A special favourite with North Indians, paneer (cottage cheese) with its delicate milky flavour is used all over India to make delicious dishes ranging from curries to desserts. Available at most supermarkets in block form or even as curds, it readily takes on the flavour of the spices in which it is cooked. When used to make desserts it gives a rich and creamy flavour. Paneer can be bought at the supermarket or better still, made at home quite easily.
1 litre full-cream milk (use lean milk for a low-fat version)
½ tsp citric acid/lemon juice
½ cup warm water
Set the milk up to boil.
Dissolve the citric acid/lemon juice in half a cup of warm water.
When the milk comes to a boil, pour the acid-water/lemon juice-water mix into it.
Reduce the heat and stir continuously until the milk is completely curdled.
Remove from the heat when the separation of the curds and yellowish whey is complete.
Strain the mixture through a clean muslin cloth.
Hold it under running water for a minute and then press out the excess water.
Hang the muslin for 15-20 minutes so that all the whey is drained out.
To make the paneer into a block tie the muslin and place it under something heavy.
The paneer can now be cut into chunks and used as required.