Making the Paneer Cheese

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 19,384
    Chef Edward Hammond demonstrates how to make Palak Paneer, fresh Indian cheese with spinach, including the paneer cheese.

    Hello! I am Edward Hammond and we are here at Sur La Table Cooking School in Arlington, Virginia. Today, we are making Palak paneer, fresh Indian cheese and spinach. Right now, we are making our paneer cheese. Paneer is the fresh Indian cheese, very similar to the Latin queso blanco and French fromage blanc. Its made simply by bringing milk to a boil and adding an acid agent such as lemon juice or white vinegar, and curdling the milk and then straining it through cheesecloth and pressing it briefly. Lets begin by pouring our milk into a large heavy saucepan. The milk needs to be brought to a boil over a high heat, stirring almost constantly. When the milk comes to a frothing boil, quickly lower the heat to very low and begin to add your white vinegar or lemon juice. Starting with just three tablespoons and on the low heat, stir the milk in one direction until the curds separate from the greenish way. If your curds don't separate after adding three tablespoons of the vinegar, go ahead and add another tablespoon until the curd is separate. Now we need to transfer our cheese to the cheesecloth in our strainer or colander. Begin by using your slotted spoon to transfer the large curds in to the cheesecloth placed in the strainer. After that, you can pour the remaining curds in a way right through the cheesecloth. Let the cheese cool in the cheesecloth for a few minutes until its cool enough to handle. After the curds have cooled slightly, gather up the four corners of the cheesecloth around the cheese and twist the cheese in the cloth to remove excess way. Be careful here because the cheese will still be a little bit hot. After squeezing out the excess way, wrap the cheese up in the cheesecloth and place it into your strainer and weigh it down with a heavy weight, such as a pan filled with water or a grill press. Leave the cheese under the weight from 5-20 minutes.

    In out next clip, we are going to show you how to cut and pan-fry the paneer cheese.