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How to make fresh homemade Paneer

How to make fresh homemade Paneer ( Indian Cottage Cheese)

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Paneer also very commonly known as Indian Cottage Cheese, Chhana or chhena. It’s a star ingredient in most Indian dishes and liked by many …at least in my household. Paneer is easily now a days found in your local supermarket or grocery stores ….but where’s the fun there? When it can easily be made fresh right at home. It requires only a few ingredients; milk, lemon juice, a pot, a strainer and cheesecloth and you have fresh homemade paneer.

The best part of paneer is that it can be eaten right away, it requires no aging or culturing and once the paneer (cheese) has set it can be added to your favorite curry or sweet dish. Normally, many make paneer using whole milk, but I’ve had great success many times making it with 2% milk.

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It’s much more difficult to make paneer using skim or non-fat milk since there is not enough fat left in the milk to separate into curds and whey. The only down side of this cheese is that it won’t last very long in the fridge when it’s freshly made, so if you don’t plan to use it up within a week then make sure you definitely have plans what to do. Personally, I only make what is need at the time but, in case I have left over I wrap it up with clear cling wrap and place it in a Ziploc bag and place in the cheese drawer inside my fridge.

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Paneer is absolutely delicious, but the best part of making homemade paneer is that the yellowish water from the curdled milk known as “WHEY” is super healthy and has some amazing usage. Many may not know that whey is also considered to be rich in protein and may also help build muscle strength and boost the immune system.

With all these great health benefits why would we want to throw out the leftover water (whey) from making Paneer. Let me share with some great ways of using up whey and preparing healthy delicious dishes. Whey can used to make Chapati (roti)  or in any paratha flour just substitute water with whey water. Add whey water to any fruit juice to start off the day, add it to any gravy which can be substituted for tomatoes or tamarind. It can also be used for cooking rice or baking purpose just substitute water with leftover whey. Another great way to use whey is simply add the water (whey) when preparing food to keep the nutrients intact and also make the food more nutritious.

I’ve used paneer making many dishes like; Paneer Bhurji Sandwich, Paneer Pulao Using Veggie Biryani Masala, Marinated Paneer Naan Pizza and Methi Muttar Malai Paneer.

 

How to make homemade Paneer

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

How to make homemade Paneer

Fresh delicious homemade Paneer (Cottage Cheese or Chhena)

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups - 2% Milk
  • 1 tsp - lemon juice

Instructions

  • Pour the milk into a large pot for boiling. When it comes to a boiling, switch off the stove and wait a few minutes for hot air to release from the milk.
  • Add the lemon juice and stir, wait for milk to curd.
  • Line a bowel using a muslin cloth (cheesecloth), strain curdled milk and squeeze out all of the whey.
  • If you want solid paneer, put some weight on the drained paneer and leave it on for few hours.
  • Use as required. If not using immediately wrap cling wrap and place inside Ziploc bag and place in fridge.
  • Notes

    * lemon juice can also be replaced with vinegar.

    * for more flavor a little bit of salt can be added once you have strained the whey from the curdled milk.

    * for a longer life of paneer it can be freeze.

    http://myfoodforthesoul.com/how-to-make-fresh-homemade-paneer/

     

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    10 Delicious Diwali Dishes

    Wishing every one a Happy Diwali and Happy New Year “Saal Mubarak” 

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    Deepawali – “Festival of Lights” An ancient Hindu festival to celebrate the triumph of light over dark and good over evil. This year Diwali will be celebrated on Wednesday November 11th, 2015, this is one of the most major holidays in India. Although, it’s not just celebrated in India it’s actually celebrated by millions all over the world.

    No festival or celebration is complete without delicious food and sweets.  This Diwali and New Year’s be sure to check out these great 10 recipes that is guaranteed to please the whole family.

    Diwali is celebrated in many different ways, but the most traditional ways that people celebrate is by lighting lamps and clay diyas, fireworks, music, decorations, delicious food and sweets. Rangoli patterns are decorated inside and outside created with colorful rice, sand and colorful flower petals. These colorful geometric rangoli designs are created for the entrance ways, living rooms or courtyards of houses that encourage and welcome the goddess Lakshmi Mata.

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    Diwali is one of the most lavishing, fun, full of tradition, bright, colorful and exciting festivals celebrated around the world. I find Diwali to be very similar to the traditional holiday “Christmas” which is also celebrated by many around the world. Diwali is all about exchanging gifts and sweets, greeting friends, family and loved ones with Diwali wishes, indulging in lavishing festive meals, buying and wearing new clothing.

    For some of us the next day after Diwali, is Gujarati New Years also known as “Bestu Varsha”, “Nutan Varsha”, “Padwa” and “Saal Mubarak”. We celebrate the year 2072 this year, Gujarati’s all over the world will celebrate this day to mark the beginning of a new year and put all their worries behind, forget the past and prepare to welcome the “New Beginning” of a new year.

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    No festival or celebration is complete without delicious food and sweets.  This Diwali and New Year’s be sure to check out these great 10 recipes that is guaranteed to please the whole family.

