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Cottage Cheese is probably one of the most versatile man made food products in food industry. Paneer as known in Hindi is widely used in North Indian cuisine and is gaining popularity among the health conscious. It can be easily transformed into numerous recipes including desserts, curries, bread, cakes and what not, giving a peculiar creamy texture to the cooked dish.
Composition: Cottage cheese is the by-product of milk, pure and most natural food product with no additives in it. Milk is curdled using an acidic culture, the resultant product is a mild flavored, non acidic and a creamy consistency solid.
Cottage cheese is not aged or processes like other commercial cheeses, and cannot be stored for long for the same reason.
How to make Homemade Cottage Cheese?
- 1 liter skimmed milk
- 1 tsp of lemon juice or 3-4 tsp of sour curd
Method: Boil the milk in a vessel and add the juice of lemon or curds in the boiling milk. I normally use curd to make cottage cheese, as I get much softer variety.
Keep boiling till the whey separates.
Take a muslin cloth and put it over another big vessel covering the mouth of it. Pour the whole mixture in the muslin cloth and drain the whey.
Let the liquid fully drain from the curdled milk. Fresh cottage cheese is ready for use.
Tie the cloth and press it with a heavy weight, if you wish to make chunks of the cottage cheese.
-High levels of protein make it a prudent diet for kids, pregnant women and body builders.
-It is low in fat and calories.
-Good for building strong bones in growing kids due to high calcium.
-It is low in carbohydrates.
-Low sodium in cottage cheese makes it a good choice for people with high blood pressure and heart ailments.
-It is easily digested.
-Whey which is the residual liquid is very healthy.
Prudent way to use Cottage cheese;
Cottage Cheese Peda
Clean and wipe a mould, I used my mould for making ice cubes. Take a small amount of the prepared mix and put it in the moulds. Press it lightly.
Method: Take a flat vessel and crumble the freshly made cottage cheese. Add rest of the ingredients. Mix in thoroughly using light strokes.
Refrigerate for 3-4 hours before serving.
Rasgullas made from fresh cottage cheese are a real sweet temptation, hard to resist. I consider these delicacies a healthy treat as these are devoid of the other two culprits (oil and refined flour) mainly used to prepare most of the Indian sweets except the sugar.
I detest the commercially made Rasgullas which tastes like a piece of sponge dipped in sugar syrup. And am sure you will be one with me once you try making these at home.
The first step in making Rasgullas is to make Cottage Cheese or Paneer, which I already explained in my last post Cottage Cheese and a quick dessert. After the fresh paneer s prepared follow the recipe below;
(makes 20-25 Rasgullas)
Method: Take the prepared cottage cheese in a plate and knead it softly using your palm, till it looks like a paste and is devoid of any lumps. At this stage add 1 tsp of refined flour or cornflour to the paste. I avoided the refined flour as I was confident that the Rasgullas will not break, and it didn’t
Prepare small marble size balls from the dough.
Take a big vessel and boil 2 cups of water in it. Add 1 cup of sugar in it and let the sugar dissolve.
Now add the cottage cheese balls in the boiling water. There are 3-4 stages you will notice while cooking the Rasgullas.
1. The balls will settle down at the first stage. Some of the balls will start floating after a few seconds.
2. Keep the flame on medium and keep checking. The Rasgulas are a bit plumpy and occupies a bigger space.
3. Rasgullas looks more fluffy and full of sugar syrup in it. Notice small cracks in the rasgulla, do not worry it will not break. Keep boiling for 8-10 minutes and take off the flame.
4. Juicy and scrumptious Rasgullas are ready to savor.
Saffron adds a beautiful flavor and color to the Rasgullas.
Stays good for 3-4 days in refrigerator.