Spare some time and you can make the simplest thing at home that’ll cost you nothing but a couple of ingredients you may already have in your refrigerator and pantry. What are we waiting for? Let’s get curdling!
Ricotta Cheese to Paneer
4 cups Full Fat Milk
3 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice
*Note: This will yield approximately 150g of ricotta or paneer. Be sure to multiply the amount if you need more for your recipe.
First, place the milk in a pot and heat it on medium heat. Keep an eye out on the milk. As soon as the it heats up (this process could take place in a blink of an eye) and before it bubbles away and out of the pot, remove it from the heat. At this point, add the vinegar or lemon juice and stir. You’ll see the milk curdle and separating solids and whey. If it doesn’t curdle, add another tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. IMPORTANT FACT: Be sure to us non-UHT milk. The latter does not ever separate!
Next, set a colander in the kitchen sink and line it with cheesecloth. Then, strain the milk curds and run cold water to cool it down.
To have it as ricotta, the process ends here. However, you can determine how light and fluffy or dry you would like the ricotta to be. Personally, I prefer it light and fluffy so will use it as is and not drain the whey/water out any further. But, that is entirely up to you.
To continue with paneer making, you need to drain as much of the liquid out of the curdled milk before shaping it into a disc and placing it between two plates and weighing it down with something heavy like a canned or jar of tomatoes. Rest the latter atop the plate of the disc-shaped-soon-to-be-paneer in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Once done, remove the plates from the refrigerator, unwrap the paneer from the cheesecloth, cube them and they’re ready to be eaten or made into your favorite dish.
I made these specifically for Palak Paneer!