Lately, I have been disappointed with the quality of the paneer available in the market, so I decided to make my own (with the help of a cookbook). It was actually quite easy! This recipe is adapted from the Best of India A Cookbook by Balraj Khanna, a fabulous cookbook for Indian food.
2 kg milk, fresh from the market (half a gallon)
4 Tbsp lemon juice (you can substitute vinegar, I hear)
Bring the milk just to the boil, reduce the heat and add the lemon juice while stirring gently, after about 15 seconds, remove the pan from the heat and continue stirring 1 minute. If curds don’t seem forthcoming, then put it back on the heat briefly. When the curds form, you will know it because the substance will change to distinctly big chunks in clear liquid. Pour the mixture into a towel-lined or muslin-lined colander. Let it drain for 5-10 minutes then rinse it with cold water and add salt/herbs if you like. Draw up corners of the cloth and hang the cheese up to drain.
After 1 – 2 hours, shape and squash the cheese weighed down under a plate, and refrigerate. This whole process took about 2 1/2 hours and netted more than 300 g. of firm cottage cheese. Perfect for Mattar Paneer (peas and cheese curry) or Pollack Paneer (spinach and cheese). If you don’t plan to use right away, freeze it for a later date.
So easy! I will definitely be making this again!