For the second day of cook by Capital Cities, I chose Riga for R, my chosen alphabet. Riga is the capital city of Latvia, which is a country on the Baltic Sea between Lithuania and Estonia. I saw so many interesting recipes for Latvian cuisine but the one recipe I came to again and again is the home made cheese called as Janu Siers. It is made with full fat milk and cooked with butter and eggs and is spiced with caraway seeds. It is always made ahead and is allowed to ripen in a cool place before consumption. Janu siers with beer are paired during the Jani feast in Latvia.
It was so interesting to read about this cheese and as the ingredients were easily available, I tried it in my kitchen. Usually ricotta or quark cheese is added to milk and allowed to curdle. Then the cheese is separated from whey and cooked with butter and eggs. I used my soft malai paneer instead of quark. I had some difficulties in curdling the milk. I tried to add some yogurt but nothing worked. Finally vinegar helped me in curdling the milk mixture. Some recipes suggest adding only the yolk where as some suggest a whole egg. I added one whole egg to the recipe. I let the cheese mature in fridge for a day before slicing. I was really surprised by the texture of the cheese. Taste it at room temperature and I am sure you will love it. It was like a savoury paneer burfi. So yum. As I didn’t have caraway seeds I added fennel to the cheese. Sruti didn’t like it because of that. But I loved it and enjoyed the cheese slice by slice.
Recipe Source: Allas Yummy Food
Full Fat Milk – 1 litre
Soft Paneer / Ricotta Cheese – 400 gm
Vinegar as needed
Butter – 75 gm
Egg – 1
Salt – to taste
Caraway Seeds – 1 tsp
Bring milk to boil.
Add crumbled paneer or ricotta and heat it.
The milk will start curdling.
Add vinegar if the whey doesn’t separate.
Once the whey is clear, remove from flame and stir it for a minute or two.
Drain the whey in a colander and collect the cheese.
Take the cheese in a apn and add butter and egg.
Whisk all the ingredients to combine.
Cook this on medium flame.
At first the cheese will crumble but after a while it will come together as a soft dough.
At this stage, remove the cheese from flame.
Line a plastic container with a cotton or muslin cloth.
Transfer the cheese into it.
Wrap it with the cloth.
Place a heavy object on top to set the cheese.
Set it aside for an hour or two.
Remove the weight on top.
Cover the container and refirgerate the cheese for 24 hours.
Remove the cloth and slice it up.