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How to Make Paneer Indian Cottage Cheese at Home

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Indian Cottage Cheese or Paneer (as we call it in India) is a popular ingredient in our spicy masala recipes. 

Making paneer at home is very easy and requires no special skill. 

homemade indian cottage cheese

All you will need is raw milk and some acidic ingredient to make sure that your milk is broken. You can use vinegar or lemon juice.

lemon juice

Heat milk (preferably full fat milk) in a thickly bottomed vessel. When the milk is about to attain boiling point, add lemon juice to it.

making paneer at home

curdled milk for paneer recipe

how to make paneer

You will see the milk solids and the whey getting separated. Stir gently a couple of times and switch off the flame. Allow the curdled milk to settle down for few minutes.

Pour everything on a clean cloth or handkerchief. Collect the milk solids in the cloth while the whey is drained out.

how to prepare milk cheese

Twist the cloth tightly to remove out any remaining whey from the milk solid.

While the milk solid is still covered in the cloth, hold it under running water. This way you can wash it for a couple of minutes.

make milk cheese at home

Remove water by twisting the cloth tightly once again. Place it on a sieve and leave for half an hour so that the traces of water or whey if any get drained out.

Now, transfer the washed and cleaned milk solids into a large plate and crumble it.

homemade cottage cheese

Knead it well for few minutes so that your paneer is soft and free from any hard knots.
You will be able to join everything together like dough. 

preparing indian cottage cheese

Now, pat it slightly to form a small flat circular shape.

Place a heavy weight object on this flat milk solid and leave untouched for atleast 3 hours. 

how to cottage cheese at home

Since I did not have any considerably heavy weight object, I sandwiched the milk solid between 2 plates. And on the top plate, I placed a vessel filled with water.

Carefully cut the tightly pressed milk solid which is now called as paneer (or cottage cheese). 

homemade paneer milk cheese

Big paneer cubes or thin paneer pieces; the choice is yours. Paneer does not melt.

homemade indian cottage cheese

Use the paneer pieces in variety of recipes. There are many Indian recipes that include paneer.

Read some of the paneer recipes here, here and here.

paneer recipes

As for the whey, use it to prepare the roti dough, or smoothie, or soups, or for thinning down thick yogurt, or just pour it to your flower pots.

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