Yesterday I was perusing one of my favorite sites Apartment Therapy when I came across an entry about the best cheese making kits which got me thinking about making cheese at home. Why have I never done this?! I guess its because I thought it was something that could not be undertaken in ones private kitchen without fear of creating some strange super mold that would bring about the end of mankind. While pursuing the list of at home cheese kits drooling at the thought of fresh mozzarella and ricotta cheese I saw a link about making Indian Paneer cheese at home! Knowing my boyfriend’s love of Saag Paneer I decided to try my hand at homemade cheese.
Using the recipe from Apartment Therapy I went about making my own fresh cheese. The one adjustment I made was to use low fat milk instead of whole milk to make the cheese a bit lighter (next time I plan on trying with soy milk to see if that works). To my amazement making paneer is incredibly easy, in fact so easy I think Im just going to start making my own infused cottage cheeses from home (to make cottage cheese instead of paneer you just skip the pressing step). Basically if you can boil milk in a pot you can make cheese, who knew?! Just make sure to heat it slowly and stir so that you do not burn the cheese.
How the cheese should appear after pressing
If youre looking for something to use your paneer in, try making Saag Paneer which is almost as easy as making the paneer itself!
In a pan cook the first 8 ingredients until the spinach has completely wilted. Then remove the pot from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Transfer all contents of pot including liquid into a blender and puree until smooth (but not liquid!). Then in a pan, heat the ghee and saute the paneer until light brown. Add the spinach mixture to the pan and cook for a few more minutes. Taste to see how it is, from here you can add some chili powder for extra spice or a bit more tumeric or masala to add extra flavor. Serve immediately with rice.
So there you have it, easy homemade cheese and homemade delicious Saag Paneer. All in all everything was incredibly easy to make taking about an hour total. As I mentioned in a previous post, I would include photos, but my camera is broken right now, so once that gets fixed I will update this with photos.