It's almost impossible to find ethnic ingredients in my area so most of the time, if I can, I just make it myself. This is my first time making cheese of any kind and it turned out really well.
Wanna see how I did it?
First, you take some milk. I used a half gallon of whole.
Husband and I only drink Fat-Free Milk, but I was worried about how it would work with the whole cheese-making thing, so I picked up some whole milk. Next time I'm going to try it with FF and see what happens.
Then, you pour the milk in a nice big pot.
You heat it up until it's almost boiling, but not quite. About 200 F if you're counting.
Then, you add the juice of one whole lemon, or 1/4 cup vinegar. Whatever works for you.
My lemon was a little small, so I added a splash of vinegar as well. Worked out pretty perfectly. You're just going for about 1/4 cup total of whatever acid you're using.
Keep it at a steady heat just below boiling and in about a minute you'll see this:
Little tiny curds will begin to form.
You've still got a ways to go, son, keep on cookin'.
In about two-three more minutes you'll be approaching this stage.
We've got some medium sized curd action going on at this point.
But, hold your horses folks 'cuz we're not yet where we want to be. Keep on cooking for another 3-4 minutes, if you need to you might need to add a capful of vinegar to really juice those curds into action. It's all good, nobody cares if your curds are on steroids.
This is where you want to be. Nice big curds and clear-ish whey.
Oh yeah. Nice curds.
So, funny story. Husband came in and looked at this point and was like "Eww. What's that?" And I was all, "Curds and whey." He replies, "Looks gross, who'd eat that?" So of course I had to respond, "DUH. Little Miss Muffett."
This is where you want to grab your cheesecloth.
Then you want to grab another big bowl/pot whatever. Pour the curds and whey though the cheesecloth into the pot. The cheesecloth catches all the yummy curds, and the the pot saves the whey. Which I'm totally not tossing. I've got big plans for that whey. Three guesses as to what I'm doing with it. Hmm?
Now, let it rest for a second. That shit was just nearly boiling, don't be gettin' all Handsy McGee with it. Keep your paws off.
After a few minutes tie it up with some kitchen string and hang it in your fridge over a bowl to drain. Like so:
See how I was all clever and tied it to the upper shelf. I'm like friggin' McGyver over here.
Let it drain for a couple hours. When you pull it out it'll look like this.
Now you want a brick - or some other heavy object. I like bricks.
But wrap it in foil first. We're not dirty heathens that let bricks touch our food.
The reason you want a brick is that the curd at this point is very fine, it's holding in a bunch of whey still. To get it out we're going to
Now put it back in the fridge and let it sit for another hour or so.
When you pull it out it's going to look like this:
Now, cut it up into cute little cubes, or trapezoids, or stars or whatever the hell.
And TA DA! You've got yourself some genuine, bona fide Paneer!
You may now pat yourself on the back for being the cheese-making bad ass that you are.