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  • Writer's pictureAnita Hippogriff

Homemade Paneer

Paneer is a fresh cheese that is very common in Indian cuisine. It is the same as the cheese known as queso fresco in Latin America. It does not melt, so it is great to put in curries, stir fries, or even in cubes on pizza or flatbread. I like eating it sliced for breakfast or a snack, with a bit of honey.


It is very easy to make, and is a great way to use defrosted milk, if you end up with frozen milk for any reason.



Ingredients

Milk (not ultra high pasteurized)

Apple cider vinegar


Equipment

Pot large enough to hold milk

Wooden spoon

Sieve or colander

Cheesecloth

Cheese mold (optional)

Something heavy to press cheese with (I use a cast iron Dutch oven filled with water


Bring milk to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning. As soon as it boils, turn off heat and let milk cool a bit for 5 minutes.


Now you will start adding vinegar to the milk. You do this until the curds and whey separate, and the amount of vinegar necessary varies depending on your milk. As a rough example, I used about a gallon and a half of milk and a cup or so of vinegar to make the cheese in the picture.


Start adding your vinegar 1/4 cup at a time, and stir well with your wooden spoon. At some point, the milk will separate into white curds and clear yellow whey. The separation will be sudden and quite obvious. Once you see this happen, add another splash of vinegar and stir again.


Line your colander with cheesecloth, and pour the content of your pot through it. You can save the whey (the liquid) for another purpose, such as whey protein.


Now you will have to find a way to press down the cheese for a few hours or overnight with something heavy to squeeze out the liquid, to make a solid block. The easiest way to do this is with a cheese mold. Before I bought my cheese mold, I stuffed the curds into a small sieve and placed a plate and heavy objects on top. You can improvise, just make sure that the cheese can drain and it is being pressed relatively evenly by something heavy.


Once the cheese is firm, you can eat and enjoy!

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