Homemade cheese – yes you heard it right. I didn’t give a serious thought until the little one started tasting and liking cheese. I have researched about homemade cheese recipes and learned that the process of cheese making can be real chore if attempting hard cheeses like cheddar. But I found its really easy to make soft cheese like ricotta, cream cheese etc at home.
So I have decided to give ricotta cheese a try first and luckily it turned out great! I have adapted the recipe from here. Now that I have tried making this easy ricotta cheese recipe at home, am confident to try other homemade cheese recipes too. I used to make paneer (cottage cheese) at home usually and we love it for the softness and freshness! If I had realized how easy is to make ricotta cheese at home, I would have started doing it long ago! It only needs 3 ingredients and minimal effort – dose it get any easier than that?
- This ricotta cheese tastes great when eaten fresh. Simply mix with a fruit or jam and serve. It tastes best with honey(for babies older than one year) too.
- It can be added to mashed veggies, salads, scrambled eggs and soups.
- Add it as spread or filling for sandwiches. Tastes yum! You could even add it to pastas.
- Add to pancakes,puddings, kheer , cakes, breads etc for extra calories.
- Can be used in place of khoya in some dessert recipes (Eg; Rasamalai)
- Whole Milk - 1 litre
- Curd/Yogurt - 1 cup
- Lemon Juice - 2 tsp
- Salt - ½ tsp (optional)
- Start by keeping the milk and curd ready. Boil the milk in medium low flame for 5 minutes. Stir it occasionally.
- When it's about to boil (Don't let it boil), add curd, lemon juice and salt. Stir it gently. The mixture will start to curdle.
- Continue stirring gently until it completely curdles.
- Set the colander/strainer in a large bowl. Place a cheese cloth or muslin cloth over it. Pour the curdled mixture to it gently.
- After transferring the entire curdled mixture, gather the corners of the cloth and tie it up. Let it stand for 30 minutes at least or until the water is completely drained off. Squeeze out the cheese cloth occasionally to drain off the water. Once the water is completely drained off , open the cloth. The ricotta cheese is ready for use! The whey(drained water) can be used to knead roti dough, making bread, pancakes etc,
- Traditional ricotta is made from whey (from animal rennet) & milk, but paneer is made from milk alone. (Note: At home we can’t make ricotta with whey)
- Paneer is pressed after coagulation, where as ricotta is just left to drain. (ricotta can also be pressed but salted and known as Salata)
- Paneer is made without salt and less acids where as ricotta is made with salt and more acids.
- Unlike Paneer, Ricotta cheese shouldn’t be too crumbly or dry but instead be soft and fresh.
- Squeeze out and extract the water slowly.
- You can add 1/2 cup of heavy cream while adding curd to get more volume.
- The color and volume of ricotta cheese purely depends on the type of milk used.
- Your could use apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice.
- Let the water drain out completely before you store.
- Keep it refrigerated and stays fresh for 4 days.
- Skip salt if preparing this ricotta cheese for babies below one year.
- Always check with your pediatrician before introducing any new food.