PANEER

Paneer is fresh, unsalted, unaged Indian cheese and is quite often homemade; a very quick and easy process. It’s just a matter of curdling some boiling milk with lemon juice or yoghurt – my granny used to prefer yoghurt while my mum went the lemon juice route. Or was that the other way around?!

Paneer is a great cheese to cook with, as like halloumi, it doesn’t melt when heated and for those who find halloumi too strong, paneer’s mild taste is perfect!

What you’ll be left with after the milk has curdled are the curd and the greenish whey. The curd is the paneer and the whey? So much you can do with it. Make a simple ricotta for one thing! Or feed acid loving plants with it!

Once you’ve mastered the art of making simple paneer, the possibilities of flavouring it are endless – salt, herbs, chilli, fruit… but my favourite is always the plain old!

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INGREDIENTS (makes about 250g)

2 litres whole organic milk
4-5 tbsp of lemon juice (organic would be great)
OR
250g – 300g live organic yoghurt
1 large muslin cloth or almond milk bag
a large sieve
a large deep pan like a stockpot to hold the whey

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METHOD

1. Line the sieve with the muslin and place on the deep pan/stockpot and place in the sink.

2. Heat the milk on medium high heat in a large heavy based saucepan. When it starts simmering, keep a close eye on it as it will boil over quickly.

3. Add the yoghurt or lemon juice and gently stir to help the separation of the curd from the whey.

4. If you find that the milk hasn’t fully curdled, add a little bit more yoghurt or lemon juice. The whole process shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes.

5. Pour the curdled milk through the muslin – the curd will collect in the muslin.

6. Pick the 4 ends of the muslin up and squeeze lightly.

7. Rinse the curd in cool running water for about 10 seconds.

8. Squeeze as much liquid out of the curd/paneer as you can, by twisting the muslin. Be careful, it’ll still be hot.

9. At this stage, you can add a pinch of salt, some chopped up herbs, or our favourite, chilli flakes, mix it all up & tie it back up in the muslin.

10. Hang the curd filled muslin on your kitchen tap and leave to drain for 30 minutes.

11. Now place the paneer on a flat plate, flattening it as much as is possible with your palm.

12. Place another plate over it and weigh down with some food cans or a saucepan filled with water. Leave it to rest for 30 minutes.

13. That’s it. Use as your recipe dictates. 

It will keep in the fridge, in a tightly closed container for a week. Some people soak it in water, like tofu but I never bother.

Also freezes very well. Just chop it up into cubes, if that's how you use it, freeze in a bag.

http://linsfood.com/paneer/

Check out +Indrani Sen's Cheesey Panner : http://goo.gl/VmGhUV
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