Thursday, May 28, 2009

Homemade Paneer / Chenna

Paneer is a commonly used ingredient in Indian cooking starting from appetizers, curries and sweets/desserts. It is easy to make at home and soft paneer is the main ingredient for preparing Rasgullas or Rasmalai. I tried using both whole milk and 2% milk and would recommend using whole milk as it's easy to curdle the milk and can prepare good quality paneer. Curdled milk is called chenna (soft) and flattened chenna is called paneer (hard).



Ingredients:

  1. Whole milk - 1/2 gallon
  2. Lime - 1/2 no. (extract juice) or White Vinegar - 2 table spoons (dilute with water)

Instructions:

  1. Boil milk in a heavy bottom non-stick pan on a medium-high heat. Stir properly to make sure that milk does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add fresh lemon/lime juice slowly to the milk, stir properly. Once you see milk curdling, reduce the heat to medium and collect the formed chenna into a bowl. Add the lemon juice to the milk until you see only whey (liquid left after collecting chenna from milk) in the pan.



  3. Drain the excess water from the collected chenna and knot it in a cheese cloth and hang it over sink or drain in a colander. Run cold water over chenna to remove the flavor of lemon.
  4. After removing the water completely, keep heavy weight over chenna and sit it for 1 hour. The more time you keep the chenna under the weight, the more hard the paneer will be. Knead the paneer and cut into desired shapes. This paneer can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1week.

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