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I got taken out to Meatless Monday at our favorite Indian restaurant because my Beloved wished to eat saag paneer.  It is usually the only night of the week they have it.  They had a different saag that was good but now what was being craved.  

My first thought was "I have seen that in the freezer department at Whole Food."  Guess was not there.  And not on their hot bar anymore.  My next idea was of course I could make it.  I went to the cheese department.  There was not any paneer in the store due to a recall.  I am starting to worry about food security.  I become forced to make more and more from scratch.  Not a huge big deal but a big deal.  Part of what I do is just make more of what we eat at home.  

I made the a paneer.  A fairly process but patience is needed and strong hands.  I used a basic recipe, and after reading a few, most are the same.  To make enough paneer for one pound of greens, use a half gallon of milk.  


1/2 gallon whole milk (I used organic)

1/4 cup lemon juice

Special tools:  a colander and muslin or cheese cloth

In a large pot, pour the milk.  Over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil.  Stir almost constantly so the milk does not burn.  This will take a bit of time.  Line the colander with cheese cloth.

When the milk has come to a boil, remove from heat and add the lemon juice.  The milk should curdle almost immediately.

Pour into the muslin lined colander.  Let the liquid drain.  Rinse with cool water.  It will be hot so rinse a lot or fluff with a spoon before trying to lift the bottom with your hands.

Gather the top of the muslin together.  Squeeze as much water out as you possibly can.  Let hang from a faucet over a drain for about ten minutes to let more water drain out.  I did not have much water.

Take off the faucet.  Twist the top of the muslin together.  Lay on a plate with the excess muslin to the side.  Put another plate on top.  Weight.  Put in the refrigerator for at least twenty minutes.  

Remove the weight.  Remove the muslin and store in an airtight container.  I think I would have needed something with sides to get a more compacted cheese that was easier to cut.  But I will say that when I used the paneer in saag paneer it did hold its shape well for marinating and some of it held its shape well in the saag.

This was really lovely.  The biggest thing is it just takes time.

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