Cheese of the Week is a weekly feature on The Daily Meal, drawing on the expertise of internationally renowned cheese expert and consultant Raymond Hook. What follows is based on an interview with Hook.
Want more? Click here for the Cheese of the Week Slideshow.
If you’ve ever encountered paneer, it’s most likely been at an Indian restaurant, in dishes like saag paneer (with spinach), palak paneer (with peas), paneer tikka, or the dessert ras malai. And if you’ve ever eaten the cheese in one of these dishes, you’ll most likely know how simple and it is, unlike most others that are available.
Paneer is a fresh, cow’s-milk cheese that’s made with lemon juice instead of rennet, which gives it a subtle tang. Its texture is similar to that of firm tofu, and, like tofu, when it’s cooked, instead of melting it firms up and takes on the flavor of whatever it’s cooked in. This allows it to be a great source of protein for vegetarians, and it adds great textural contrast in dishes it’s used in.
At the end of the day, though, it’s a fresh white cheese, and can be used in similar ways to its counterparts around the world, like Halloumi, queso fresco, and bread cheese. According to Hook, it can be griddled to a golden brown before using, as well as flash-fried to add to the texture and flavor even more. He also recommends using it in scrambled eggs.
While there isn’t much in the way of wine pairings for such a simple, unaged cheese, he does suggest pairing it with that classic Indian yogurt drink, the mango lassi.
Click here for a recipe for tikka masala with paneer and peas from chef Maya Kaimal.
11 Best Paneer Recipes | Easy Paneer Recipes | Popular Cottage Cheese Recipes
Easy Paneer Recipes- Indulge in the ever so versatile, humble and an all-time favourite ingredient we all grew up with - paneer. Paneer is a type of fresh cheese common in South Asian cuisine. It's a special favuorite with North Indians, and in eastern parts of the Indian Subcontinent where it is generally referred to as chhena. Paneer is a type of fresh cheese that can be easily made at home. Since it is made with milk, it is naturally loaded with calcium. All you need are three ingredients - milk, lemon juice or vinegar, and a pinch of salt. When you mix the milk and lemon juice, the acidity in the lime causes the milk to separate into curds and whey. Strain the curds and you will get fresh, homemade paneer. Paneer or cottage cheese can be used to make a number of dishes.
With it's delicate milky flavour, paneer can be used in curries or served grilled as a side like the famous Paneer Tikkas from Punjab. In Bengal fresh paneer or chhena is used to make some of the much-loved desserts like rasgulla, rasmalai, chenna murki and many more. If you're buying paneer from the market, remember that you will find two varieties - hard and soft. Though the soft one is preferred by many, one must remember soft cottage cheese stays fresh for a lesser duration as compared to the hard one. Soft cottage cheese is great for salads while the hard one can be used to make snacks or in curries.
Cook paneer in a range of classic Indian dishes. This fresh, crumbly cheese is delicious served in veggie curries, wraps, spiced skewers and fritters.
An Indian dish with plenty of flavour, saag paneer is a well-loved vegetarian side dish. It's rich in calcium and folate from the spinach and is gluten-free, too
Serve this classic veggie Indian dish with cheese and peas in a spicy tomato sauce as an easy midweek meal. It takes just 25 minutes to make
Indian cheese paneer makes a great vegetarian dish as it holds its form – flavour with fenugreek and garam masala
Paneer & chickpea fry
Enjoy this fragrant paneer and chickpea fry with onion pickle garnish as part of an Indian-inspired feast
Spiced broccoli, paneer & peas with garam masala cashews
Serve this subtly spiced broccoli and paneer dish with naan breads or rotis. A meat-free, veg-packed main, perfect for Friday night
Cook this recipe inspired by saag paneer in just 30 minutes. It's a flavourful veggie curry that's heady with fresh ginger and cardamom. Serve with rice or naan breads
Kadai Paneer Recipe
About Kadai Paneer Recipe | Paneer Recipe: A quintessential paneer specialty that can be always found on a restaurant menu and dinner parties! A sumptuous paneer dish that tops a vegetarian's list, this paneer recipe can be made dry, semi dry or in a gravy version. We have here is a semi dry paneer recipe that can be served as a main dish at a dinner party or on festivals and special occasions as well, along with a chapati, paratha or some cooked rice.
Ingredients in Kadai Paneer Recipe | Punjabi Style Paneer Recipe: Cottage cheese (paneer) pieces cooked in thick zingy gravy of hung curd, bay leaves and chillies while retaining the aroma of varied spices.
