Friday, December 17, 2010
1/2 gallon milk (whole or 2%)
2 C plain yogurt (greek adds more protein)
Place the milk in a large heavy saucepan or dutch oven and bring to a boil, stirring gently, over high heat. Just before the milk boils and the bubbles spill over, mix in the yogurt and continue to stir lightly until the milk curdles and separates into curds and whey, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Drape the cheesecloth over a large bowl and pour the curdled milk over it, draining the whey through the cloth and catching the curds in the cloth. With the curds inside it, pick up the cloth and tie it to the kitchen faucet to drain 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from the faucet and gently twist the cloth around the curds, then place the cloth between two large plates and weigh it down with something heavy. You can use the bowl of whey, or I used a big jug of milk. Place it in the fridge like this for a couple hours, then remove the cheese from the cheesecloth and cut into cubes.
To cook paneer to eat by itself or in another recipe, fry in vegetable oil, stirring carefully to keep paneer pieces from breaking.
I had so much fun making this! It's really quite an easy and fascinating process. It was neat watching the curds and whey separate so quickly once I put in the yogurt. I used this cheese in my Lentil and Spinach Curry for a meatless dish that's really packed full of protein. Bennett loved eating it plain. He kept asking for more and more as I was trying to cut it up. I thought it was a little bland that way myself, but the great thing about this cheese is that you can fry it with whatever spices you want and it soaks up the flavours. It's a lot like tofu that way. In fact, I think you could probably use it as a substitute for tofu, for example in a stir-fry. I haven't tried that yet but I bet it would be yummy.