Learn how to make paneer with this step-by-step guide from The Modern Cheesemaker by Morgan McGlynn.

"Paneer is the most fantastically easy cheese to make, using ingredients you will have in your kitchen. It is a deliciously fresh-tasting cheese, and the great thing about it is that there is no ageing or culturing. Paneer is a very important ingredient in Indian cooking, and is used in many vegetarian dishes; it has a wonderful milky flavour, with a crumbly texture ideal for frying, grilling (broiling) or barbecuing. You can buy paneer at most supermarkets, but homemade fresh paneer tastes much better and is far superior to the mass-produced cheese you can buy off the shelf." – Morgan McGlynn

Yield: Makes 250g (9oz)

Ingredients

  • 2.3 litres (4 pints/9¾ cups) milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt

Equipment:

You will need cheesecloth or muslin sheet, an instant-read thermometer and 2–3 tin cans or a cheese press.

Method

  1. Put the milk into a saucepan over a medium heat and simmer until the temperature reaches 93°C (200°F). Be sure to stir occasionally to make sure the milk doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. When ready, the milk should look foamy.
  2. Remove the milk from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. It should start to curdle.
  3. Leave the milk to stand for 10 minutes, then cover with the pan lid and let it stand for a further 10 minutes. The curds should have completely separated and the remaining water should be yellow in colour. 
  4. Place a sieve (fine-mesh strainer) over a mixing bowl and line it with the cheesecloth or muslin. Carefully scoop the cheese curds into the sieve (fine-mesh
  5. strainer), letting all the whey collect in the mixing bowl below.
  6. To remove any excess whey, gather the cloth in your hands and squeeze out all the remaining liquid. Open the cloth out again, sprinkle the salt over the curds and stir through.
  7. Keeping the curds in the cloth, move them into a baking dish and shape them into a rough triangle. Wrap the cloth tightly around and over the top of the cheese and place a large plate on top. Weigh down the plate with two or three tin cans, or use a cheese press, and leave for 1 hour. Once pressed, the paneer is ready to eat, or it will keep wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe from The Modern Cheesemaker by Morgan McGlynn White Lion Publishing,£25/€25. Images by Jamie Orlando Smith.