Top 10 paneer recipes
Paneer dishes are very popular in the Indian restaurants for their unique flavour, texture and taste. Under this section you will find recipes that will help you make almost all the popular gravy dishes you find on a restaurant menu. Most times paneer is cooked with vegetables like onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, green peas & leafy greens.
For a complete vegetarian Indian meal pair any of these with butter naan, roti, Jeera rice or with plain basmati rice. A lassi on the side with a veggie salad will be great to go with.
Paneer gravy recipes
Paneer Butter masala is one of the most popular Indian paneer recipe made by cooking paneer in a smooth, silky, creamy & delicious flavorful curry. This recipe has always been a winner for its simplicity and amazing taste. The curry base also known as butter masala needs onion, tomatoes, various spices, cashew nuts and herbs. This is a beginner&rsquos recipe and can be done under 30 mins.
Paneer lababdar is an easy and tasty paneer recipe where the gravy is made with boiled onions, tomatoes, spices and red chilies. This boiling step lends a unique taste to the dish. It is much similar to the butter masala but there is no butter used and this is slightly spicier than the other. Serve this with phulka, jeera rice or plain basmathi.
Kadai paneer gravy is another simple yet very flavourful dish made with freshly ground spices known as kadai masala. The use of kadai masala and bell pepper makes this dish uniquely flavourful and delicious. I have shared 2 recipes in this post &ndash dry and gravy kadai paneer recipes.
Malai kofta curry is a popular North Indian dish where crisp fried paneer koftas are served with a creamy and delicious malai gravy. The koftas are made with paneer, potatoes, spices and herbs. These can be fried, grilled in an oven or shallow fried in a pan.
The malai gravy is delicious, creamy and made much similar to the butter masala. Reserve this recipe for a special weekend meals or parties. You can easily adapt this recipe to make the white malai kofta served in North Indian restaurants. More details in the recipe.
Palak Paneer is another delicious and colourful dish made by adding paneer to spinach gravy. There are so many ways palak paneer recipe is made. The recipe shared here will give you palak paneer that tastes much better than what is served in most restaurants.
If you love to preserve the vibrant color of your spinach, then this recipe is a must try. Palak is not blanched here which helps to retain the nutrients, taste and color of your dish.
Mughlai shahi paneer is a dish adapted from the Mughlai cuisine. The term shahi means royal or rich. So to make the dish rich, creamy and aromatic ingredients like nuts, seeds and spices are used. Most paneer recipes use tomatoes for the gravy base, but this one does not. Instead yogurt or Indian curd is used for a mild tang.
Restaurant style chilli paneer is an immensely popular Indo Chinese appetizer made by tossing crisp paneer in sweet sour and hot chilli sauce. This dish is more popularly known as a street food and is eaten with hakka noodles.
There are 3 variations of this dish &ndash dry, semi-dry and gravy chilli paneer recipes. I have also shared how to make both along with lots of tips to make the dish healthy. You can pan fry, grill or shallow fry paneer.
Restaurant style matar paneer is yet another popular North Indian restaurant style dish. Matar is the hindi word for green peas. This dish is made by adding fresh or frozen peas & paneer to an onion tomato gravy. Again there are many different ways it is made.
I have shared 2 ways to make the mutter paneer recipe. One is my own recipe and the other one is a punjabi recipe.
Paneer tikka masala is a variation of the world famous chicken tikka masala. Here paneer replaces the meat making it a vegetarian tikka masala. Tikka is a marinated and grilled chunk of paneer. In this post, I have shown both the methods of grilling tikka on a pan (stovetop) & in oven.
A thick creamy gravy is made to which grilled paneer is added. You can also follow the dungar method (smoking the dish) explained in the post to get a real grilled tandoori like smoky flavor.
Paneer Makhani is a delicious popular Punjabi paneer recipe. There is no onion used in this recipe so the preparation of this is much much simpler than any other paneer recipe shared here. The makhani gravy is made by cooking together pureed tomatoes & cashews with spices and kasuri methi.
Achari paneer gravy is another North Indian dish where the curry or gravy is spiced with pickling spices. Achar means pickle so typically the spices used to make this dish are the same as used in North Indian pickles. The dish has a unique flavour and is slightly on the hotter side. There is no cream used in this dish instead yogurt is added.
Meera Sodha's paneer butter masala
H indus consider cows and all their milky produce – cream, butter and cheese – sacred. I can’t argue with that. Traditionally, this dish would be made with a few large slabs of golden butter, but for the sake of decency I’ve toned things down a bit. It’s still an extravagant dish, but channel India and enjoy yourself.
