Homemade Fresh Masala (Flavoured) Paneer

Masala paneer - flavored with curry leaves and crushed peppercorns
Paneer is a non-melting cheese used in the North Indian cuisine. Next to potatoes or you could also say rivaling potatoes, it is the hot favourite of Indians and those who relish Indian Food.
Contrary to popular belief, making paneer is easy. Yes it is easy to make paneer with a firm texture. All that is required are basic ingredients like milk, lemon or vinegar. Milk is boiled and the lemon / vinegar / curd is used to break it. It is then strained and set in a container until it firms up.
Paneer by itself has no flavour. In this recipe we are infusing flavour by adding the masala to the milk. If you want plain paneer, you can skip the spices.
Flavoured paneer can be used in many gravy recipes. You can change the flavouring depending on how you are going to use it. As I was planning to make a burji with drumstick leaves, I added curry leaves. Here is another recipe of flavoured Paneer.

Milk - 1/2 litre
Vinegar or Lemon Juice - 2.5 teaspoons
Crushed Peppercorns - 1/2 tespoon
Crushed Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Chopped Curry Leaves - 1 tablespoon
Turmerric Powder - 1 pinch

Take all the ingredients in a 3 litre pressure cooker and pressure cook on medium heat for 4 whistles.
Release pressue gently. Mix in 1 teaspoon salt.
Set a strainer over a bowl. Line it with a wet cloth.
Strain the curdled milk into the prepared strainer.
Once the whey has all drained out, gather the cloth and squeeze gently to remove excess water.
Place in a perforated container to shape. Or in the strainer, tied to contain the paneer within.
Place a weight on top of the panner bundle and allow it to set for 5 to 10 minutes.
You can use it immediately or refrigerate it for 2 to 3 days.
The texture of refrigerated paneer is more firm than the fresh one.


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