Whole-Milk Cheese

Doodh Paneer

Whole-milk paneer is a common ingredient in every north Indian kitchen. People are a bit daunted by the idea of making their own cheese, but let me assure you—there is nothing easier than this. If you can boil milk on the stove, you can make paneer.

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar

Method

  1. Pour the milk into a large saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent the milk from scorching. When it comes to a boil, stir in the vinegar. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside until the cheese separates and leaves behind a pale green, thin, watery whey, 15 to 30 seconds.
  2. Line a colander with a double layer of cheesecloth or a clean dishcloth, making sure there is about 2 to 3 inches hanging over the rim of the colander. Place the colander in the sink, then pour the cheese and whey into the colander, and let it drain. Once the cheese is slightly cool to the touch, gather the edges of the cloth and fold them over to cover it.
  3. Fill a heavy pot with water, and set it directly on top of the cloth-wrapped cheese in the colander. Set this aside until the cheese is firm, 3 to 5 hours. (The weight will press on the cheese and force out almost all of its moisture.)
  4. Remove the weight and unwrap the firm, milky-white cheese. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 1 week. (You can also freeze the cheese, sealed in a freezer-safe self-seal bag, for up to 2 months. Thaw the paneer in the refrigerator before using it.)
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