How to know if paneer is spoiled?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to know if paneer is spoiled?”, how to make paneer at home, and how to remove bad odor from paneer.

How to know if paneer is spoiled?

The paneer is spoiled when it develops a yellow or brown discoloration, smells sour, and becomes very watery. Discard the spiled paneer right away as it can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and acidity upon consumption. 

How to make Paneer at home?

Ingredients 

  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice or white vinegar

Equipment 

  • Fine cheesecloth
  • Colander

Instructions 

  1. Add milk to a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Keep the heat medium-high. Stir the milk as it boils to avoid scorching it from the bottom and to prevent a boilover. 

The milk will boil faster if you cover the pan with a lid. Remove the lid as soon as you start to hear bubbling.

  1. Meanwhile, you can squeeze out fresh lemon juice from the lemon. If you opt for vinegar, it is recommended to dilute it with ¼ cup of water to avoid a vinegar-like taste in the final product. 
  1. Now it is time to pour the vinegar or lemon juice into the boiled milk. Stir as you pour. Milk will start to curdle right away. Let it sit for bout 5-10 minutes.
  1. Now drain the whey by straining the milk using a colander lined with cheesecloth. Then thoroughly rinse the milk curds with cold water to remove the acid residues.
  1. Tightly wrap the cheesecloth around the milk curdle and tie a knot at the top. Squeeze the cheesecloth ball to drain excess liquid. You can hang the cheesecloth pouch to remove the excess liquid. But this step is optional.
  1. Use your hand to shape the cheese into a disc. Place the disc into a plate and weigh it down with 2-3 plates. 

Set it aside for 1-2 hours until a pool of whey gathers at the bottom of the plate. Ideally, the cheese should be refrigerated at this step but the counter will work too.

  1. After 1- hour, take a cheese disc and put it into an air-tight container.
  1. Refrigerate for up to a week. To extend its shelf-life up to months, consider freezing your paneer.

Nutrition facts 

Serving ½ batch 
Calories 605 kcal 
Carbohydrates 49.8 g
Protein 30.9 g
Fat 32 g
Saturated fat 18.2 g
Cholesterol 97 mg
Sodium 420 mg
Fiber 0.1 g
Sugar 50.4 g 

How to prevent paneer from smelling?

Rinse with plenty of water 

Bad odor is a prominent problem with packaged paneer. It happens due to bacterial proliferation. To neutralize the odor, wash the paneer cubes thoroughly with water. 

Use the washed cube right away and do not put it back in the fridge or freezer. Otherwise, you will end up with moldy paneer later on. Reserve the washing just before you are ready to use the paneer in a dish.

Dump the paneer in cold water 

Submerge the paneer cubes in a bowl full of cold water for about 10-15 minutes. This will remove the surface impurities and the bad odor. Moreover, your paneer will slightly swell and become soft due to absorbing water. 

Toss the paneer cubes in some fresh lime juice 

Before using your old paneer, wash it and toss it in some lime juice. Sprinkle some salt on the top and let the paneer sit for about 10 minutes. This will remove the bad odor and the surface impurities.

Use vinegar to de-odorize paneer

Do not use this method if you intend to use your paneer in curries or rice dishes. Because vinegar leaves a distinct smell behind. Dilute the vinegar before using it if you must. Toss the paneer in some vinegar and salt. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before using it.

Spices to the rescue 

Aromatic spices like coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, cinnamon-nutmeg powder, and cardamom powder add a pleasant smell to paneer. Unpopular but you can also use Pav Bhaji Masala or Chaat Masala for flavoring paneer.

Use the spices singly or in combination. Mix them with some  Rose Water (Gulab Jal) and Kewra Water before mixing with the paneer.

Give your paneer a proper marination time 

After adding all the aromatic ingredients to your paneer, you need to give it some time to penetrate the paneer. Let the paneer marinate in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before using it. The longer you marinate, the more coherent the smell gets.

Use the Dhungar method 

Smoke the paneer using burning charcoal for a subtle smoky aroma. Indians call it the Dhungar method. Smoking the cheese is a unique method of flavoring.

Pan-fry the paneer cubes 

If you do not want to bother with the dhungar method, stick to the tradition. By which we mean you should pan fry your paneer cubes until golden brown and crisp on the outside. 

Lightly grease the pan before frying. Heat kills the surface impurities and removes the bad odor from the paneer during pan-frying.

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question “How to know if paneer is spoiled?”, how to make paneer at home, and how to remove bad odor from paneer.

References 

https://www.indiastudychannel.com/experts/39035-How-to-know-if-paneer-is-spoiled-or-not#:~:text=The%20paneer%20should%20be%20spongy,also%20would%20be%20vey%20bad.&text=Vinegar%20or%20lemon%20juice%20%2D%203%20to%204%20drops%20or%20as%20required

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