Indians and Malai Paneer go hand in hand! As many Indians are pure vegetarians, they consume large quantities of milk based products and Paneer tops the list 🙂 So, I thought I must share an easy recipe to make Homemade Malai Paneer / Indian Cottage Cheese at home and it’s better than store bought ones!!
I must confess, I’m a paneer lover! I can have every other day and sometimes, I do…LOL! It’s one of the easiest things to cook if you have some Paneer sitting ready in your refrigerator. All one needs to do is make a luscious gravy base like the one of Reshmi Paneer. It goes so well with some Masala Puris or even with my favorite Wholewheat Tawa Naan bread 🙂
My hubby too enjoys paneer and likes his Laccha Parathas with some Paneer Bhurji for breakfast. And I have to agree with him, it’s healthy and very filling. A typical North-Indian start to our day.
But many times, when paneer is store bought, it’s very chewy and particularly sour. It has a very sticky exterior texture, almost slimy in many cases. Such quality can put anyone off paneer. Such a texture can be because of many factors, one – the paneer isn’t fresh and has been packaged for many days, two- the paneer is adulterated and has cornflour and other such ingredients, this results in slimy exterior of the paneer. This can very disgusting and the flavour is always compromised.
But what is more important is that it can be made very easily at home. Most of us feel it’ll be a very time consuming procedure and could be too tedious! I can assure you, it’s none of that! All I can say is that we need sometime in hand and patience….yes, please be very patient while making fresh paneer.
You can see the pictures here, it’s a rustic homemade slab of cottage cheese which is absolutely soft, melt in the mouth and just feels very creamy as the name suggests. But, it was not always that i knew the exact method to make this beauty, i referred to many recipes to understand the secret behind that creamy texture like we buy from the stores. It’s Cream – yes, our very own Amul cream or any cream 🙂 I’m sure many may know about it but for me it was a revelation because so many websites don’t mention any cream in the recipe and their end results look very creamy and perfect! So, now even you guys are in on the secret …LOL! Plus a few very important points which I’ve learnt from my Mom.
Let’s follow this step by step method for a better understanding..
1. Heat milk in a large pan, let it come to a gentle boil.
2. Then add the cream and mix well but with a gentle hand.
3. Then add the lemon juice. Mix well and reduce the flame to sim.
4. In about 4-5 minutes, the milk fats will begin separating from the whey. Turn off the flame at this stage.
5. In the meanwhile, keep a muslin cloth or a cheese cloth draped over a large bowl, pour the split milk through the muslin/ cheese cloth and immediately squeeze out as much whey as you can.
6. Dip the squeezed milk fats in the cloth in a bowl filled with water and ice cubes for 2 minutes.
7. Place a heavy utensil on top of the cheese cloth and keep it that way for about 1-2 hours. This will ensure that all the water is weighed out of the paneer.
8. Once the paneer is set, use it as needed. To store it, keep the paneer wrapped in a damp cloth and refrigerated.
9.The paneer will stay fresh for up to 3-5 days if stored correctly.
That’s your paneer. This recipe is easy to follow and needs no major equipment.
- 1.5 liters full fat milk (buffalo milk)
- 200 ml fresh cream (I used Amul Cream)
- juice of 2-3 lemons
- 20-25 ice cubes
- Heat milk in a large pan, let it come to a gentle boil.
- Then add the cream and mix well but with a gentle hand.
- Then add the lemon juice.
- Mix well and reduce the flame to sim.
- In about 4-5 minutes, the milk fats will begin separating from the whey.
- Turn off the flame at this stage.
- In the meanwhile, keep a muslin cloth or a cheese cloth draped over a large bowl, pour the split milk through the muslin/ cheese cloth and immediately squeeze out as much whey as you can.
- Dip the squeezed milk fats in the cloth in a bowl filled with water and ice cubes for 2 minutes.
- Place a heavy utensil on top of the cheese cloth and keep it that way for about 1-2 hours.
- This will ensure that all the water is weighed out of the paneer.
- Once the paneer is set, use it as needed.
- To store it, keep the paneer wrapped in a damp cloth and refrigerated.
- The paneer will stay fresh for upto 3-5 days if stored correctly.
- Refer to notes below.
Please follow all the steps correctly. Do not over cook the milk once it has split. Pour into the cheese cloth immediately else the paneer will turn chewy. Always store the paneer wrapped in a damp cloth and cover it from all sides. The cream is added to improve texture and taste. Since we are adding cream, it will take a little extra lemon to split the milk so add more of it if necessary.
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Do try this one out, you’ll stop buying paneer from the stores!!
Adapted from You Tube – Sanjeev Kappor’s recipe.