Flavored Paneer
Paneer

Flavored Paneer

Flavored Paneer is nothing but a little twist to our traditional homemade paneer which is prepared by adding lemon juice (or vinegar) to hot milk, then flavored with salt, chili and fresh coriander. Paneer is one of the main staples of India’s mostly vegetarian diet. These ingredients are added to the paneer after it has coagulated but before it is drained. It would not impact any flavor to the paneer itself but it won’t taste as bland either.

Soft pillowy cubes of fresh, mild cheese are the perfect accompaniment to the stronger flavors of curries and stews, absorbing these easily. It takes any paneer dish to a new level adding a very subtle flavor in every bite of the paneer.

I have been making paneer at home for a long time now. Preparing paneer at home from scratch does not take much time and also gives you more control over the ingredients and the texture. The best part it’s fresh and without any preservative. After seeing a flavored cheese in the grocery store, it came to my mind that I should try making this herb-infused Indian cottage cheese at home. This is one of the recipes which came out really good.

It has loads of flavor and goes with just about anything. I have tried it and it made the Paneer Dum Tikka even more delicious.

Do try other Paneer recipes :

Preparation Time: 5mins(+Setting Time)  ∏  Cooking Time: 10mins  ∏  Servings: 200gms

Level: Beginners (Easy)  ∏  Measurement: 1 Cup ≡ 250 ml ≡ 250gm

Ingredients Checklist:

How to make Flavored Paneer:

Step1: Pour the milk into a pot, add half-and-half or cream if adding.
Step2: Boil milk to its boiling point over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to minimum and slowly add the vinegar (or lemon juice) 1 tbsp at a time continuously stirring the mixture while keeping an eye out for the milk to curdle.
Step3: As soon as the milk curdles and whey separates out remove the pot from the flame. The cheese is completely separated when you see the light green colored liquid called whey. Now add chili flakes, fresh coriander, salt, and garlic powder. Mix it well. You may also add flavoring of your choice like fenugreek leaves, chopped capsicum etc.
Step4: Place a fine-mesh sieve lined with a cheesecloth over a large bowl. Pour the mixture onto it and let it drain for 1 minute.
Step5: Then gather up the sides of the cheesecloth and twist to press out the excess liquid. Wash under running cold water to get rid of the lemon/vinegar in the cheese, all the while keeping the cheesecloth wrung tight so that the cheese does not pop out. You can store this whey water and use it to make soups or gravies. It’s really nutritious. It can also be used to separate your next batch of paneer. Paneer made using whey water is softer than those made with lime juice.
Step6: Shape the cheese any shape of your choice and place heavy weights on top. Place a heavyweight, such as a pan filled with water, heavy water bottle, juicer, heavy mortar, or a heavy can works well. After 10 mins remove the whey that’s collected in the plate to avoid getting soaked back into the cheese. (You may also keep plate up-side-down so that the whey flows out). Let it set for about 2-3 hours.
Step7: Place the wrapped paneer in the refrigerator for a few hours (preferred with some weight, I used a gallon milk bottle on top of it). I left mine overnight. This created a nice smooth texture outside. (The longer you keep the paneer in the refrigerator to firm up, the less likely it is to crumble.) Open the pouch with wide eyes and aww mouth to see the colorful flavourful beauty. Cut into cubes and relish them in curries/tikka.

Step8: Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Flavored Paneer

Tips:

  • Do not overboil the milk as it will harden the paneer.
  • Once the milk curdles, remove it from the flame then add flavorings of your choice to attain the bright color of fresh coriander.
  • Make sure there is no water dripping from the pouch before you press it with weight.
  • The whey can be added to curries and can be used to make roti or paratha dough.

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