    1. Sooji Ka Halwa

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    2. Corn Flour Spinach Onion Pakora

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    3. Dal Dhokli

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    4. Dry Fruit Anjeer Kajoor Ladoo

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    5. Methi Muttar Malai Paneer

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    6. Mattar Tofu in White Gravy

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    7. Moong Dal Dhokla

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    8. Strawberry Rose Lassi

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    9. Methi Kela Na Bhajiya

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    10. Carrot Kheer – Gajar Dhoodh Pak

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    Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali and Prosperous New Year. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Sooji Ka Halwa

    Sooji ka Halwa | How to make authentic Gujarati Style Sheera

     

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    A nice an easy to make sweet dish prepared in minutes. Sooji ka Halwa also known as “Sheera” in Gujarati is an all time favorite sweet dish that can be served as a dessert, breakfast sweet dish or prepared for special occasions or festivals. Sooji ka Halwa is a super simple and absolutely delicious dish prepared by roasting sooji also known as rava or semolina in pure desi ghee (clarified butter) cooked in warm milk with sugar  and topped with your favorite choice of dry fruits and saffron.

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    This recipe is my all time favorite, I’ve learned to make this special method of “sheera” from my mom. I’ve watched her make it numerous times as a sweet side dish for dinner, for special puja’s at home. My mum’s recipe calls for warm milk, but many people substitute the milk with water which is also fine, but I find that by adding milk to the sheera gives it a nicer rich taste and texture. Also this recipes has silvered almonds, green raisins which is optional, silvered cashews and charoli also known as chirongi nuts or piyal seeds and saffron to give our sooji ka halwa a nice flavor and color.

    Sooji ka Halwa can be made in many different ways. No matter what style and method rava halwa is made in whether it be North Indian-Suji Ka Halwa, South Indian Kesari Rava or Pakistani Sooji ka Halwah they all taste absolutely scrumptiously delicious. 🙂

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    I’m sure a lot of us have already heard of semolina also known as rava or sooji. But did you know that it’s not just commonly used in Indian cuisines it’s also very popularly used in many other cultural backgrounds like Europe, North Africa, West Africa, North America and South America to make pasta, pudding, breakfast cereal and couscous.  Semolina is a grain that is very versatile can be used to make sweet dishes, savory dishes, baking and I’ve read and some what believe that it also has some amazing health benefits if consumed in the correct manner.

     

    Sooji Ka Halwa

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook Time: 20 minutes

    Total Time: 30 minutes

    Serving Size: 5-6

    Sooji Ka Halwa

    Sooji ka Halwa also known as "Sheera" in Gujarati is a all time favorite sweet dish that can be served as a dessert, breakfast sweet dish or prepared for special occasions or festivals.

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup - sooji;(rava or semolina)
    • 1 cup - ghee
    • 1/2 cup - sugar
    • 2 cups - milk;warm
    • pinch saffron
    • 8-10 pieces -charoli;(chirongi)
    • 1/2 cup - mixed slivered almonds and green raisins
    • 1 tsp. - elachi powder (cardamon)

    Instructions

  • Heat the ghee in a broad non-stick pan; add the semolina and sauté on a slow low-medium heat for 6 to 10 minutes. , while stirring occasionally. The color of semolina should slight change to a golden brown and should be able to smell the aroma of the ghee/semolina mixture.
  • Add the milk very slowly a little at a time; mix well and cook for 5-8 minutes, while stirring continuously until the milk is absorbed into the semolina and the ghee is starting to separate.
  • Add the sugar, raisin, charoli, almond slivers, elachi powder and saffron mix well. Keep stirring occasionally until the sugar is absorbed and ghee starts to separate.
  • Remove into desired bowl; Garnished by sprinkling a little elaichi (cardamom) powder on top and slivered almonds and serve.
  • Notes

    Dry fruits of your choice can be added.

    Milk can be substituted with warm water.**Milk gives it a nicer texture and flavor.**

    Adjust sugar to your liking.

    http://myfoodforthesoul.com/sooji-ka-halwa/

     

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    Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Instant Chocolate Chip Muffins | Pressure Cooker Baked Chocolate Chip Muffins

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    I love anything that has to do with Chocolate and so does my family. I really mean anything ! 🙂 Chocolate and me are best friends, I could litterly eat it morning, afternoon and night with no problem and no guilt. That goes for everyone in the family and trust me I’m not exaggerating. 🙂

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    We’ve all heard of Betty Crocker ….those instant pre-packaged baking goods are wonderful when in a rush. I always keep some on hand, there’s days when I have no time to bring ingredients at room temperature and Betty Crocker is there to help me! Love it.  (No I’m not branding or advertising for Betty Crocker, just love the product). These Chocolate Chip Muffins are instant, 3 minute mix, bake and serve.

    The best thing about some of the Betty Crocker products is that it takes only water …..yes “water” and that’s why it’s called instant. I love to bake from scratch, but some days I’m looking for the cheat version easy way out ….we all need a break some days. A lot of the Betty Crocker packages do require eggs as an added ingredient, but I like to bake egg less so the water substitute is the best.