Serves 4 as a main course
hard paneer 500g, cut into 2cm cubes
unsalted butter 3 tbsp
brown onion 1 large, finely chopped
ginger 4cm, peeled and grated
garlic 6 cloves, crushed
tomato passata 800g
kasoori methi 1 tbsp (dried fenugreek leaves)
ground cinnamon 1 tsp
ground cloves ¼ tsp
chilli powder ½ tsp
honey 2 tbsp
salt 1½ tsp
peas 250g (fresh or defrosted)
double cream 100ml, plus extra to serve
flaked almonds a handful, toasted
Put a tablespoon of oil into a large lidded frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add the cubes of paneer. Fry for a couple of minutes until golden on all sides, turning regularly, then remove to a plate.
Put the butter into the same pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the onion and fry for around 10 minutes, until translucent and turning golden. Add the ginger and garlic, stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, then add the passata. Cover with the lid and cook for 12-15 minutes, until reduced to a lovely thick sauce.
Add the kasoori methi, cinnamon, cloves, chilli powder, honey and salt to the pan. Stir, then add the fried paneer, cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Add the peas and cream and cook for a further 5 minutes.
To serve, scatter with the almonds and drizzle with a little extra cream. This curry is perfect with steamed basmati rice.
Palak paneer (pictured above)
Prep 10 min
Cook 25 min
Serves 3-4 as a side
350g spinach, washed
1 heaped tsp cornmeal flour
4 tsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
7 tsp (15g) peeled and finely chopped ginger
3½ tsp (10g) peeled and finely chopped garlic
120g white onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 green bird’s eye chillies, finely sliced, seeds and all
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp heaped garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
200g paneer, diced into chunks
Put the spinach and 150ml hot water in a pan and cook for three to four minutes, until wilted. Add the flour and blitz to a puree with a hand blender.
To make the tadka, or temper, heat three teaspoons of the ghee in a saucepan and add the cumin seeds. Once they start to sizzle, add the ginger and garlic, and cook for a minute. Add the onions and chillies, and cook for five minutes on a medium heat. Add the salt, turmeric, garam masala and ground cumin, cook for a minute, then stir in the spinach puree, lower the heat and leave to cook gently.
Meanwhile, heat the rest of the ghee in a small frying pan and cook the diced paneer, turning it often, until browned on all sides. Add the paneer to the spinach mix, cook for three or four minutes more, until the paneer is soft and the spinach is nice and smooth, and serve with roti or paratha.
Paneer Cheese Making Recipe
Citric Acid is used to make a variety of cheese including 30 Minute Mozzarella, Ricotta and Paneer. Adding citric acid to milk raises the acidity level which is an important step in cheese.
This cheese salt absorbs easily and contains no iodine. Iodine will kill the lactic bacteria in the aging process. Lactic bacteria is important for proper aging of cheese. Cheese Salt does not dissolve too.
- Good Thermometer
- Measuring Cup & Spoons
- Spoon or ladle to Stir Curds
- Large Colander
- Butter Muslin
This Tel-Tru thermometer, made in the USA, from the highest-quality stainless steel is both accurate and easy to use. Complete with a sturdy pot clip and large two inch dial, checking the.
Stainless Steel Skimmer
This stainless steel skimmer is a staple for all cheese makers. The slotted design lets whey drain from the curds, as they are scooped out of the pot, and placed into draining.
Butter muslin is used to drain soft cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. This durable cloth is 100% cotton, can be reused and is machine washable. This is a staple for all cheese.
Buffalo milk was most traditionally used for this with its butterfat content of about 6%, but whole milk in the 3 - 4.5% range is commonly used today and much more readily available.
A low fat version using skim milk has been produced but has developed a reputation for being chewy and rubbery.
The milk used should be as fresh as possible even cold stored milk has enzymes working at the cold temperatures to break down the proteins and compromise the milks flavor and ability to form a good cheese.
Begin by heating 1 gallon of fresh milk to 185-194F (85-90C). You can best do this by placing the pot with milk into a sink of very warm water. If you do this in a pot on the stove make sure you heat the milk slowly and stir it well as it heats.
Once the milk has reached the correct temperature, continue to hold the milk at this temperature for about 20-30 minutes. This will prepare the milk proteins to respond well to the acid addition in the next step.
Add Citric Acid
Add 1tsp of citric acid to 16oz of 170F water. This is a very diluted acid of about 2%. This will be about the same temperature that we will be cooling the milk to.
