Cottage Cheese or paneer is an Indian cheese prepared with curdled milk. It is high in proteins, energy, calcium, phosphorous and sodium. It is therefore recommended by many dieticians for its high protein content. Homemade paneer is the best because freshness and quality is ensured and it is economical as well as tasty.
In North India, any feast or occasion is incomplete without paneer. Specially in marriages paneer based gravies are compulsory. It can used to prepared a number of dishes like vegetables, gravy, salads, chats, snacks, barbecue and even sweets. It is one of the most versatile ingredient used all over the world. Its mild flavor makes it a perfect combination for any flavor such as sweet, sour or spicy. I am personally a fan of paneer based dishes like any other Indian. Like Parmesan is for Italians, we North Indians have Paneer.
You can use paneer as a substitute for Feta cheese in many dishes as feta is not easily available in India. Some of the famous and most relished paneer dishes are kadahi paneer,palak paneer, paneer butter masala, bhurji, paneer parantha, chilly paneer, paneer tikka, paneer pakodas, rasogulla, sandesh, matar paneer, malai kofta, kalakand and the list is endless.
So lets start with the recipe
Recipe type: Homemade
Shelf life: 7-10 days (refrigerated)
1kg Milk (Full fat)
1/4tsp Citric acid
Method (Step by step recipe with photos)
- Take out the milk in a deep pan and keep it to boil.
2. Take a bowl, add citric acid and 4 tbs water in it and mix well.
3. When milk comes to a boil, add 2tbs of citric acid solution to the milk and stir lightly with a spoon. Reduce flame to simmer.
4. You will see that milk has started curdling. It should be completely separated into water and curds. When water turns little greenish, it is done. If milk does not curdle completely add rest of the citric acid solution.
5. Now switch off the flame, put cold water on sides of the pan, curds with get together in the center.
6. Now take a sieve, put cheese cloth/thin cotton cloth over it and strain the curds. Take the cloth and put cold water over it. Now squeeze excess water out. (Squeeze from top)
7. Now close the cloth, put some weight on it and leave for 5 minutes.
8. Remove weight and put the paneer (with cloth) in fridge atleast for 30 minutes. Homemade paneer is ready to use. (1 kg of milk yields about 300-350gms of paneer)
- It can be kept for 24 hours in the cloth, after that keep it immersed in water in refrigerator. Change water everyday.
- Do not use lemon or tatri, it will not give same results.
- The whey (greenish water) we get after getting paneer is very nutritious. We can use it to make soup, dal or to make dough. But it can be used only till 30 minutes, it gets spoiled after that.
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