Tomorrow I will be starting another interesting theme for the Cooking Carnival which is Milk Sweets. I am an ardent fan of milk sweets from childhood and in that I am partial to Bengali sweets. My mom and dad lived in Calcutta for a few years when I was a toddler. Though I don’t remember those days, some how those milk sweets stayed with me. My dad and me used to gobble down Bengali sweets as if world was ending that day. Now I have started enjoying savoury snacks but still my love for Bengali sweets continues. So this week you will be seeing some delicious paneer and milk based sweets here.
The paneer we usually make with lemon juice or vinegar or citric acid will be on the harder side. To make sweets we want softer paneer which can be obtained with fermented whey water. My mom suggested me this method of paneer preparation while I was experimenting with sweets a few years back. She even shared with me an information that you can get this fermented whey in shops in Calcutta. Those who wanted to make paneer can just go and buy and make the paneer at home. I am talking about nearly 38 years back when my mom was in Calcutta. But now I don’t know what is happening. Any Bengali out there can share the insight. To ferment whey water, we will be preparing paneer normally with lemon/ citric acid. You can see my method of paneer preparation here. After making paneer, the whey that is drained from paneer is covered and set aside to ferment for 24 hours. Then this whey water is used to curdle the milk to get soft paneer to use in sweets. I prepare this paneer to make rasgollas and they turn out super soft. Give it a try and you will surely find the difference.
Milk – 1 litre
Fermented Whey Water – 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup
Ferment the whey water for 24 hours.
Heat milk. When it comes to boil, remove it from flame.
Add the fermented whey water 2-3 tbs at a time.
Once added, give it a nice stir to make sure that the whey is completely incorporated.
Wait for 2 minutes before adding the next batch.
For every 2-3 ts of whey you will find that the milk will curdle.
When the milk curdles and the paneer is separated from why and the whey is clear, stop adding the fermented whey.
Pour the curdled milk into a cloth lined sieve.
Pour some cool water over the chenna to bring down the temperature.
Gather the cloth and twist it to remove all water from paneer.
use it in any recipe that calls for paneer / chenna.