One lovely reader here dropped a message asking how to make paneer at home for her baby. I thought why not try my hands to make fresh home made paneer.
Paneer (cottage cheese) is one of my favorites and maybe yours too! It’s a type of firm fresh cheese which does not melt like other cheese varieties.
Preparing paneer at home is not a difficult task as you think. It’s very easy and can be prepared with only two main ingredients. The best part I enjoyed was cutting the paneer into blocks.
Benefits of paneer:
Cottage cheese is rich in Vitamins, Protein and Calcium, all three required for healthy growth and development in babies.
- Provides better nourishment to the growing children due to its high protein and healthy fat content
- Protects the teeth against harmful sugars due to its low lactose content
- Help underweight babies and kids to put on some extra pounds
- Prevents malnutrition and other protein deficiency diseases
- Helps children during the strengthening of cartilages of the body due to its high level of B group vitamins
- Even children who develops allergy to milk can have cottage cheese
- Boosts the immune system thus preventing the risk of various diseases in children like cough, cold, bronchial asthma etc
Other major health benefits of paneer:
- Maintains strong teeth and bones with its high calcium content
- Prevents cavities as it contains Vitamin D along with calcium
- Prevents osteoporosis caused due to Calcium deficiency
- Good for heart
- Helps in prevention of cancer and diabetes
- Beneficial for pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Paneer water (whey) is the good source of digestible proteins thus acts as the cleansing agent, good for hair and skin.
Paneer or cottage cheese can be started for babies from 8th month. It can be introduced as it is in the form of finger foods or mash/scrambled/soup.
How to make paneer at home for babies and kids?
The materials required to make paneer are cheese cloth and a heavy weight object like a dosa tawa. The ingredients you require are milk and lemon juice. You can also use curd or vinegar instead of lemon juice.
Extract the juice of lemon and keep it aside. Once the milk is boiled, add lemon juice. The milk will start to curdle.
Keep on stirring in medium heat so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Strain using a cheesecloth and hang it over to ooze out the extra liquid. Once the entire liquid is out, place it on a flat surface and keep a heavy object like dosa tawa on top of it.
Paneer would be set within 45-50 minutes. Cut paneer into desired shapes.
Pack in zip lock pouches or air tight containers and refrigerate.
- Milk – 1 litre
- Lemon juice -1 ½ to 2 tablespoons
- Boil milk
- Once milk starts boiling add the lemon juice
- Strain it in the cheesecloth
- After one or two minutes put the cheesecloth together tightly
- Place it on any flat surface and keep the dosa tawa on top of the cheesecloth
- Check after 45 min. The paneer would be set at this time
- Cut paneer into whatever shapes you like
- Put the paneer blocks in a zip lock packets or air tight containers
- Refrigerate (in freezer) the paneer until you use it
- Try to use the home made paneer on same day you prepare
- Paneer do stay fresh for three days in fridge
- I strongly suggest not to use after three days because its homemade, without any added preservatives
- Don’t throw away paneer water (whey). It can be used for making chapattis/roti dough, added in soups, dal or other vegetable curries.
Have you started paneer for your little one? Is he/she fond of it? Do you make paneer at home? Share with me in comments.
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