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    Recently, it’s been extremely hot and when the temperature is rising I’m in no mood to turn on the oven to bake. That’s when baking with a pressure cooker or steamer comes handy (click the line to show you an image of my steamer that I used to make these delicious muffins). This Aluminum Idli/dhokla steamer was given to me by my mother-n-law, which has been used extensively to make many wonder delicious mouth-watering dishes. Thank you MIL 🙂

    Wondering how it works, well its super simple all that’s need is pressure cooker or a steamer pot. Put about 1 1/2 cups of salt (regular salt) in the bottom of the pot and place a flat ring on top of the salt, cover and let it warm up on the stove on medium heat. That’s it !  When making small batches of baking goods, some times it’s not always worthwhile to turn on the oven…try this out it guaranteed to work and results are phenomenal.

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    When I started to make these muffins I didn’t have a muffin tin that would fit right into my pressure cooker, so I brought out my good old handy-dandy desi (traditional) “varki” or also known as “katori” (traditional stainless steel little bowls). I line them with muffin liners, poured the batter and baked them. Woala !!! ready soft, warm, delicious Chocolate Chip Muffins.

    This is a great quick fix recipes for the non-experienced bakers, or bachelors that would like to try out a new way of baking instead of the not trying it out at all.

    Hope you enjoyed this recipe, be sure to check out some other wonderful recipes: Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream FrostingCarrot Kheer -Gajar Dhoodh Pak and Nutella Cocoa Milkshake.

     

    Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook Time: 25 minutes

    Total Time: 27 minutes

    Yield: 5

    Chocolate Chip Muffins

    3 minute pouch to oven ready Chocolate Chip Muffins

    Ingredients

    Instructions

  • Preheat pressure cooker or a steamer pot (remember to remove whistle). Put about 1 1/2 cups of salt (regular salt) in the bottom of the pot and place a flat ring on top of the salt, cover and let it warm up on the stove on medium heat.
  • If using muffin tin place a paper-baking cup (muffin liner) in each. If using varki or katori line with paper-baking cups. No need to grease. (As shown in one of my pictures)
  • Follow instruction on Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Muffin Mix package on preparing batter by adding 1/2 cup of water and stirring muffin mix. Then fill each cup about 1/2 way full.
  • Place muffins inside pressure cooker and cover the pressure cooker and bake 20-25 minutes until nice golden brown. Poke toothpick in center if comes out clean, muffins are ready.
  • Carefully remove from pressure cooker, immediately remove muffins from tin carefully and let them cool.
  • Notes

    extra chocolate chips is optional.

    If you don't like to use paper-baking cups, then make sure to greasy muffin tin first then place batter. Once muffins are baked wait for muffins to cool down then remove from muffin tin.

    ****Remember to remove the whistle from the pressure cooker***

    http://myfoodforthesoul.com/chocolate-chip-muffins/

     

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    Nutella Cocoa Milkshake

    Nutella Cocoa Milkshake

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    Lately, everywhere I go I hear about Nutella donut, Nutella Milkshake all kinds of different delicious mouthwatering goodies related to Nutella.  I’m sure we’ve all heard about Nutella, but for my friends that are new to “Nutella” …let me till you what I’m talking about. Nutella is an Italian sweetened hazelnut chocolate spread that’s been around for decades and was introduced by “Ferraro” the same people who make the most yummiest Ferraro Roche Chocolates.

    As a young girl I have fond memories of Nutella….One of my cousin brother would bring home small packages of Nutella & Biscuits. We would dip those biscuits into the nutella and gobble them down ….that’s how good they were. Well, I though let me re-live those childhood memories and share those same memories with my little monsters. My kids love any kind of chocolate, anytime any day …..just like their parents. 🙂

    I wanted to think of a recipe that was absolutely Delicious, a complete enjoyment and had to have Nutella in it. Woala!  that’s when the “Nutella Cocoa Milkshake” was invented. I can’s say that this Milkshake is healthy ….cause I know it’s not but, I can say it’s a must try. It’s so heavenly delightful that you’ll forget the health factors and just enjoy this sweet treat.

     

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    If you make any of recipes and decide to share them on Instagram or twitter be sure to tag me @myfoodforthsoul and use the hashtag #myfoodthesoul  I love seeing your posts and photos! Also please share your comments or feedback on any of the recipes ….keeps me motivated.

    Nutella Cocoa Milkshake

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Total Time: 5 minutes

    Serving Size: 2

    Nutella Cocoa Milkshake

    Heavenly Delightful Nutella Cocoa Milkshake

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup Nutella Hazelnut Spread
    • 2 tbsp. Chocolate Flavored Syrup
    • 1 1/2 cup - 2% Milk (Use any milk of your choice)
    • 2 big scoops - Cookie and Cream Ice Cream (plain Vanilla works also)

    Instructions

  • Add all ingredients into a blender and blend. Blend to a smooth consistency.
  • Pour into desired glass and serve immediately.
  • http://myfoodforthesoul.com/nutella-cocoa-milkshake/

     

    So, tell me what’s your favorite milkshake? I’d love to hear about ….send me your comments.

    Other Delicious Milkshakes to try out:

    Mango Banana Milkshake

    Mango Kulfi Milkshake

    Strawberry Banana Milkshake

     

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