We made paneer at home a while back and it's actually very similar. Basically, all you do is take some whole milk and buttermilk, warm it up until the milk solids separate, and then strain. It turns out more dry than the ricotta you can buy in the store (though apparently you can control the consistency of the cheese by the length of time you drain it - for a drier ricotta drain for 15 minutes or more, for a ricotta that is a bit creamier, drain for less). It's also somewhat bland so you need to season it with salt for savoury applications, but I think it's really fun to make, and tasty too.
I used the cheese in a spinach and ricotta cannelloni, but I wasn't very happy with how it turned out, so I'll perfect the cannelloni recipe before I post it.
2L whole milk
2 cups buttermilk
- Place milk and buttermilk in a large heavy-bottomed pan.
- Turn the heat to medium. After 10 to 15 minutes, the solids will start to separate from the liquid.
- Once the mixture reaches 175F, turn off the heat.
- Line a fine-mesh sieve with triple-layered cheesecloth and place it in the sink.
- Strain the milk mixture through the cheesecloth, leaving the ricotta in the sieve for about 15 to 20 minutes to drain completely.
- Season to taste. Can be used right away or can be kept, in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 4 days.