Preparation and cooking time: about 30 min
10 cups (2.3 ltr) whole milk
5 tablespoon lemon juice, or 2 teaspoon citric acid,
or 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) yogurt.
Heat the milk over medium heat in a pot large enough to allow the milk to rise without overflowing. While waiting for the milk to boil, prepare the curdling agent and get a strainer ready by lining it with two layers of cheesecloth and propping it above a receptacle to collect the whey.
When the milk begins to rise, stir in the curdling agent. Almost immediately, the spongelike paneer will separate from the clear, yellow-green whey with a kind of a magical suddenness. If the whey is not clear, add a little more curdling agent and stir again.
After the curds and the whey have separated completely, remove the pot from the heat. Collect the curds in the cheesecloth. Rinse them under cold water for half a minute to make them firmer and to
remove any excess curdling agent, which would alter the taste. Then press out the rest of the liquid in one of the following ways:
- If you want firm paneer for making cheese cubes or kneading into a dough, bind the paneer within the cheesecloth and press it with a weight for some time. The longer it is pressed, the firmer it will be. Remove the weight, cut the paneer into the desired shapes, and use as required. Paneer will also become firm if you suspend it in a piece of cheesecloth and leave it to drain.
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