Spiced Paneer Recipe

| 10/3/2013 3:29:00 PM

If you tried the ricotta from my last post and are finding yourself wanting “more” in the way of homemade cheese, paneer is a great next step. This version is a spiced paneer, but you can omit the cumin and make it plain, if you'd like. I find that the addition of spices to most fresh cheeses will extend the shelf life of the cheese by a few days—not to mention, it makes them very tasty!

All you'll need is:

• 1 gallon milk, raw or pasteurized, goat or cow
• a scant ½ teaspoon ground cumin
• 4-5 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (with goat milk, I prefer lemon juice; with cow milk, I use apple cider vinegar. The difference is subtle, but there)
• 2 tablespoons salt
• colander
• cheesecloth or flour sack towel

1. Pour your milk into a non-reactive pot; stainless steel or enamelware work perfectly for cheesemaking. Stir in the cumin. Bring the milk to a boil (yes, boil), very slowly. I use a portable infrared cooktop for cheesemaking, because I can control the temperature. If you have an infrared cooktop, set it to 275 degrees. If you are using a conventional cooktop, use no higher than medium heat. It takes a good while to bring it to a boil, and either way, you'll be keeping a close eye on it and stirring frequently. If you try to rush the process, you'll end up with scorched milk. Not only is that not palatable, but you will hate the cleanup process!

cumin in goat milk
Cumin in goat milk. Photo By Pier Jones.

2. Once you have a slow boil, not rolling, add your acid of choice. Because paneer is a solid mass of cheese (not crumbly), you will get a better curd if you add the lemon juice or vinegar slowly while stirring the milk in one direction. If, after about a minute, you are not seeing the curd separate from the whey, add more acid, one tablespoon at a time. Remove from the heat, add the salt (paneer is quite bland without it, even with the addition of the cumin) and stir for a few more seconds. Allow the curd to settle to the bottom of the pot for 10 to 15 minutes.  

10/6/2013 5:36:38 AM

Would this and ricotta work with homemade soy mil I wonder?