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Paneer: What I Have Learned !

Ishna

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I have learned that when bringing milk to the boil for making paneer, make sure your pot has more than half an inch space between the top of the milk and the edge of the pot. Otherwise, when it suddenly comes to the boil, you will panic as it froths up and over and splashes all over your cooktop and you can just stand there and squeal while killing the gas... lol

Meanwhile, this recipe looks really good! http://www.journeykitchen.com/2011/11/how-to-make-paneer-at-home.html
 

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Ishna

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Hmm, the recipe I cooked tonight asked for the paneer to be shallow fried first and added to the dish later. Is that normal?

The paneer came out a little chewy and crumbly but was otherwise pretty good. :interestedkudi:

Oh and I cooked with hing for the first time. OMG. Whose idea was it to EAT that stuff in the first place?! My house smells a little funky now. As does the measuring spoon. Thank goodness there was a spare glass jar with a lid hanging around! Oh the adventures of international food lol
 

Ishna

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Iron Chef Hing, his specialty is Indian cuisine... :grinningkaur:

But seriously: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asafoetida

The species is native to the mountains of Afghanistan, and is mainly cultivated in nearby India.[2] Asafoetida has a pungent, unpleasant smell when raw, but in cooked dishes, it delivers a smooth flavor, reminiscent of leeks.
It is also known as asant, food of the gods, giant fennel, jowani badian, stinking gum, Devil's dung, hing and ting.[3]
 

Tejwant Singh

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I have experimented successfully how to make paneer without constantly stirring it all the time while keeping an eye when it boils.

I use a Crock Pot- no offence to anyone personally. I pour milk in it, 1" below the top. Add white vinegar or lemon lime juice at the same time, put it on slow all night long and voila. There you have it. No need to use Brillo and your arm muscles to clean the bottom of your pan.

Enjoy your home lab.

Tejwant Singh
 
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spnadmin

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Brilliant Tejwant ji!

What a great tip!

I use a crock pot to make dal. This shocked Indian friends. There is no clean-up to speak of and it comes out right. The lentils are soft; not a crunchy one here and there which i hate. And the mix is creamy. I cook the lentils/channa separate from everything else until nearly done; cook the tomato, onion, peppers, masala, etc. separately. Near the end add both together and simmer til it is right.
 
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Tejwant Singh

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Spnadmin ji,

Guru Fateh.

For me, I have the best lab at home. I always try different things as I love to cook.

Initially, I had the same reaction from my friends about cooking daals in a crock pot. I make Rajmah- Mah daal and others in it. I also make goat/lamb,beef curries in there. It is time saving and the least cleaning endeavour.

Tejwant Singh
 

Tejwant Singh

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Ishna ji,


Guru Fateh.

I never fry the paneer. It takes the actual taste away and add more fat to it but some people are used to it. I make paneer with 2% fat content or fat free milk.

I do not eat fried stuff, hence no pakoras for me either when Harsimran makes Pakora curry.


Tejwant Singh
 

Inderjeet Kaur

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I have never brought my paneer milk to a boil. A very hot almost boil works perfectly well and there's no risk of boiling over. I must try that crock pot method.

Boiling over...There was this time I was making gulab jamun - yes, from dairy milk, not powdered..What a mess!

Too much vinegar makes tough paneer. :motherlove:
 

Ishna

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I have never brought my paneer milk to a boil. A very hot almost boil works perfectly well and there's no risk of boiling over. I must try that crock pot method.

Boiling over...There was this time I was making gulab jamun - yes, from dairy milk, not powdered..What a mess!

Too much vinegar makes tough paneer. :motherlove:
Hmm, Manjula's video had milk on the boil, and the recipe I linked to had it just at the boil too. I've never heated milk before in my life, it was weird how it looked like it was getting hot then SHAZAM! it was everywhere.

I used lemon juice, not vinegar. I read in one of the comments for the recipe that if you leave the curds in the heat too long it makes them go chewy too. I'd forgotten to prepare my muslin and strainer so after the curds separated I turned the heat off and went looking for my muslin, then folded it up, got out th strainer, then finally got around to draining and rinsing in cool water.

After putting the paneer in the shahi gravy (OMG Manjula's recipes kick a$$!) and leaving them in there overnight (I lad leftovers enough for two nights- score!) the paneer softened up a bit.

Does anyone have tips for flattening it? I wrapped mine tight in the muslin cloth and let it hang for maybe 30 minutes then attempted to flatten it out but because it was still tightly wound in the muslin it was a ball so whatever I put on top to squish it wouldn't balance! (I tell you, it was a bit of a comedy here Saturday night)

I ended up with a pyrex jug with 2.5 cups water on it perched precariously. It worked but wasn't really heavy enough to flatten it out well... I had pretty thick paneer.

Had. It's all gone in my tummeh now! lol
 

Inderjeet Kaur

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Hmm, Manjula's video had milk on the boil, and the recipe I linked to had it just at the boil too. I've never heated milk before in my life, it was weird how it looked like it was getting hot then SHAZAM! it was everywhere.

