How to Make Paneer at Home

5 Aug

There was a time when I lived next to a dairy that sold really fresh, soft paneer (cottage cheese). Now the only paneer I can lay hands on is the store-bought variety. Fridge life of three weeks says the wrapper, but within three days it starts to feel rubbery and sour.

Homemade paneer has acquired irresistible charm. Pre-packaged paneer will do no more – the taste buds crave the real deal.

Fortunately, this is an easily satiated craving. It is surprisingly easy to make paneer at home.

This recipe uses half a litre of milk for about a dozen 2-cm cubes of paneer. Increase the quantities proportionally for more.

You Need:

  • Milk – 1/2 litre (Full cream milk gives thicker paneer but I prefer using toned milk)
  • Lemon – 1

How To:

Bring the milk to a rolling boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Extract the juice of the lemon, strain out the seeds and pips.

Mix the lemon juice into the milk. Keep the milk boiling on medium heat till it curdles and the whey separates completely.

milk-curdling

Strain the paneer out of the whey using a fine strainer or cloth. If using a strainer, press with the back of a spoon to squeeze out the last few drops of whey. If using a cloth, weigh it down with something heavy (my choice of weight: a fat book balanced over a plate) to harden it into a solid block.

make-paneer-at-home

Let it stand for an hour to let any remaining whey drip away. Refrigerate for at least an hour before use.

homemade-paneer

Cut paneer into cubes and add it in your favorite paneer gravy.

paneer

What to do with the whey?

1. Use it to knead chapatis - makes them softer and more nutritious.

2. Bottle and refrigerate it. The next time you want to make paneer at home, use the whey instead of lemon to curdle it. The whey stays fresh for up to a week in the fridge.

8 Responses to “How to Make Paneer at Home”

  1. Tadka Pasta August 5, 2011 at 9:57 AM #

    Nice! So much one can do with a gallon of milk turned into paneer. What are you cooking up with it?

    • S August 5, 2011 at 10:02 AM #

      Paneer butter masala and chapatis on my menu :)

  2. srinivas mng December 19, 2011 at 11:21 AM #

    thanQ, I like it, try to do it.

    • S March 10, 2012 at 9:41 PM #

      I hope it worked well for you srinivas.

  3. amogh April 15, 2012 at 1:02 AM #

    i am 16 year year old . i like making dishes at home . when i was alone in house i used ur method of paneer making n it worked

    • S April 15, 2012 at 7:10 AM #

      Great to hear that feedback from a young reader. Thanks amogh.

  4. momof3andromeo June 5, 2012 at 7:33 PM #

    Hi – What does toned milk means , we always use 2% at home, should I get full / regular milk.

    Thanks

    • S June 5, 2012 at 11:26 PM #

      Toned milk has about 3% milk fat. More on the Heritage foods site, I use their milk usually.

      I think you’d get tastier paneer with full / regular milk than with 2%.

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