Simple curd cheese, perfect for curries.
Paneer is a type of cottage cheese which is eaten all over India. Its subtle flavour lends itself brilliantly to being cooked with spices and it's an absolute doddle to make! The only ingredients you need are milk and something to make the milk curdle. In the recipe below we have used lemon juice, but you could also use vinegar, citric acid or yoghurt.
There is something very satisfying about watching the transformation of the milk from liquid to solid. You can buy paneer quite easily, but by making it yourself you can very easily produce a product which is fresher, better quality and a lot cheaper!
This recipe will yield around 200g - 250g of paneer. For the tastiest cheese, use the best quality full-fat milk you can find.
- Heat the milk until it is boiling.
- Add the lemon juice - the milk will begin to curdle straight away.
- Once the milk has curdled and the curd has started to separate from the whey, take it off the heat and leave for about 10 minutes.
- Once the curds and whey have fully separated, strain it through a muslin cloth, collecting all the curds. Squeeze out the excess whey and put a weight on top of the muslin-wrapped cheese. Leave under the weight for 40 mins - 1 hour, to firm up.
- When the cheese is firm, simply cut it into pieces and add it to your curry!
- If the milk does not fully curdle, simply add a touch more lemon juice.
- When straining the curds, be sure to keep the whey. The whey can be used again to make ricotta. You can also use the whey instead of water when making chapatis, add it to soups and stocks, or even have it as a tangy drink!
- For a softer, crumblier cheese, do not press it down, just drain and leave to cool.
- The finished cheese can be stored in the fridge for 2 days and can also be frozen in an air-tight container.
- Once made, the paneer can be added directly to curry sauces near the end of cooking, but to add more flavour and texture we love to fry it in a little oil to crisp up the outside.
- For a simple side dish of paneer and peas, try using our Mattar Paneer Curry Pack.
- You can also use paneer as a filling for samosas or try using our Bhajia pack to make Paneer Pakora - if the thought of battered, fried cheese doesn’t excite you, what will?