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Question Dear Kurma Dasa,

The first time I made panir, it turned out firm but maleable and I had an easy
time firming it up into a nice block for cutting. Since then though, my panir
has turned out hard, dry and crumbly. When I try to cut it into pieces for
deep frying, it tries to crumble into tiny little crumbs. If it does stay in
one piece, the pieces are hard and dry. What am I doing wrong?
Debbie DeShazo, Payette, Idaho, USA

AnswerHi Debbie,

The problem could be one of a number of things. Could be low fat milk or too much curdling agent, or both, or some other factors. If you are using citric acid, and overdoing it, that makes a cheese like you are describing.

My suggestion is to first read my essay about making a perfect batch of panir.

Now, when you make it next, use full fat milk, not fat reduced, calcium added, or any weird stuff. Even add a few spoons cream to the milk.

Also use yogurt to curdle the milk...the best! Tie the cheese in a cloth when you press it. Press it under a heavy weight for 15 minutes only.

Try all these things religiously and let me know the result.

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