Making Homemade (Mutter) Paneer (cheese curds) with an Indian Mother

To my surprise, making homemade paneer from whole milk and vinegar or lemon juice is a very straightforward and fairly simple process. I will provide the detailed directions below that I was taught by a native Indian for making both the paneer itself and a sauce that goes along to make mutter (peas) paneer or similar dishes. Paneer is an Indian style cheese, similar to raw cheese curds or cottage cheese without the wet part. It resembles tofu in appearance.

Making the Paneer

Ingredients: Gallon whole milk, 2 teaspoons vinegar or 3 tsps lemon juice, 2 tsp salt. Yields about 2 cups paneer

img_6428

  • Bring the milk to a boil
  • When boiling, add 2 tsp vinegar and remove from heat
  • Let rest / curdle (visible separation should occur within 2-3 minutes, if not, put it back on the burner)
  • When it appears fully separated, strain through cheesecloth and press out excess moisture (be careful not to over squeeze, it will be very soft at this point)
  • Press the paneer in the cloth between heavy objects for 3-4 hours to remove moisture
  • When done pressing, cut the solid block into pieces
  • Put them in boiling water with 1 tsp salt for about 10 minutes, turning off the heat after 5 minutes.
  • Refrigerate over night and they are ready to go!

Making the Sauce or Making Mutter Paneer

Ingredients: 4 medium tomatoes yielding 2 cups grated, 2 tbs oil, 1 tsp cumin seed, 2 tbs grated fresh ginger, 2 tsp turmeric, 4 tsp coriander, 1 tsp garam masala, 2 bay leaves, 1 tbs yogurt /cream/ cashew paste, salt, 2 cups paneer, mutter/peas, extra tomato sauce as desired

img_6429

  • Use a grater on the tomatoes to separate the pulp from the skins, should yield about 2 cups
  • Peel and grate the fresh ginger, yield about 2 tbs
  • Heat the oil in a deep pot
  • When hot, add the cumin seeds. They should pop if it’s hot enough.
  • Add other spices and tomatoes. Mind the splatter.
  • Bring all to a boil and simmer 5 minutes before adding precooked peas, paneer and yogurt
  • Simmer together another 5 minutes
  • If not enough sauce add extra milk and 4 oz tomato img_6430sauce
  • When the oil starts to separate, it’s done. Remove bay leaves before serving with rice or roti

fullsizerender5

Pictorials | photo 005 super food bowl for dinner

yesterday i was very fortunate to be the dinner guest of a lovely friend of mine. she prepared this ultra tasty super food bowl with quinoa, kale, black beans, sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, sprouts and avocado. talk about healthy! yum, yum, yum!

  

Pictorials | Lucknow, India – market month photo 31

IMG_2203.JPG

Amrood Walla / Guava Man at Aminabad bazaar. 2015. Lucknow, India.

Pictorials | Otavalo, Imbabura, Ecuador – market month photo 30

IMG_4069.JPG

Tub of berries and Imperfect corn. 2015. Otavalo, Imbabura, Ecuador.

Pictorials | Chinatown, New York City – market month photo 29

ny 027.jpg

Fish market in Chinatown. 2005. New York, New York, USA.

Pictorials | Vilnius, Lithuania – market month photo 28

20141014_063827.jpg

M Donuts truck in Vilnius. 2014. Vilnius, Latvia.

Pictorials | Happy Birthday Mom! market month photo 27

DSC_0032.JPG

Heart Shaped Tomato. 2013. Bar Harbor, Maine, USA.