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Paneer-making question

I've been given a big quantity of milk, and it occurred to me that I'd be able to make my own paneer with it! I do have some concerns, though - the milk is fat-free. I don't know if this will do much besides make the final product less rich. I always have cream around, but I would guess that just adding a little cream would not actually make the skim milk more like whole milk...?

I was planning on pressing it well to make it suitable for mattar paneer, or some such thing. Any other tips on making paneer?


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 20th, 2012 09:18 pm (UTC)
Go ahead and add one cup of cream to your fat (is it 1%) free milk. I've found you get a better yield with whole milk than with 2% and the cream would give you a tastier product as well. :)

I've made paneer numerous times. Check out some of my posts under the paneer tag.

For the recipe I used, start at the post below ... use 1/4 cup of white vinegar to every 8 cups of milk as you get more consistent results than using lemon or lime juice. If you want to salt the paneer, add some to the curds after rinsing at the end. You can also flavour the paneer with herbs and chili flakes.

Edited at 2012-12-20 09:20 pm (UTC)
Dec. 20th, 2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, excellent! Thanks! I will try this tonight.
Dec. 20th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
Good luck.

I think it's better to make small batches than to try to make a big one. It will take about 15 min to bring 8 cups of milk the boil at medium-high heat. Stir the bottom of the pan so your milk doesn't stick and burn. You don't need cheesecloth if you have a large clean/preferably new, linen weave dishtowel to line a colander with.
Dec. 21st, 2012 01:50 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you asked this! Now I have another 'to make yourself' food to add to my list!
Dec. 22nd, 2012 12:59 pm (UTC)
I'm not familiar at all with paneer, but just regarding the milk: at least here in the UK, they milk the cows, then skim off all the milk, then add back a certain amount of fat to get the 2% and whole milks to sell. So yeah, I reckon adding cream to your skim milk would actually work. Just shake it up well.
Dec. 28th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
You know, I think they do the same thing in the U.S. - when I did it, it did work, so I guess it's not such a problem!
Dec. 28th, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
Well, I did make paneer last weekend before the holidays! I took a gallon and made 2 batches with about a cup of cream per batch, and used vinegar to curdle. My first batch got a bit extra-cooked - I let it full-on boil for a minute or two before removing from heat and sitting. The second batch was done much more gently and the curds were larger and more pliable. I then combined both batches and hand-mixed them while adding sea salt to taste. Then I gathered them into one mass in muslin and pressed for about 2 hours. It still seemed a little soft, but I refrigerated it overnight and it became very firm.

However, when I tried to brown it in some hot oil, the cubes melted! I ended up dumping the pan full of melty paneer onto a plate and making the rest of my curry as directed, then added the paneer, now softened, at the end. It was delicious, but super soft. I will have to try again. I realize that I never rinsed the curds after cooking - only drained them. I wonder if that might have messed with it. Or perhaps I added too much cream?
Dec. 28th, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
Rinsing the curds helps cool down the cheese so you can handle it/squeeze without burning your hands and firms up the curds. It also helps rinse off any acidity from the vinegar or lemon juice that may affect the taste. It shouldn't have any other effect.

You can brown the paneer in a non stick pan without any oil, other than maybe a swipe with a paper towel dipped in a bit of oil, at medium heat. I turn the cubes every 1-2 min as each side browns. I've NEVER had the paneer melt.
Dec. 28th, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
I must have done something wrong, then - something kept the proteins from really knitting. I have some more milk coming to me that I can experiment with. PERSEVERANCE! :)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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