Paneer, or Indian cottage cheese, is a popular ingredient in the Indian cuisine that you can easily make at home. With just two ingredients, you can create this versatile vegetarian addition for your dishes.
How to Make Paneer
In Indian cooking, paneer is used in various ways. It can be fried and enjoyed as finger food or a snack, or incorporated into dishes with vegetables, naan (bread), or rice.
Paneer serves as a protein- and vitamin-rich meat substitute in many vegetarian recipes, such as Shanir Paneer, Palak Paneer, or vegetable curries.
When cooking, paneer is typically added to main dishes towards the end of the cooking time and briefly simmered. Its firm texture allows it to hold its shape well without melting or crumbling.
Paneer becomes firm and can be sliced easily, making it versatile for various preparations.
You can also use paneer to create delicious sweet dishes by adding chopped almonds, coconut milk, or pistachios. As a bread topping, sliced paneer is often sprinkled with spices and/or herbs and drizzled with a bit of olive oil.
To store paneer, you can place it in a salted water solution (brine) in a glass container in the refrigerator. This will keep it fresh for about 3 to 5 days, ensuring that the paneer is fully submerged in the brine.
Alternatively, you can cut paneer into cubes, fry them, and store them in a freezer bag for longer-term storage in the freezer.
Make your own Paneer cheese
- Cooking pot
- Cheese Cloth
- Fine sieve
- Mixing bowl
- 1 Liter milk
- 3 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Turmeric, cardamom, cumin, coriander or other Indian spices and/or herbs to taste
- Cut the lemon in half, squeeze it and catch the juice.Put a colander with the largest possible mesh in a tall bowl or saucepan and line it with it the cheesecloth or clean tea towel.
- Put the milk in a saucepan and heat until it begins to boil. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and turn it off. Now add the spices and/or herbs of your choice .
- Then, using a wooden spoon, slowly stir the lemon juice into the milk and let it boil again on the stovetop until it starts to curdle.
- Then, gently pour the hot curds and whey into the strainer. Wrap the cloth tightly around the curds and weigh it down to speed up the process. Useful for this For example, take a wooden board on which to place a preserve. Now let the whey drain in the refrigerator for several hours.
- Then press well again, unwrap the finished paneer cheese from the cheesecloth. It now has a firm consistency and should be firm.
- Cream cheese tastes best freshly made, but you can now wrap and store it.