|Fresh pressed Paneer Cheese|
To make a simple paneer cheese; follow the recipe for Ricotta Cheese, then gather the cheesecloth, gently squeeze, then hang for an hour or so to remove the excess whey. Shape into a rough rectangle, then fold the cheesecloth tightly around it for a neat package. Place on a perforated strainer, steamer basket or folded cotton tea towel then on dinner plate and press it beneath a weighted plate in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.
|Paneer will keep its shape and not melt|
Paneer will not melt or get gooey like mozzarella or cheddar. This provides the advantage of being stirred into soups or curries and still keep its shape and chewy texture.
That said, this homemade version has a more delicate, soft texture and will break down in hot dishes. To prevent this, add the cubes just before serving. A method to firm it up so it can be added to hot gravy or sauces is to knead a few teaspoons of cornstarch into the cheese before pressing. It will still be delicate and soft but will hold its shape.
With the added cornstarch for stability, these paneer cubes are delicious tossed into a curried pasta salad, or dropped into hot soup. It is perfectly acceptable to nibble on a few cubes as a snack or as you work. Just be sure to leave enough for your recipe!
|Curried Pasta with Paneer, Pulled Pork and Broccoli|
Till next time... Bon Appétit!
Photos by Sally Rae