Paneer an all time favorite cheese in India is used in ever so many dishes. Be it main course, an appetizer, a sweet, it has continued to stay as a favorite through generations.The soft juicy nature of paneer enables it to absorb the various flavors and spices as required for a recipe.It is also high in milk protien, so much so it can be a perfect snack for children flavored with rose water or as per taste. Curdled milk is also called chenna/cottage cheese. Flattened chenna is Paneer.
Written by Archana Doshi
Note: If a recipe asks for crumbled paneer, you don’t have to go through the process of pressing the chenna down with a weight. You can use the strained chenna as it is. You press it down only in a case when you need to cut it in particular shape.
In a heavy bottom pan, pour the milk, turning the heat to high. Stir the milk constantly to ensure milk does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
When the milk begins to boil, add freshly squeezed lemon juice.
You will notice that the milk begins to curdle. Once the entire milk curdles (this happens when you see the whey) strain the chenna/cheese mixture by keeping a cheese cloth on a strainer.
Bring together the corners of the cheese cloth with chenna/cheese inside and twist the ends to squeeze out excess water.
Place the cheese cloth bundle in flat surface and place another flat plate/cookie sheet on top of the cheese cloth. Now place something heavy like a pile of books or a brick on the cookie sheet in a way that the weight is directly on the cheese cloth. This will press down the cheese.
Let it sit under the weight for 2 to 3 hours. Remove the cheese from the cloth. Now your paneer is ready.
Cut the paneer into desired shape. Store it in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
A food grade container can make it stay for a week.