Paneer, or cottage cheese, is undoubtedly one of the most popular ingredients used in Indian dishes. Be it shahi paneer, paneer pakoda, rasgulla or paneer tikka, it is used to make a variety of flavourful curries, snacks and even desserts. The best part about paneer is that it is not at all difficult to cook. It all depends on how elaborate or simple you want your dish to be. However, you can truly relish its taste when it's soft and supple. Whether you buy it from the market or make it at home, it needs to be refrigerated so that it doesn't get spoiled. And this could make your paneer hard and rubbery. So, if you're looking for ways to soften refrigerated paneer, you're at the right place. Here we bring you some easy tips that'll come in handy the next time you face such a problem. Take a look.
Also read: Shahi Paneer, Kadai Paneer And More: 5 Classic Paneer Curry Recipes That You Must Try
Here're 5 Easy Tips To Soften Refrigerated Paneer:
1.Keep It Covered
The first and most important step to ensure that your paneer remains soft is to keep it covered in the fridge. Always store it in an air-tight container. Leaving it exposed to the harsh air inside the refrigerator might rip off all the moisture from your paneer.
2.Bring It To Room Temperature
Do you use paneer right after taking it out from the fridge? If yes, you need to stop doing that! Make sure to take it out at least 2-3 hours prior to cooking it. This allows the paneer to soften up by itself by coming to room temperature.
3.Immerse In Warm Water
If you're running short of time, this tip will be a life saviour! Cut the paneer slab into cubes and dip them in a bowl of warm water. The water should just be enough to cover the paneer (Do not let it sink.) Make sure not to keep it soaked for more than 5 minutes as this would make the paneer brittle.
Also read: How To Make Paneer Soft After Frying - Easy Kitchen Hacks
Another way to soften refrigerated paneer is to steam it. Boil some water in a bowl. Once it comes to a boil, put a strainer over it and spread out the paneer cubes so that they absorb the steam. Put a lid on top so that the steam cannot escape. After 10-15 mins, you'll have super soft and spongy paneer cubes.
5.Add Paneer In The End
If you want to ensure that your paneer remains soft while cooking, never add it to your dish in the beginning. Even if you've softened it by following the above steps, adding it in the beginning itself will overcook the paneer and make it rubbery.
Try these tips and let us know how they worked for you in the comments section below.