(Indian, Pakistani fresh cheese)
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
- Milk -- 1 quart
- Lemon juice -- 1 tablespoon
- Bring milk just to boil, then remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and let set 10 minutes to separate the curds and whey.
- Strain the curds and whey by pouring them through a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh strainer. Squeeze the excess whey from the curds and flatten them out into a 1/2-inch thick square in the cheesecloth.
- Wrap the curds well with the cheesecloth and place them on a plate. Place another plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, like a clean brick or canned goods. Set in the refrigerator and chill for 1 to 8 hours to allow and excess whey to be squeezed out.
- Remove from cheesecloth and cut into squares for use in recipes.
- A pinch salt can be added to the milk if you like. But paneer is not typically a salty cheese.
- A reasonable vegan substitute for paneer is firm tofu. Tofu is not Indian, but its texture and flavor are fairly similar to paneer.