We love watching Masterchef Australia and in one of the episodes, a participant made Ricotta cheese. It looked a lot like how we make paneer or cottage cheese at home. I looked up the all knowing Google on how to make Ricotta Cheese and it said I should use full cream milk and lightly heat it, take it off the heat and then squeeze lemon juice into it. The milk will curdle and then you use a cheese cloth or a paneer mould to take out the whey. The cheese you get this way was supposed to be Ricotta cheese.
I immediately tried it out and I squeezed the juice of one whole lemon into 1.5 litres of full cream milk. The resulting cheese was out of this world. It was soft and still held its shape when used in curries and stayed fresh for a really long time.
I have made cheese this way almost four times now in a month !! I love Paneer or cottage cheese and this is just outstanding. Yesterday I made Muttar Paneer (Peas and Paneer curry) and Daviender who had come home for some work, just loved the taste. He particularly commented on how tasty the paneer was. Coming from a Sardar who probably eats paneer everyday, it was high praise indeed.
I have got myself a paneer mould. Its easy to drain out the whey and then dice up the paneer into cubes to store. I keep the cubes dunked in water and refrigerate if I am not using it immediately. Once all the whey is out, I use some weight (usually the bottom of the mortar-pestle) to squeeze out the last drops of whey. The whey can be used in making the dough for rotis or I use it in soups and it tastes really nice. You can also make “kadhi” with it, so nothing goes a waste.
Now my question to the more knowledgeable readers of this blog – is this Ricotta cheese or cottage cheese? I am unable to decide so please help :):).