Learn how to make paneer at home with this easy to follow instructions and pictures.
Who can resist the soft, chewy texture of paneer? I can’t. I love paneer as much as chicken and meat dishes. In fact, whenever I visit an Indian restaurant, I always order a paneer dish. So much love for this Indian cheese.
I used to buy frozen paneer for years. I never thought making paneer at home is so easy. But one day, I made this beautifully luscious cottage cheese from scratch successfully at my very first attempt. Since then, I make paneer regularly. No more frozen stuff.
Making paneer at home is not a big deal. Even a beginner in the kitchen can do this successfully. And I’m going to show you how to do it with my no-fail recipe.
Let’s start with the basics. First, use full fat cow milk. Low fat and skim milk just won’t work. Second, the curdling ingredient. This can be lemon juice, vinegar or yogurt. Third, you must squeeze out as much water as possible from the curdled milk. Otherwise, paneer will not hold its shape, and you won’t be able to cut it into desired shapes. In short, you’ll end up with crumbled paneer.
As we head to the recipe, keep these three important things in mind, and you will get perfect paneer each and every time.
- Boil milk in a large saucepan over high heat. Stir continuously.
- Add the curdling agent – lemon juice, white vinegar or yogurt. I used 1/4 cup lemon juice.
- Milk should curdle immediately. If not, add more of the curdling ingredient. Stir continuously until all the milk has curdled.
- Place a muslin or cotton cloth over a sieve. Place this sieve over a large bowl. Pour curdled milk into the cloth.
- The liquid you collect in the bowl is called whey. Hold the cloth as you see in the picture and squeeze out as much whey as possible.
- Then place the cloth with the curdled milk on a plate. Cover with the cloth. Place a heavy object on top. I used my mortar and pestle to do the job.
- Now remove the heavy object and the cloth.
- You will get a block of paneer. Transfer this to a plate.
- Cut into desired shapes.
- Use this homemade paneer in your favorite recipes.
- 2 L whole (full cream) milk
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- Pour milk into a large pot. Place it over high heat. Bring to a boil. Stir continuously to avoid skin forming on the milk.
- When milk has boiled, add the curdling ingredient lemon juice, vinegar or yogurt (I used ¼ cup lemon juice) into the milk. Milk will curdle immediately. Continue to stir. If the milk hasn’t curdled, add more curdling ingredient.
- When milk has curdled completely, pour it into a muslin or cotton cloth placed in a sieve set over a large bowl. Gather the sides of the cloth, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. This liquid is called whey. You can use whey in curries, soups, or in roti dough instead of water.
- Transfer the curdled milk to a plate, and cover with the cloth. Place a heavy object over the cheese. Leave it for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove cheese from the cloth. You will get a block of curdled milk. This is called paneer. Cut paneer into desired shapes.
- You can refrigerate paneer for up to 2-3 days.