Ever since I started blogging, I have been obsessed with home made ingredients. When preparing an international recipe, the main ingredient will not be available here in Madurai and I search for how to make that particular ingredient at home. It is true for the cheese also. I don’t get most of the cheeses used in international dishes and I search for home made cheese recipes. The cheeses that use vinegar or lemon can be easily made at home but those which use rennet cannot be made as rennet itself is not available here. And also rennet is animal based product just like gelatin. So after making Cottage Cheese, Ricotta, Cream Cheese, Tofu, Mascaporne and Labneh, I felt that I have reached the end of cheese making at home. I had to rely upon store bought mozarella and cheddar. But one fine day one of my readers asked me to try out cheese recipes so that they can also make it at home. This rekindled my obsession. I again searched for the basic ingredients and found out that there is a vegetarian form of rennet available in Amazon. Wow! That was amazing news for me. I ordered for the liquid rennet immediately. I should warn you that it is quite expensive but you can prepare your own cheese at home and that too the cheeses that are not at all available here.
While I was searching for an easy cheese recipe to start my experimenting, I remembered Haloumi cheese from a food show I watched recently. It is the cheese from Cyprus and can be grilled or fried due to its high melting point. It is also popular in Greece and Turkey. It doesn’t use any acid for its preparation and uses only rennet for setting. When I went through the method, I found that it was quite easy for my first try. The only thing you need to prepare cheese is lots and lots of patience. And also a thermometer and liquid rennet. Tomorrow I will post a very simple recipe for using the haloumi but today I will focus on the cheese alone. Usually goat’s milk and sheep’s milk are used to prepare haloumi but cow’s milk can also be used. I have used cow’s milk available in pack.
Recipe Source: Wikihow
Makes 300 gm of Cheese
Milk-6 cups / 1 1/2 litres
Vegetarian Liquid Rennet-1/2 tsp
Heat milk to 34C.
Remove from stove and add rennet. Mix well.
Cover with lid and set aside for 30 minutes or until set.
Insert a knife to see whether a clean break is formed.
When removed the knife should come out clean with out any cheese sticking to it.
Now with the help of a knife cut the cheese into one cm squares. Make sure the knife goes deep inside the pan.
Let it sit for 15 minutes covered.
Now stir the cheese with a slotted spoon until the cheese breaks down. Now again cover and leave it for 15 minutes.
Now heat the pan to increase temperature to 38C.
Again cover and set aside 30 minutes. The cheese will let out more whey.
Line a sieve with a cotton fabric and pour the cheese mixture into it. Place a bowl below to catch the whey. Do not discard whey. We need it to cook the cheese and to make brine.
Let the whey drain for 30 minutes.
Now fold the cloth to form a cube of cheese, place a heavy object on top and set it aside for 30 minutes. The remaining whey will be drained and the cheese will become solid.
Now slice the cube into 4 equal portions.
Add salt to the whey and bring it to simmer.
Drop the cubes into it. At first they will immerse in whey. But after 15 minutes they will start floating.
Let them cook for a further 15 minutes on low flame.
Now switch off flame and let the cheese float in whey for 15 more minutes.
Remove the cubes from whey and place on a tray and allow them to cool.
Drain the whey through a sieve to remove the ricotta cheese floating in it. Again do not discard the whey.
Allow the whey and cheese to cool completely.
In a jar pour some whey and add the cubes.
Pour more whey to cover the cheese cubes.
Cover and refrigerate until use.
The ricotta and be had as it is with a slight sprinkling of pepper.