Month of September: “660 Curries” Recipe: Paneer

“The only people who see the whole picture are the ones that step out of the frame.” Salman Rushdie

It was a revelation to me to discover that India has only one cheese in its culinary repertoire and that is paneer. 660 Curries states that whole milk (cow or buffalo) paneer is a common ingredient in every north Indian kitchen and if we can boil milk, we can make this very popular cheese. I can boil milk. You can boil milk. We can all boil milk. Why not give it a try?

Ingredients: 1 gallon whole milk, and 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

1.Pour the milk into a large saucepan and bring it to a boil on medium high heat carefully stirring often to prevent scorching. When it comes to a boil (it takes some time!) stir in the vinegar. Remove pan from the heat and set aside until the cheese separates and leaves a pale green, thin, watery whey, about 15 to 30 seconds.

2. Line a colander with double layer of cheesecloth making sure there is 2-3 inches hanging over the rim. Place the colander in the sink and add the milk and let it drain. Once the cheese is slightly cool to the touch, gather the edges of the cloth and fold them over to cover.

3. Fill a heavy pot with water, and set it directly on top of the cloth wrapped cheese in the colander. Set aside until the cheese is firm, 3-5 hours. The weight will press the moisture out of the cheese.

4. Remove the weight and unwrap the firm, milky white cheese. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to one week.

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