Making paneer cheese is very easy and I find it really satisfying. It takes a while, but the process can be done while you’re doing other things, as there is very little to actually do with it. And the leftover whey is such a valuable bi-product, with many possible uses.
2L non-homogenised full cream milk
100g lemon juice
1. Line a colander with a nut milk bag and sit it over a bowl. Set aside.
2. Place milk in mixer bowl. Heat for 16 minutes/100/speed 2/MC on, or until you see the temperature reach 100 – it may take slightly less or more time than this, just watch to see when the dial reads 100 (TM5) or the 100 temperature light stops flashing (TM31).
3. Add lemon juice. Mix for 1 minute/speed 1/MC on. You will see through the hole in the lid that the curds and whey will separate.
4. Pour contents of mixer bowl into nut milk bag, then rinse under the tap to avoid lemon flavour in the paneer (I actually don’t rinse as I love paneer having a lemony taste!)
5. Now, either suspend the colander over a bowl that it doesn’t sit snuggly inside, or hang the nut milk bag somewhere, placing a bowl underneath it to catch the drips. Leave for 1-2 hours.
6. Place nut milk bag (with cheese still in it) on a dinner plate. On top of this, place a heavy object with a flat base. This will compress the cheese and make it nice and firm.
7. Paneer will now be ready to use in your Indian cooking – either add it to warm sauces, or fry it in ghee.
Tips: Don’t let the whey run down the drain, instead catch it and use it, it’s great stuff – perfect for use as the liquid in smoothies, or the liquid component in bread, or add a little to the water when soaking dried legumes before cooking.