I used lemon juice, not vinegar. I read in one of the comments for the recipe that if you leave the curds in the heat too long it makes them go chewy too. I'd forgotten to prepare my muslin and strainer so after the curds separated I turned the heat off and went looking for my muslin, then folded it up, got out th strainer, then finally got around to draining and rinsing in cool water.

lol
I think the idea is to get the milk hot enough for the acid to cause it to curdle, the exact temperature is unimportant.

I usually use vinegar, but what I said would hold true for whatever acid you used, whether vinegar or lemon juice or citric acid. Too much will make the paneer tough.

I agree, her recipes are wonderful.
 

Ishna

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Too much will make the paneer tough.
Well I did just put 3 tablespoons in, I wasn't sure exactly what it was supposed to look like. It may have only required 2. Do you water down your vinegar?
 

findingmyway

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Hmm, the recipe I cooked tonight asked for the paneer to be shallow fried first and added to the dish later. Is that normal?

The paneer came out a little chewy and crumbly but was otherwise pretty good. :interestedkudi:

Oh and I cooked with hing for the first time. OMG. Whose idea was it to EAT that stuff in the first place?! My house smells a little funky now. As does the measuring spoon. Thank goodness there was a spare glass jar with a lid hanging around! Oh the adventures of international food lol
I have always struggled to make my own block paneer as it comes out crumbly. When I make homemade paneer it always ends up purji paneer sabzi!! Any tips on setting it?

If you use onion you don't need hing. Some Hindu groups don't eat onion or garlic so hing provides flavour instead. It is quite a potent plant so I personally don't use it-much prefer onion!

p.s. Gyani ji, beautifully said :cheerleaders:
 

Inderjeet Kaur

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Well I did just put 3 tablespoons in, I wasn't sure exactly what it was supposed to look like. It may have only required 2. Do you water down your vinegar?
I usually water it half vinegar, half water, then I add it slowly, just until it begins to curdle, stir, let it settle until I can see the whey clearly, then add a bit more if the whey is still milky. When the curds and whey separate, I keep adding vinegar just until the whey is no longer milky-looking.

I strain the curds through 3-4 layers of cheesecloth and reserve the whey in the removable container of my crockpot.

While it is still hot, I shape the curds into roughly a square and fold the cheesecloth around it. Then I put it on a plate and put the crockpot bowl with the whey on top of it as a weight.

After a few hours, the paneer will be ready to cut. Remove the rough edges and eat them or crumble them to use in something else. The block of paneer left should be non-crumbly and easily cut with a sharp knife.

I have been making paneer this way for decades and my only failure was when I added too much vinegar and I got vulcanised rubber instead of paneer. Anyway, it had the consistency of vulcanised rubber. My parrot enjoyed it.
 

Tejwant Singh

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I have always struggled to make my own block paneer as it comes out crumbly. When I make homemade paneer it always ends up purji paneer sabzi!! Any tips on setting it?

If you use onion you don't need hing. Some Hindu groups don't eat onion or garlic so hing provides flavour instead. It is quite a potent plant so I personally don't use it-much prefer onion!

p.s. Gyani ji, beautifully said :cheerleaders:
Same here but I am not bothered by it because I saute it with onions, haldi and other spices to use it as a dip/sabzi and the left over for stuffed pranthas.

In order to have rock solid paneer, one has to use some kind of binders like flour that is used a lot in the commercial paneer bricks. We get that from Canada under Nanak brand. Only if Guru Nanak knew what is in it!!

But one can make kind of hard paneer at home if one uses fatty milk and cream and follow the method that Mai ji explained.

I am hungry now.
 

Ishna

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I usually water it half vinegar, half water, then I add it slowly, just until it begins to curdle, stir, let it settle until I can see the whey clearly, then add a bit more if the whey is still milky. When the curds and whey separate, I keep adding vinegar just until the whey is no longer milky-looking.

I strain the curds through 3-4 layers of cheesecloth and reserve the whey in the removable container of my crockpot.

While it is still hot, I shape the curds into roughly a square and fold the cheesecloth around it. Then I put it on a plate and put the crockpot bowl with the whey on top of it as a weight.

After a few hours, the paneer will be ready to cut. Remove the rough edges and eat them or crumble them to use in something else. The block of paneer left should be non-crumbly and easily cut with a sharp knife.

I have been making paneer this way for decades and my only failure was when I added too much vinegar and I got vulcanised rubber instead of paneer. Anyway, it had the consistency of vulcanised rubber. My parrot enjoyed it.
Thank you very much for the extra instructions. I'll try it your way next time.

Just two questions, if you wouldn't mind, please:

  1. do you rinse the curds?
  2. after draining the curds through the cheesecloth, do you twist it up to squeeze some water out of it before shaping it into a block.
Many thanks.
 

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