Homemade Paneer in less than 30 minutes. No Joke!

Paneer was one of those, ‘Shut the f*&k up!” moments for me. Cheese making is one of those things that I have been happy to leave to the experts and certainly when it comes to fancy cheeses this is still the case. But when Shiva showed me how to make my own Paneer, which is a soft spreadable cheese that you can press it into a block and cut cubes usually for frying, I honestly could not believe how easy it was.

Though sourcing is always extremely important to me, in this case it is vital to do this with milk that has not been pasteurized. The pasteurization process changes the molecular structure of the milk making it very difficult to separate the whey. The first time I tried this I did it with organic pasteurized milk and got ok results, but the next time when I did it with milk from the farmers market I got a tremendous yield and yesterday’s Paneer was fresh, smooth and slightly lemony.

You want to heat the milk to the point just before boiling.

When the milk reaches that point you want to add 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, this will separate the milk, my picture didn’t turn out very well but you get the idea.

Once the separation has occurred, turn off the heat and let the milk cool down to avoid burning oneself while straining the milk through cheese cloth.

Then just lift the cheesecloth with the cheese in it and tie it so it can drain even further, mine only drained for a few minutes.

Once drained, open up the cloth and viola homemade cheese with no preservatives, hormones or salt!

Last night we just spread it on fresh bread but a few weeks ago we mixed the paneer with jarred cilantro sauce and spread it on fresh rotis that we also sprinkled with fried lentils and cucumbers.

The recipe for paneer is this: 1/2 gallon of whole unpasteurized milk and two tablespoons of lemon juice. You will need a cheesecloth and a strainer. That’s it, all you need for fresh cheese.

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