13 March 2006

Making Paneer

The question of the day is...
Why have I never done this before?

Last weekend I finally decided to make my own paneer. It was awesome and I'm going to do this frequently now, I hope.

First I boiled up a litre of milk. You have to be ready because the milk starts to rise quickly in foam form as soon as it's ready. I was forewarned (therefore forearmed!) about this and chose a pot that was way bigger than I needed since I didn't trust myself to turn off the heat in time.

When the milk started to make a break for the top of the pot, I turned off the heat and started squeezing in fresh lemonjuice. I tried to be careful, but the end product had a few elusive lemon pips that popped out when I was slicing. Thought it gave a real 'homemade' effect.

I stirred slowly as I was squeezing in the juice and, lo and behold, it started to curdle (Soooooo cool!). It was totally curdled by about two or three minutes.

At this point most people would pour it into some muslin cloth, but being in Japan, it was easier to find these blue net things that they sell in the "supa" to line your sink drain with and catch stuff before it goes down. Sounds bad, but of course thay were new, and so, clean. So, in it went with a bowl underneath to catch the whey. The whey is meant to be a healthy drink but neither I nor Pi Dog was keen.

So, next I used a Laken metal water bottle filled with water as a weight and my ramen bowl as a receptacle and in effect rigged up a cool press. I left in the press for a few hours (enjoying the pictured Flake Noir from an import shop in the mean time)then wrapped it up and put it in the fridge.

A couple of days later I sliced and fried it and threw it into a pan with some peas to make an awesome muttar paneer.

It was sooooooo worth the effort in this land of no cheese OR curry. Chomp!


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