Monday, April 27, 2009

Palak Paneer, Part One: Paneer

I LOVE Palak Paneer. I eat it at work at least once a week, and enjoy ordering it when going to Indian restaurants (though I am often tempted to try new things). I've been on a dairy kick recently (and by recently, I mean the past 27 years of my life) and have been itching to make some cheese. Paneer is just about the easiest cheese one CAN make as it requires only two ingredients, no thermometers, aging or talent in general.

Start with one 1/2 gallon of milk and the juice for 1 1/2 lemons. Whole milk is best for flavor, but I find 2% to be a good compromise in this situation.


I chose Cedar Summit milk as its un homogenized, which is the closest thing you get get to "real milk" in this country without owning part of the cow. Cow shares are an option to get raw milk (and may be in our future... I think I've caught the cheese making bug) but we haven't quite gotten there yet.

Bring your milk to a boil. Once it is at a full boil, slowly add the lemon juice and reduce the heat to low. Stir until separated (about 2 minutes). Turn the heat off and allow to rest for about 10 minutes .

Carefully pour your curds through a colander lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth (Save your whey to make homemade ricotta).


Rinse your curds under lukewarm water (while still in the cheese cloth). Grab the edges of the cheesecloth and twist to squeeze out as much liquid as possible from your curds.

Place your curds into a bowl and flatten then down to the bottom.


Weigh down the cheese with a plate, bowl or can (I had a big of a make shift method here, using the heaviest pan in our kitchen) for 1 hour at room temperature.


Pour off any liquid that has accumulated. Your paneer is now ready to be cubed and eaten!



Jan said...

I had Palak Paneer at your mom's house last summer. I have been wanting to try my hand at making is and bookmarked this site...

Of course, bookmarking is as far as I have gotten, but perhaps once summer roles around, I will give it a shot. Thanks for reminding me!

Kate said...

making paneer is so easy and way cheaper than buying it (if they even SELL paneer in Lawton, OK) I think it's $20/lb at whole foods here. If you add salt to it you have home made queso fresco!