Before adding the diluted citric acid, allow the milk to cool to 170F. This is a more protein friendly temperature and allows the acid to easily mix into the milk before the proteins begin to coagulate. The result will be a more even curd development.
Once cooled to 170F, slowly add the diluted citric acid to the milk while gently stiring. This will begin separating the milk solids from liquid. Continue the slow stir until you see a separation of white curd and a yellow green whey, milk with a high fat content may have a cloudy whey.
When you see a nice separation, shown in the above photo, stop stirring. The pot can now sit quiet for 20 minutes.
While waiting, line a steralized colander with butter muslin in preparation for drainign the curds.
The curds can now be transferred to the colander lined with butter muslin. Begin by ladling the whey from the surface into the lined colander. Once the whey has been partially removed, the remaining curd can be poured into the drain cloth.
The curd should be allowed to drain for 30 minutes, a gentle stir half way through will help the to whey drain.
Once the curd has drained for 30 minutes, the cloth can be pulled up and tied into a ball. Make sure the cloth is pulled tightly around the curd mass. Then place a plate or lid over the curd. Place about 1-2 gallons of warm water into a pot and set it ontop of the plate, as shown above, this is a quick and easy "cheese press." Press the curd for 10 to 15 minutes. The amount of weight and time for pressing will depend on how dry and compact you want your final Paneer to be.
If you saved the whey, it contains a lot of flavor and nutrients and is great to use in stocks and soups, some folks have found it to be very tasty when cooled for just drinking. Taste it and see. If nothing else take it to the garden or compost pile.
Fresh Paneer won't last long in the fridge and should be used within a few days. Many people think that because the milk has been heated to such a high temperature, that it's stable for long term storage, this is not true.
The problems with storing this cheese are two fold:
- It contains a high level of lactose that will fuel any bacteria that it is exposed to during the post process.
- Tests have found that the ambient bacteria that it is exposed to (not traditional dairy bacteria, so not good) will multiply several thousand times within a week.
It can be stored at fridge temperature for 4-7 days with no salting and for 10 days to 2 weeks if lightly salted (2%) and packed in an air tight container.
When pressed the cheese will be firm and compact and once chilled it can be easily cut and cooked or fried. Traditionally, Paneer is made fresh and used within a day.
In making your own Paneer, you have control over how you want to use the cheese. The curd can be drained for a soft, crumbly cheese or lightly pressed for a firm slicing and grilling cheese.
By changing the cream content of the milk, the type of acid and the draining method, you can make a wide variety of cheeses.
Fresh Paneer that hasn't been pressed very long tends to be more crumbly and is best for sauces.
Firm Paneer can be sautéed, seared, or grilled, and still retain both it's shape and texture.
What is Paneer?
Paneer is an easy cheese to make, so much so that it is usually made fresh daily in India. It's also the most common cheese used in south Asian cooking and can appear in several forms, from crumbly and open textured, to a firm, well consolidated cheese for cutting.
Paneer is a perfect cheese for vegetarians to use in cooking because it has no rennet used in the production. It's clean, fresh, and versatile flavor, lends itself well to an assortment of recipes.
The flavor lies somewhere between a mild Feta and Halloumi. It's a little softer than Halloumi and a less crumbly than most Feta.
In every sense, it's the perfect cheese to be made quickly in the home kitchen and is great to cook with because it does not melt.
How is Paneer Made?
Paneer is a soft cheese that changes a gallon of milk into a great cheese for frying or using in a spicy sauce. It is made by simply heating milk to just below boiling, holding for a few minutes while the proteins change,and then adding a small amount of acid to help the proteins and milk sugars to flocculate and settle.
The high heat and acid condition will make a cheese that can be easily sliced for frying, or cubed for spicy sauces, and yet does not melt with the heat.
The History of Paneer
The history of Paneer goes back in time perhaps before written history. The first recorded mention of this cheese was about 6000BC, but it was probably being made long before this. It is believed to have been introduced into India by the invaders from Iran and Afghanistan.
The original process was to heat the milk to a temperature just below boiling and then soured milk was added for acid. Over many years, more palate friendly acids have come into favor lemon juice, vinegar, citric acid or yogurt have made for a much more flavorful cheese.
Because Paneer cheese is made by using acid and heat (rather than culture and rennet) it is safe for vegetarians to consume and, in fact, Paneer is a cornerstone of Indian vegetarian cuisine.
