Paneer is a lovely, light cheese that is used in both sweets and curries. It’s remarkably easy to make – all you need to do is curdle milk. I’ve tried to make it with vinegar, lemon, yogurt, and buttermilk, and buttermilk works the best, I think, though it takes a minute or so longer for the curds to form. You should use full-fat or 2% milk – I’ve had no success with fat-free or 1%. (So, if you’re in India, try skim, but I don’t think double-toned will work).
You need: a decent amount of cheesecloth, a large-ish colander, milk and buttermilk in a 4:1 ratio.
How to: Bring the milk to a boil. (Watch it carefully). As soon as it starts to boil, add the buttermilk and turn off the heat. Keep stirring as you add the buttermilk, and don’t stop stirring. You will see the curds and whey beginning to separate. When they are fully separated, line the colander with the cheesecloth and drain the pan into it. Let it drain for ten minutes or so, then tie the ends up and press the paneer between two boards with a weight on top. Leave for an hour, cut into cubes, and it’s ready to use.
Check the recipe you’re going to use the paneer in – it might call for whey, so don’t throw the whey away before checking.
Tip: You can make extra paneer, vacuum-seal it and freeze it for quite a while