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Paneer cubes

With every new post, I think this food blog is somehow turning into a personal diary – where I live, laugh, wait, hope, promise, behave and dream.. and more than once, T has warned/nagged me, saying, that I shouldn’t treat phulka as my little moleskine.. Oh, well, what the hell.. If I can’t share my dark side here, atleast I can share my perkier face, go getter wish -lists, dreams and so on.. And since I recently celebrated my bud’day and one year blog anniversary (again salute to roller coaster 2012), I want to think aloud and ahead and share my 29 by 30 with you all.

29 by 30 are things I want to accomplish before I turn 30. These will include but not be limited to trying new recipes, drawing more often, finish the next Sketchbook Project 2014 (yeah), atleast 2 5-day long vacations, learn how to sew, bike atleast once every week, do atleast 4 DIY projects, pot more plants (and not ignore them), finish the heavy-duty and inspirational “My experiments with Truth”, write stories in Hindi, attempt hang gliding, go scuba diving and a lot more. I will spare you with my elaborate list of these 29 must-to-do 2013. But what I promise is that I will atleast share 29 recipes this year.

Here is the first one of the year – the home-made paneer (because technically, tomato fennel soup doesn’t count as it was prepared during Christmas).

Oh, I love Paneer and I bet everyone does too. Cannot imagine having a potluck, get together or festive food without some sort of paneer curry, pulav or pakora. Paneer aka cottage cheese is the most widely used cheese in the Indian subcontinent. Addition of paneer makes food exotic and rich. It’s easy to make and incorporates well with a variety of dishes. Thus, enabling an exquisite set of recipes.

To tell the truth, until recently, I have been heavily relying on the supply of Nanak or similar brands of Paneer from the Indian stores. The thick 400 gm cheese block available in the refrigerators could be quite enticing as it can be bought off the shelf and is ready to be used. And I am guilty of such shortcuts. But not anymore. I realized to get started on my feet for this year, I need to make paneer at home. And after an attempt or two, it felt like I made my own “Salt”. I can say I share a similar sense of triumph as Gandhi and other numerous freedom heroes did when they marched to Dandi in 1930. Only tens of decade later, I marched all around my kitchen with a ladle as the milk curdled in the pan. Hope you enjoy and relish your victory too. Not to forget victory over self as DIY paneer is now bagged.

Cup of milk

Ingredients for making paneer – milk, curd

Strain the curdled milk and separate from whey

Solidified curdled milk ~ paneer

Cut paneer as needed; cubed here


Paneer pieces in a bowl

  • Preparation Time: 0 min
  • Cooking Time: 10 min
  • Recipe Level:  Easy
  • Serves many
  • Source: Mum
  • Cuisine: Dairy
  • 500 ml of whole milk
  • 6 tbsp of sour curd
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 cheesecloth or muslin
  • 1 strainer
  • In a thick bottom pan, add milk and place on the stove.
  • Bring milk to a boil.
  • Add one tbsp of sour curd after another into the boiling milk. Keep stirring.
  • After 4-5 minutes, notice the milk separating and leaving out water. The milk has curdled and the leftover water is called whey.
  • Put off the gas. Place a cheese cloth on the strainer.
  • Pour the contents of the pan on the strainer. Collect the curdled milk in the cheese cloth and save whey in a bowl.
  • Squeeze out all water from curdled milk in the cloth. To help solidify, place paneer under some heavy weight.
  • After solidifying, cut pieces from the paneer block as needed. Use in curry or pulao.
Matar paneer curry


Mad Notes:
  • Use of whole milk instead of 2 or 1 percent milk as 2 or 1% may not generate enough curdled paneer.
  • If curds are not enough sour/acidic, add a tsp of lemon in the boiling milk to fasten the process.
  • Curdled milk is also called chenna in hindi.
  • To obtain soft texture of paneer, place paneer in ice-cold water for atleast 30 min.
  • Use left over whey to kneed dough for super soft phulka, poori or even naan.