Paneer is soft and it is most often eaten fresh, within a day of the date that it is made. Depending on how the Paneer is processed, it can be firm enough to cut into cubes and fry, or it may be softer and more crumbly.
A common characteristic of the cheese is it's mild character and it is most often made with no salt. The fact that no culture is used in making Paneer presents another important and wonderful characteristic.. the sweet character of the lactose is left unchanged, but in heating the cheese, some caramel flavors do enhance the cheese. The mild, unsalted, and sweet character of this cheese makes it ideal for pairing with the star ingredients of Indian cuisine. the Spices!
India is known for the incredible mix of spices that go into curries, fried dishes, etc. The amazing color, aromatics and flavors of India's spices.
Today Paneer has even made a huge move into the fast food world of India and other countries. In India, McSpicy Paneer Burger and Big Spicy Paneer Wrap present vegetarian customers exciting new protein options. An unbelievable 120-odd tons are required by the fast food chain every month.
In the United Kingdom, Subway has started serving a Saag Paneer patty and Taco Bell India serves the Paneer and Potato burrito Pizza Hut, Dominos, and Papa Johns all have pizzas with Paneer toppings.
The Essentials of Making Paneer
The process for this cheese is quite simple and easily done in the kitchen:
Cheese recipe in 30 minutes | how to make mozzarella cheese at home
cheese recipe in 30 minutes | how to make mozzarella cheese at home with detailed photo and video recipe. an easy and simple recipe to prepare a rennet and calcium citric acid-free cheesy mozzarella cheese. it is an ideal recipe to be prepared at home which can be used in different types of recipes like pizza, pasta and choice of deep-fried snacks. the basic ingredients for this recipe are unhomogenised full fat cream milk and white vinegar to curdle the milk.
cheese recipe in 30 minutes | how to make mozzarella cheese with step by step photo and video recipe. paneer or cottage cheese is a very common ingredient across india and are used for different recipes. yet there are other types of cheese used in various kind of indian recipes which are typically store-bought. one such popular cheese variation is mozzarella cheese which can be a multipurpose cheese and can be used in myriad recipes.
well, i am continuing my wednesday post of showcasing something unique other than a normal recipe. i call it cooking tips, tricks and methods recipe post. today i am presenting a simple 2 ingredients mozzarella cheese recipe. i always post lots of cheese-based recipes and i get recipe request to prepare homemade cheese. hence i thought of sharing it on my wednesday post. having said that, it wasn’t easy for me to prepare it. basically the choice of milk is very critical for this recipe. you need unhomogenised and pasteurised milk for most of the cheese recipe. but i wasn’t able to get unpasteurised milk or raw milk which is illegal to sell here in australia. if you do have access to raw milk, you should be using it. anyway, i would be highlighting more tips in my next paragraph.
furthermore, i would like to highlight some more tips, suggestions and variations to homemade cheese recipe. firstly, i would like to heavily emphasize on the timing and temperatures used in this recipe. you need to follow the exact timing and temperature to get the proper texture of cheese. otherwise, it may easily turn to paneer. secondly, the milk has to be full cream with 4% of fat or more. you may need to scan through the ingredients section and see the fat percentage in it. lastly, the quantity of vinegar might have to be increased depending upon the quality of milk. when i make paneer, i use a quarter cup of vinegar to spoil the milk. as the fat percentage increases, you may need more vinegar to spoil it. hence do not panic if it does not spoil completely and add more vinegar to it. also, if you have access to rennet or citric acid, you should be good using it. both rennet and citric acid give more thickness and elasticity to the cheese.
Recipe: Cheese lovers must try this tasty Kashmiri Paneer recipe, The taste will make you feel like eating it again and again
Kashmiri Paneer Recipe: If you are also fond of eating Kashmiri, then you will definitely like this special cheese recipe. By now you will have tried many different recipes of Paneer, but this Kashmiri Paneer recipe is delicious and easy to make as well. So let's find out how Kashmiri Paneer is made.
Ingredients for making Kashmiri Paneer
-Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
-Green powder - 1/2 teaspoon
-Garam Masala Powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Kashmiri Paneer Recipe
To make Kashmiri Paneer, first make clove, cardamom, fennel, and fenugreek powder. Heat the oil in the pan and add the prepared powder of cumin and spices. Add milk and boil it. When the milk starts boiling, add turmeric powder, dry ginger powder, garam masala powder, bay leaves, and saffron. Turn down the heat. Now add the paneer pieces to the pan. When the bubbles start forming in the milk, then add salt and mix. Cook on low heat until the paneer becomes soft. Turn off the gas and serve hot.