How to make Fresh Homemade Paneer | Recipe for Easy Paneer Bhurji
Paneer Bhurji is one dish that is good to have in your repertoire of easy, quick dishes that can be made in minutes if you stock store bought paneer. Also, a great vegetarian side to serve your guests, if you cook predominantly non-vegetarian dishes and you find it tough to handle vegetables.
Making paneer at home- you need
1 litre regular fat milk (3%)
You could also use a day old milk that you can’t use in coffee / tea
2- 3 tbsp of white vinegar
A fine mesh sieve or a muslin cloth
Bring the milk to a boil.
As soon as it boils, lower the heat to minimum.
Add 2 tbsp of vinegar and stir it around. In 2-3 minutes, the milk will separate into solids and liquid (whey)- if the whey is not totally clear- then use the remaining tbsp of vinegar and stir for 2 more minutes.
Carefully hold the vessel with a pair of tongs or a thick tea towel and pour the contents through a sieve-collecting the whey in a large vessel.
Lightly press with the back of a ladle to remove excess whey from the solids.
What remains is the paneer.
For any other dish in which you need cubed paneer, you need to use a muslin cloth / clean cotton tea towel. Place the paneer in the middle, cover it on all sides, using the sides of the cloth as flaps.
Place this on a dish and place a heavy weight like a mortar pestle on top of this to flatten it out.
After 15 minutes, cube it and place it in the whey or warm water until you need to use it.
Paneer bhurji is a scramble made using paneer cheese, midly spiced with green chillies and the added texture of finely chopped onions and bell pepper.
For Paneer Bhurji, you don’t need to do any of the earlier processes to get cubes. You don’t even have to press out too much of the excess whey. This keeps the bhurji moist.
Recipe for Paneer Bhurji
Time taken: 15 minutes or so
Serves :3 people
Paneer from 1 L of milk
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida (optional)
2 green chillies, finely sliced (or 1 if you want it mildly spicy)
1 medium onion – finely diced
1 medium green bell pepper- finely diced
Tiny pinch of turmeric powder
1\. Heat the oil in a large steel or non stick wok.
2\. Add the cumin and mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the asafoetida, chillies, onion and bell pepper, with a pinch of salt.
3\. Saute on medium flame till onions are soft-roughly 7-8 minutes.
4\. Add the freshly made paneer. If you are using store bought paneer, crumble 200 grams and use it now.
5\. Sprinkle tiny pinch of turmeric powder over this and mix well.
6\. Add 1/2 tsp salt and saute well till all spices are mixed.
7\. Remove from flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
8\. Serve with rotis or parathas or with toasted slices of bread.
Use a mix of red, yellow and green bell peppers to make this dish super colourful.
You could also use crumbled tofu instead of paneer, although you need to use more chillies to make tofu taste as flavoursome as paneer.
Some people like to add boiled peas to the dish to make it more substantial and colourful.
If you are in Bombay, try the Punjab Dairy paneer or the Darshan dairy paneer. Though it has a whole lot of fat, it is one of the softest paneer I’ve tasted. In Bangalore, Nandini paneer is decent.
(c) Nandita Iyer 2006-2015