Used in a variety of dishes ranging from lasagne to quesadillas, not to mention the Ramazan staple – pakoras – fresh, tangy, homemade cottage cheese is a culinary delight not to be sneezed at, and making it is child’s play!
All that you need in order to conjure up this gourmet delight is two litres of fresh, not packaged, milk and a quarter of a litre of dahi pani – the latter being the watery liquid left over from ‘desi’ yoghurt, which yoghurt sellers will often give away for free.
Bring the milk to simmering point in a large pan. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until it is lukewarm. Add the dahi pani and stir thoroughly. Cover the pan and leave to stand in a warm place for approximately 12 hours or until the mixture is very thick.
Next, stand the pan of raw cheese in a basin of hot water for about an hour, removing some of the cooling water and topping up with more hot water every 15 minutes to maintain the temperature. During this time the raw cheese will begin to form lumps around the outer edges of the pan so, using a wooden spoon, carefully move these towards the centre so that, slowly but surely, the entire contents of the pan form in to lumps.
Sterilise a piece of very fine muslin cloth with boiling water, drape it over a sterilised colander and carefully ladle in the cheese. Tie up the top of the cloth and leave the cheese to drain for about an hour, disposing of the runoff water now and then, so that flies are not attracted to it. Once the cheese is fully drained, turn it out into a bowl, add salt to taste and refrigerate before serving.
– B Khan
First published in the ADBUZZZZ Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 29, 2014.