- 1.5 kg whole milk
- 30 g vinegar
Paneer is one of the most neutral ingredients in Indian cooking, which makes it ideal for use in a wide array of curries. A good paneer must be well formed and not crumbly. Its structure shouldn't be too tight, otherwise it will become tough and not absorb any curry. While paneer is especially adored among aficionados of some branches of north Indian cuisine in particular—it is the vegetarian's delight—its close cousin 'chhana' (or 'chhena') holds a special place in Bengali cooking. From being the base for all manner of Bengali sweets (sondesh, roshogolla), it is also used to make chhana'r torkari, a curry with mildly spiced chhana koftas, which is a beloved delicacy. Of course, cubes of fresh paneer are also used in Bengali curries.
- Whole milk will yield ~15 to 20% of its weight in paneer.
- You can also use lime juice instead of white vinegar.
- In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil.
- Turn off heat and add vinegar. Stir until the 'whey' separates and you see the 'curds'.
- Now, place a strainer on top of a large mixing bowl. Layer the strainer with muslin or cheesecloth.
- Pour the separated milk over the strainer. Collect curds over cheesecloth; drain the whey.
- Gather the sides of the cloth, forming a small bundle. Mould gently to form an even shape
- Hang the bundle for 15 minutes to let the water drip naturally.