for this. Believe me, once you make this you will no longer buy the store-bought one. It is way softer and does not have any rubbery texture, unlike the store-bought ones.
All you need is an acidic agent like lemon juice or vinegar in addition to milk, and you are done. Yes, the process of boiling milk, curdling, and then setting it takes time, but then there is no need to babysit it. Boiling milk can be done simultaneously with your other chores, and the rest is just curdling that takes a minute or two, and then setting it into shape if you need firm size pieces. Homemade Paneer is Ready.
Pro Tip – Diluting the acidic ingredient used in making Paneer helps it make soft and firm. If an acidic ingredient is not diluted, the paneer might turn crumbly.
How to Store Homemade Paneer
Yes at times I just make this and keep it in my fridge for 4-5 days. I do not keep it in water or anything at all, just use an airtight container. If you live in a hot climate do not go over 2-3 days in the fridge. But I would say Homemade paneer stays fresh longer.
If you want to keep paneer for a long time or make it in bulk, it is best to cut it into the desired shape. Arrange it in a tray and freeze it. When frozen save it in a zip lock or a container. When required remove, and defrost in hot water for at least 60 minutes. That’s it, you have fresh Homemade Paneer whenever you need it.
Paneer Recipes on my blog
- Butter Paneer Masala
- Paneer BabyCorn (No Onion no Garlic – Medium Gravy)
- Kale, Broccoli, and paneer Sandwich
- Mung Sprouts & Methi Chila (PanCake), with Cabbage & Paneer Stuffing
- Broccoli and Paneer Paratha
Home made Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)
- 1 Ltr. Milk (Full fat preferred)
- Juice of 1 Lemon/ 2 tablespoon vinegar (More or less of lemon juice or Vinegar might be required depending on the quality of milk.)
- 1/2 Cup Water
- On slow to medium heat boil the milk in a clean and sterile pot.
- Switch off once the milk is boiled.1 Ltr. Milk
- Let the milk stand for 1-2 mins.
- Meanwhile squeeze the juice of lemon in a small bowl and add water.Juice of 1 Lemon/ 2 tablespoon vinegar, 1/2 Cup Water
- Add this lemon juice / Vinegar to the milk and stir it.
- The milk should start curdling and you should be able to see clear white/green watery whey and the white solids or paneer.
- If you do not see a watery whey (it means there is still some amount of solids), so add add more of lemon juice/Vinegar and mix it again.
- Strain the mixture into a muslin cloth through a strainer.
- Rinse the mixture thoroughly with cold water so that the traces of lemon juice/Vinegar is removed completely.
- Wrap the mixture into the same muslin cloth and squeeze out the excess water.
- If you want paneer cubes, put a heavy pan with weight on the paneer in the muslin cloth. (Simply add water in the same pan you used to curdle the milk).
- This helps the excess water squeeze out of the paneer and it becomes firm.
- Let it rest for minimum 60 minutes.
- Cut and store it in fridge or freezer as described above or use it as required.
- You should be able to make around 225-250 gms of Paneer from 1 Ltr full fat milk.
Updated on 13-Jan-2024 with content and more pics. Updated earlier on 24-Feb-2019, with new pics and Content.
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