Monday, January 18, 2010

An Indian Treat!

I am in love with Indian food! Nothing warms my innards more on a cold winter day! Lately I've been really enjoying some ready made frozen entrees containing Paneer which is a fresh cheese cut into cubes and put into one of a variety of sauces. I was looking online for sources to purchase Paneer and found comment after comment about how easy it is to make and how much better it is. So I embarked on a cheese making adventure. Here is a little tutorial.

How to make Paneer

1. Gather your ingredients: 1 half gallon of whole milk (do not get milk that has been ultra pasteurized) and 1 or 2 lemons.
Equiment: large heavy saucepan, strainer and cheesecoth.

2. Put the milk in the saucepan and heat, stirring so the milk doesn't stick to the pan. Squeeze the juice out of one lemon and
put aside.

3. Prepare your strainer. Place a double layer of cheesecloth in the strainer and a bowl underneath to catch the whey when
the cheese is drained.

4. Bring the milk to a boil and remove pan from heat quickly before milk bubbles over.

5. Stir in the juice from 1 lemon. You will see curdles begin to form right away and the whey will separate. Stir gently for a
minute or two then let the pan sit for about 10 minutes.

6. Pour the cheese into the strainer. Twist the cheesecloth tightly around the cheese and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.

7. Keep the cheesecloth tightly twisted and press the cheese into a disk about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Place on a plate.

8. Place another plate on top and weight it with cans or heavy books.

9. Leave weights on the cheese for 30 minutes or so then unwrap cheese and use or wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

10. You may choose to keep the whey to use in soups or baking. It should be used within a week or two or it may be frozen for future use.

Check out the cubed fresh cheese!

Here's the finished meal! The paneer was lightly browned in ghee and simmered in Korma sauce. It was served over a Basimati/Wild rice pilaf accompanied by a spinach lentil dal. Mmmm Good!

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