February 23, 2010
I promise, this is easier than you think it’s going to be.
1 gallon whole milk
lemon or lime juice (amount needed varies, be prepared with at least ¼ cup)
Line a colander with a cheesecloth and place it in the sink. In a large pot, bring the milk to a boil over medium heat. Watch the milk because it will seem to do nothing for nearly fifteen or twenty minutes, and then all of a sudden it will be nearly boiling over. When it gets to that point, remove the pot of milk from the heat.
Begin adding the citrus juice a few tablespoons at a time, stirring vigorously to distribute. Continue to patiently add the juice until you see curds forming. Once the curds have formed, pour the entire contents of the pot through the cheesecloth-lined colander.
Using gloves (the curds will be very hot!), lift the cheesecloth out onto a sturdy cutting board. Place the cutting board back into the sink, then weigh it down using the pot you just cooked the milk in, filling it with water, which will also help with cleaning later!
For crumbled cheese, let the paneer sit at least an hour. For sturdier paneer, transfer the pressed paneer to the fridge overnight, making sure it’s well covered with a cheesecloth or damp paper towels.
Once it has completely dried out, you can cube the paneer and brown it, either in a pan with oil or on a sprayed, foil-lined baking sheet under a low broiler. Once browned, paneer will keep in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a few months.