PANEER or PANNEER or PANIR
Paneer otherwise known as panneer or panir is a pressed variety of channa obtained by acid coagulation of milk at about 85°C followed by removal of whey and pressing. As per the PFA rules (1976), it should not contain more than 70 percent moisture and the milk fat content should not be less than 50 percent of the dry matter.
Although buffalo milk is preferred over cow milk in preparing paneer since the yields are higher because of higher total solids content in the former, the latter scores in producing a paneer with ideal body and texture characteristics. Paneer is used for preparing vegetable dishes or it can be eaten raw. The recipe for paneer products are descibed in the end of this chapter.
How to make Paneer?
- The required quantum of milk is taken in a stainless steel jacketed kettle and the milk is heated.
Coagulating solution is prepared by dissolving 2 g of citric acid in 200 ml of potable hot water for one litre of milk. A pinch of calcium chloride may be added to the hot coagulating solution to aid in the coagulation process.
- The milk is brought to boiling point while stirring it continuously with a stirrer.
- As soon as the milk boils, the heating is stopped and allowed to cool to 85°C.
- The coagulating solution is added in thin streams to the hot milk with a continuous gentle agitation.
- As clear whey separates, addition of coagulating solution is stopped.
- It is better to wait for a few minutes for the completion of the coagulation process. Then the coagulated milk is poured over another vessel through muslin cloth.
- The coagulum is immediately transferred to hoops lined with muslin cloth. The contents are evenly spread in the hoop to obtain a uniform size paneer block.
- The surface of the hoop is lined with muslin cloth and hoop cover.
- An appropriate weight (30-40 kg) is placed over the hoop cover for 15-20 minutes to expel excess moisture.
- After pressing is over, the weight is removed and paneer block is taken out.
- Then it is cut in to 6-8 pieces and they are immersed in chilled water (5°C) for 1 hour.
- After immersion, the blocks are taken out from the chilled water and the extra water is allowed to drain.
- The paneer is cut in to smaller sizes as required with the help of a knife and packed in vegetable parchment paper or polyethylene bags.
- The product is stored at 5°C for immediate use or it can be stored at -20°C for months together.
Dishes from Paneer
Paneer is used as a raw material for preparing different dishes such as paneer bajji, paneer pakoda, paneer masala, paneer butter masala, paneer cutlet, baked paneer and paneer coconut balls
It is time to try out all these dishes; carefully follow the recipe and hurray! you got the tasty paneer products, at last!!