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How to make Indian Paneer at Home


Image Courtesy of Sonja Pauen, Stanhopea

For those who don’t know, Paneer is some kind of an uncured, fresh common cheese which is very popular in North Indian cuisine for savoury dishes and in East Indian cuisine for sweet meats. It is unlike any other cheese that I have tasted anywhere in the world.
Many of my non-Indian friends, when asked what they like best about Indian cuisine, have quoted Paneer recipes like Mattar Paneer, Palak Paneer or the Bengali sweet Sandesh.
However, if you don’t live in India, you may have some difficulty finding ready-made Paneer in your local supermarket.
If that be so, you don’t need to feel disheartened. I have a solution right here.
Here is how you can make Paneer easily at home and then go on to prepare your favourite sweet or savoury Paneer dish:
Whole Milk-1 litre (4 cups)
(If you wish to use toned or double-toned milk, you can but you will get less paneer in quantity.)
Fresh squeezed lemon juice-1 tablespoon
Bring the milk to a full boil.
Add the lemon juice to the boiling milk. Stir well.
The milk will curdle. Let it curdle fully.
Switch off the heat source.
Put a muslin cloth over a big colander, place this over a vessel and pour in it the curdled milk. The solids which remain on the muslin cloth is called paneer.
Let all the water drip from the paneer, in about an hour.
Cut the paneer into bite size pieces and use as you wish.

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2 Responses so far.

  1. Di says:

    Hi, you can also curdle the milk with about 2 tablespoons of yogurt, this results in a much creamier version of paneer

    • Prasenjeet says:

      Yes Diana. You are absolutely right, except that in my experience factory made yoghurt doesn’t do too well. Home made somewhat sour curd, however, is much better for curdling milk.

      When paneer is made commercially, I have known them using chemicals like Alum, Tartaric/Citric Acid or even vinegar to curdle milk.
      Thanks for your comment nonetheless.

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