Paneer is a fresh cheese common in South Asia. In North India it is called Chhena. Paneer is extracted from milk by curdling heated milk by using lemon juice or any other food acid.
To make Paneer, lemon juice/vinegar/citric acid is added to hot milk to separate the curds from the whey. The curds are drained and excess water is removed.
You can make paneer at home very easily. I prefer homemade Paneer rather than the one you get in shops outside. Home made Paneer is more fluffier and soft.
Let us learn how to make homemade Paneer.
Milk 1 ltr
Lemon juice/vinegar 1 tsp
Mix 2 tsp water and Lemon juice/vinegar 1 tsp and keep ready. I have used vinegar.
Keep stirring to avoid formation of skin on the top.
Switch off the flame. Allow to cool for 2 mins.
Now add Lemon juice/vinegar little by little and keep stirring.
Now you can see curdling has started. Keep stirring.
When milk starts curdling stop adding Lemon juice/vinegar.
Leave for 2 mins.
Drain curds in a muslin cloth or a stainer. You can use drained whey in chapathi, rice and cooking vegetables.
Run plainwater for 2-3 times through drained curds to enable remove lemon taste from Paneer.
Hung or place heavy weight on it for about 45 mins to 1 hour or until water content goes off.
Remove Paneer and knead well.
You can cut into your required shapes.
Now Paneer is ready to use.
You can store Paneer immersed in water for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
I prefer fresh Paneer to get enhanced taste.
Paneer is used in preparation of sweets, rice items, gravies and more. Bengali sweets are prepared from Paneer like Rasgulla, Rasmalai, Chum Chum, Champakali and so on.
Do not add lemon juice/vinegar to hot milk. Once you get to know the texture it will be very easy to prepare Paneer.