Being married to a Punjabi, is like being married to Paneer, Aloo, Roti and Mithai. Basically to food. And for a Punjabi making paneer is, baiyein haath ka khel.. But being a southindian i learnt it after a lot of trial and errors. Crumbly, pale, yellow, these were all the problematic paneers that i have made.
I have kneaded it, tied it loose, pressed it for long and the list of my errors went long..
Now it is my bayein haath ka khel too😜. The soft creamy paneer, restaurant quality..
2 ltr – Whole milk
3/4 ltr – Curd
Big vessel, thick bottom, with 3 ltr capacity
6″ wide Strainer and a vessel for the strainer to sit on
Mortar for the weight
Line muslin cloth on the strainer and place it on the vessel.
In the big vessel pour in all the milk and heat it while stirring occasionally to avoid milk from getting stuck to the bottom. If the vessel is not thick bottomed it will anyways get stuck. But do not scrape it. This will spoil the uniformity of the paneer.
As soon as the milk boils and comes up, add half the amount of curd. Stir well. The milk will start curdling. If not add till it curdles. The milk should curdle well and the light lemony whey should seperate from the curd. This whole process of curdling will take a minute. The amount of curd required will depend on how fat the milk is and how sour the curd is.
Pour this curdled milk into the muslin cloth. Wash this well under running water or ice water and gather the ends of the cloth and hold it up to drain all the water.
squeeze it really really well to by twisting the cloth. Start forming a ball as you twist and squeeze the excess water out. Form a real tight ball. Once the water stops dripping, place this ball in the 6″ strainer. Open the twist, spread the paneer to the shape of the strainer gather the cloth in the centre and spread it . Do not make a knot, but keep the cloth tight. Place a flat plate on this and put a weight on it, like a mortar or the roti stone. Keep the plate flat to get an even paneer disc.
Forming the ball tight and squeezing all the excess whey is the trick to a dense paneer. Washing it with running or ice cold water ensures it stays soft. The weight will help compress the paneer and also remove excess whey. Leave this for not more than 20 mins.