This DIY project has become a regular in my household (and a quick and easy one it is !). Inspired, once again, by having access to incredible raw milk direct from the farm yet another “impossible to find in rural France” item can be made by ME 🙂
Haven’t heard of Paneer ? You will find a recipe that uses it in most Indian Cookbooks. My favourite is “Matar Paneer” which is crispy cubes of Paneer with Peas in a fragrant tomato sauce (I’ll share my favourite recipe for that soon 😉 ).
I believe that Paneer must be one of the simplest cheeses to make at home. Heat the milk, separate the curds using an acid and press into a block. You can then cut the cheese into cubes and use it in many yummy recipes ! You can also just pan fry the cubes, sprinkle them with sea salt and hot pepper flakes to be served with drinks….
The milk I used was just beautiful ! If you look closely, you’ll see a few inches of cream floating on the top …. Mmmmmm
- 2 litres of fresh whole milk
- a small pot of yoghurt (stirred)
- 5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- glass of cold water
Heat the milk slowly to boiling point in a heavy bottomed pan, stirring with a wooden spoon.
Meanwhile place a colander in a large pan (big enough to hold 2 litres) and place a cheese cloth in the colander.
As it reaches a boil, turn the heat right down and add the yoghurt and continue stirring. Pour the lemon juice in slowly and once the curds start to separate (this will happen very quickly and will be quite obvious) remove the pan from the heat. Add the cold water and pour the whole lot into the cheese cloth lined colander.
A this point, don’t leave it cool but squeeze out the excess liquid right away or the curds will dry and you won’t get a nice smooth block of cheese. Place your ball of cheese, still in the cloth, on a baking tray and place a cutting board on top and press down to squeeze even more liquid out. I then place something heavy on the board like a cast iron pan or a pan filled with water.
Leave it like that for about 20 minutes. You can then unwrap your cheese. If you don’t use it right away, place it in a container and cover it with water and salt. It can be kept in the fridge like this for several days.
Bon Appetît !