- 1 gallon whole milk, not ultra-pasteurized
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2-3 lemons
- In a large, (2 gallon) heavy bottomed pot, bring the milk to a boil of medium-high heat. Stir the milk frequently while it’s heating to prevent it from burning on the bottom.
- Once the milk has come to a boil, reduce the heat to low and slowly add the lemon juice stirring as you go.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir gently until you see curds begin to form and the liquid becomes a clear yellowish color.
- Once the curds have separated from the whey (the yellowish liquid) let the cheese curds set for 10 minutes to rest.
- After the cheese curds have rested they’re ready to drain. You need a tighly woven cheesecloth or muslin for draining, I use a cheesecloth folded into quarters and placed in a colander. You definitely don’t want to be able to see through the cloth you’re using, otherwise the cheese curds will slip right through.
- Ladle the cheese curds into the lined colander, reserve the whey for another use such as a smoothie or a whey cheese (a subject for another day).
- Fold the excess cheesecloth evenly over the cheese curds creating a packet. For the pressing process, take a dinner plate and place a salad plate upside down on it. This creates a platform for your cheese to set on where the liquid can drain away from it. Place the cheese on top of the upside down salad plate. Using a pot with the same size diameter as the cheese, fill it halfway with water, place a lid on it, and set it on top of the cheese to weight it down. This step is essential for removing the excess liquid from the cheese so that it will be firm enough for cooking.
- Transfer your cheese pressing set up to the refrigerator and let it drain for 2 hours.
- After the pressing, remove the cheese round from the cheesecloth and use as desired.
- Paneer cheese will keep for about 1 week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.