Topli na Paneer are small soft cheeses which are made in baskets (topli is gujarati word for basket, hence the name).
These paneers are kept in earthenware pots in their whey. In Surat which is reputed to have the finest topli na paneer, it is sold in pots door-to-door.
These are made from “Rennet” which is a package powder and found in Supermarkets. You can buy the rennet here.
Rennet for making Topli na Paneer
Following are three paneer recipes for paneer made with lemon juice, or salt or rennet.
Recipe #1 (without rennet or lemon)
Makes 1 large paneer of 1 lb approx
- 2 Liters milk
- 1 lb yogurt or curd
- 2 tsp salt
- Add the salt to the curd and mix it.
- Bring the milk to a boil and add the above mixture and stir.
- Keep it on the fire till the curd separates. Let it cool for a little while.
- Put a thin muslin cloth in a sieve or strainer and pour the mixture into it. Cover it very lightly and let all the water drain out.
- Cool and then serve.
Topli Paneer (Parsi style fresh cheese)
Recipe #2 (with lemon)
Yield: 2 cups
Whole Milk 1 quart
Lemon juice 1
Curdle → Strain → Press and Form
1. Bring milk just to boil, and then remove from heat.
2. Stir in lemon juice and let set 10 minutes.
This separates the curds and whey.
3. Strain through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer
and squeeze out the excess whey.
4. Flatten into a square shape about 1/2″ thick in the cheesecloth.
5. Place between 2 plates, and weigh the top plate down
with something heavy like canned goods.
6. Chill for 1 up to 8 hours to allow excess whey to be squeezed out.
7. Remove from cheesecloth and cut into squares to use in recipes.
Topli na Paneer (Cottage Cheese in Baskets)
Recipe #3 (with rennet)
Makes 4 – 5
1 kg milk which is equal to 1 Litre of milk
2 tsp salt
3 tsp essence of rennet or 1 Hansen’s junket tablet
1. Warm the milk slightly, it should not be hot. (Hint put your finger in the warm milk it should be warm)
- Put in the essence of rennet.
- Wash and dry small paneer baskets.
- At the bottom of each basket, sprinkle 1/2 tsp of salt, then pour curd mixture over, fill to the top of the basket.
- Place the basket over a glass so that the water drains into it. Leave to form overnight or for 8 hours.
- When cheese is firm and water is drained off, overturn the cheese out carefully.
- Collect drained water from each glass add this whey into a large bowl.
- Insert the cheese into it to store. You will see the basket indentations and if you like you can create designer paneer!
Chill and serve. Paneer will stay for a week refrigerated.
Health Tip: This topli nu paneer is very good for digestion and is the most effective taken first thing in the morning as breakfast.