Indian Paneer cheese
Homemade paneer cream cheese is very light. It is stronger than usual cream cheese from the shelf. Paneer cream cheese is uniquely suitable for Indian dishes or typical Palak Paneer. Also tastes very good as bread spread.
1 liter of fresh milk = 115 g Paneer cheese
2 liters of fresh milk = 250 g Paneer cheese
3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cotton gauze
You can make Paneer cheese using lemon juice, whey or yogurt. Lemon juice gives the cheese slightly sour taste, while yoghurt makes it creamier. We prefer lemon juice. The amount of lemon juice determines the hardness of cheese: the more lemon juice, the harder the cheese. Since the goal isn’t “as hard as wood”, use minimum amount. 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice will be quite enough for 2 liters of milk.
Place a sieve with a double laid cotton gauze. The cheesecloth must be wet. Drained, but wet. Put colander in a large bowl/pot to collect the whey.
Slowly warm 2 liters of fresh milk in a large saucepan. Make sure saucepan or pot is large enough to allow rise of the milk while cooking! Bring to the boil while stirring.
When the milk boils, add spoonful of lemon juice. Remove from the heat. If there is no clotting, add more lemon juice.
The sponge-like paneer separates almost immediately from the clear yellow-green whey. Now sieve everything through the cheesecloth. Rinse paneer in cold water for 30 seconds to remove any excess coagulant remnants and to strengthen paneer.
By hand, compress the cheesecloth and put some additional weight on it (such as cans).
Approximately 2 hours later you can remove cheesecloth and store paneer cheese in the fridge. If you want softer cheese, simply squeeze the cheesecloth by hand, hang it on the tap and let it drain. No weights on it.
The whey can be stored and drank or, after two days (because it will be more acidic), used as coagulant for new Paneer. You need 300 ml of sour whey for one liter of milk. Panier cheese is versatile, and you have just made your own cheese for the first time. Bravo.