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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Recipe: Homemade Cheese Spread With Herbs

Recipe: Homemade Cheese Spread With Herbs

By ZELDA PANDE
February 21, 2023 09:39 IST
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Fromage Blanc might have originated in France in some ancient era. But in a parallel universe, paneer came to be centuries ago.

If you do a fusion of made-at-home paneer curds with western herbs you have your own personal variety of a sort of Herbed Cheese Spread or fresh cheese that tastes lovely on newly-baked paav or Goan poi or atop hot butteered pasta or grilled inside two slices of bread or as a dip for potato chips.

Homemade Herbed Cheese Spread

Photograph: Zelda Pande

Homemade Herbed Cheese Spread

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • ½ l full-cream milk
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • 1 tsp freshly minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped greens of a spring onion
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • Pinch black pepper powder
  • ½ to 1 tsp salt

Method

  • Boil the milk in saucepan over low heat.
    When it begins to boil, add in the lime juice and lightly mix.
    Take off heat and let it sit for 3-4 minutes.
    The milk will split into curds and water (whey).
  • Add in the basil, green onions, salt and garlic.
    Strain through a cheesecloth or a thin cloth placed in a strainer and let it sit for a few minutes for the water to drain.
    Taste and check if it needs more salt.
    Bundle up the cheesecloth into a potli or moneybag and tie a thin string and hang for half an hour over a bowl to allow more water to drain.
  • Discard the water (whey) and flatten the cloth-wrapped paneer into a circle and place on an inverted plate inside a thali or a container with edges, so the water can run off as it drains and place some weight on the draining paneer (like an inverted roti rolling board on which you have balanced a pot of water or something like that).
  • Let it stay pressed for an hour or so.
  • Unwrap from the cheesecloth, wrap in foil and refrigerate for an hour and serve on buttered paav or sourdough bread.

Zelda's Note: Any kind of herb or spice can be added to the milk curd, before pressing, like a de-seeded and finely chopped green chilly or 1 tsp finely chopped chives or 1 tsp finely chopped green garlic or 1 tsp finely chopped parsley or a dash of Tabasco or a 1 tsp finely chopped green dhania (coriander or cilantro) or 1 tsp finely chopped mint.

Use a little extra salt, to give the cheese a longer shelf life. Store in the fridge in an air-tight container and it will be good for 3-4 days.

To serve as a dip, loosen with the addition of a little milk or hung curd.

Using full-cream milk is a must.

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ZELDA PANDE