Have you ever come across Mallika’s blog, Quick Indian Cooking? It’s one of my favourites. Not only does she make me laugh with tales of yoga classes and mothers and the Tube and hazily remembered nights out, she also continually posts recipes that I desperately want to try out.
Those of you unfamiliar with Indian food may be wondering what paneer is. Similar in taste to ricotta but much denser, paneer is a mild tasting Indian white cheese. Living in London, I doubt very much that Mallika has difficulty in finding an Indian food shop that sells fresh paneer. Up here in Inverness, however, it’s a different matter. The only paneer I’ve found on sale is some dodgy longlife stuff that felt like rubber in my mouth and tasted like… well, nothing. There was only one thing to do: make my own.
And I did. Like making ricotta, the process was very simple and took under an hour. An hour very well spent, I say.
(enough for two helpings of Paneer Bhujia)
1 litre full fat milk
4 tblspns white vinegar
- In a heavy based pan, bring the milk up to a boil slowly.
- As soon as the milk begins to boil, add the vinegar, reduce the heat and stir slowly.
- At this point the curds and whey will seperate making the milk look green-ish grey with lumpy white bits. Perfect.
- Line a colander with a tea-towel and pour the mixture into it. Leave for 20 minutes to let the whey drain off.
- Squeeze out as much moisture as possible and shape the cheese into a patty. Tie the cloth with an elastic band around it. Place the cheese parcel on a board with another board on top of it and weigh this latter board down with tins to squeeze out more moisture.
- After another 20 minutes your paneer will be ready. Unwrap and eat immediately or store for up to 24 hours in an airtight container wrapped in the same damp tea-towel.