How to make homemade paneer (it's so easy)
I'm a big proponent of buying ingredients at the store that will make your life easier (and are probably better because a company has spent lots of time and money perfecting it). Paneer is not one of those things. Around here, there's basically only one brand of paneer you can buy at the store. It's about $8 and it's hard as a rock. To make the creamiest, easiest paneer at home, all you need to buy is a gallon of whole milk, and chances are you already have white vinegar on hand. Muslin cloth is also nice to have, but a thin dish towel works just as well. This is the basic recipe for an easy paneer at home from the chefs at Dosa in San Francisco. You can spruce it up by adding some flavoring while the milk is steeping, like a teaspoon of chilli flakes, cumin seeds, chopped herbs or a pinch of turmeric powder. I'll leave that up to you!
MAKES 2-4 SERVINGS
1 gallon whole milk
3 ounces white distilled vinegar
3x3 piece of muslin cloth or a couple of dish towels
Optional: Herbs, cumin seeds or spices
Pour milk into a deep pan set over low-medium heat and slowly bring it up to a boil.
Turn of the heat and slowly whisk in the vinegar, stirring the whole time. It will start to curdle right away. As soon as the vinegar seems well incorporated, let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to give the acid time to completely separate the curds.
Take a large piece of muslin cloth and place it over a strainer. Carefully pour the mixture into the muslin cloth to collect the curds.
Gather the muslin cloth in your hand and squeeze out the excess liquid.
Tie the muslin cloth and press the bundle by putting some weight on it on a flat surface. (I used another heavy pan with a hand weight inside.)
Let it for 45 minutes to 1 hour . You now have fresh paneer ready to use however you'd like.