Thursday, October 3, 2019

Home made Malai Paneer | How to make Paneer at home

Paneer, an Indian cheese made by curdling milk with lemon juice/vinegar. Unlike other cheese, paneer is easily made at home without any special ingredient or utensils. To make malai paneer, a small amount of cream is used in addition to the milk. Adding cream helps to increase the fat content of milk which in turn yields a large quantity of paneer and stays super soft when compared to regular paneer. Once you tried this way of making paneer then you won't turn back to regular paneer or store bought ones.


Since I'm from South Tamilnadu, I didn't get the chance to eat paneer while I grew up. Paneer was first introduced to me when I was in Chennai for work. To be honest, i was not quite fond of it earlier. After marriage when I started to cook on my own, I bought the paneer from the store and started to include it in our meal,  it was chewy and very bland. I thought that the store bought paneer is the problem, so I started to make it at home, that too was not great.Even ST also didn't like paneer much hence i lost interest in making paneer at home, so rarely make some dishes with store bought  paneer for a change. 

But recently I heard about malai paneer and without much expectation i gave it a try, to my surprise it was so perfect and still i couldn't believe how soft the paneer is !!! It's just literally melting in your mouth. Now i understand that the softest paneer blends with the curry well and you don't feel that bland taste of paneer at all. 



Ever since I shared this post, I have got so many questions on my social media handles so here I'm trying to answer them to my knowledge  

Frequently Asked Questions !! 

Why is paneer hard & chew ? 
Over cooking of the cheese makes the paneer hard & chewy, so make sure to stop cooking when all the milk is curdled and also immediately run it under cold water.

Why does paneer taste tangy? 
Too much usage of lemon juice or vinegar. To avoid that, add the lemon juice or vinegar little by little until the milk is all curdled. Besides, keeping the cheese under running water helps to avoid the tangy taste.

How to get perfect cubes of paneer ?
Using heavy weight on the panner helps to shape them nicely. Don't tempt to cut the paneer immediately. Press it with heavy weight and leave it aside for at least 1 hr for  perfect cubes.

Now let's check out how to make this softest malai paneer. If you're a beginner in cooking or first time making paneer, read the notes also before giving it a try.

Home made Malai Paneer | Indian Cottage Cheese

Preparation Time : 4 hrs | Cooking Time : 20 minsMakes : 2 Cups 
Recipe Category: Cheese | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Home Made, How to make, Malai Paneer, Paneer, Indian Cottage Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Paneer, a indian cheese made by curdling milk with lemon juice/vinegar. Unlike other cheese, paneer is easily made at home without any special ingredient or utensils. To make malai paneer, a small amount of cream is used in addition to the milk. Adding cream helps to increase the fat content of milk which in turn yield large quantity of paneer and stays super soft when compared to regular paneer.
Ingredients
Milk - 4 cups/1 litre
Cream - 200 ml
Lemon Juice - 3 tbsp

Procedure
First add the milk and cream in a sauce pan, mix it well and then turn on the stove & bring into boil.In the mean time, keep the colander lined with cheese cloth and lemon juice ready. Once the milk & cream mixture starts to boil, turn off the heat and then add the lemon juice slowly and stir. Once the milk curdles completely, immediately pour into the colander and keep it under cold running water for few mins and then squeezes out the water completely.Next gather all the paneer & try to shape as square and cover with cheese cloth.Now for resting the paneer, this is what i have used, take a plate and steamer plate. Place the steamer plate upside down over the plate. 

Then place the paneer on it, again place another plate on the paneer and put some heavy weight(i have used hand motor & pestle) on it. The whole setup helps to shape the paneer and the excess water is drained through the steamer plate and collected in the bottom plate. Leave it aside for 3-4 hrs or overnight at refrigerator.Soft Paneer is ready. Cut it to desired shape and use it in curries, starters, pulao and so on. For more kitchen basic recipes, check out my collections here

How to make Palak Paneer 
How to make Paneer Peas Curry 


Notes:
  • I have used heavy cream with 35% fat content. It may also known as fresh cream or cooking cream.
  • No need to make the setup exactly like me, you can use whatever utensils available in your kitchen and shape the paneer.
  • All you need is one strainer/plate with holes to drain the water and some weight to put on the top.
  • Instead of hand motor & pestle, you can use any bowls filled with rice, wheat or sugar. That gives enough weight to shape the paneer.
  • Add lemon juice slowly, you may/may not need all the juices, once you see the clear water, stop adding the lemon juice.
  • Keep it under running water helps to cool down immediately and also remove the lemon flavor.
  • Cools down the paneer immediately gives you soft paneer, otherwise it's bit rubbery. 
  • You can store the remaining paneer in the ziplock bag at refrigerator for up to 10 days for fresh paneer. If planning to store for longer days, then freeze it.

No comments:

Post a Comment