How to make paneer at home – with easy step by step instructions.
Paneer, the most famous Indian vegetable which actually is not a vegetable yet 5 out of the 10 options on the vegetarian menu in an Indian restaurant will have paneer in it. I am sure I have talked enough about paneer before because I have a lot of paneer recipes on the blog and of course lot more to come in the future! For those who still don’t know what paneer is, it is Indian cottage cheese made by curdling the milk. It’s super simple to make and very delicious. It’s used in a number of curries in India, the popular one being paneer tikka masala and palak paneer. I have done this post before, but I thought those pictures were too old and paneer is too important so it deserved a new post 😉
In India, we go get good paneer from outside. It’s fresh and tasty however it’s totally a different story in US. We get paneer here at Indian grocery stores but somehow me and hubby have never really liked the taste of it. We have tried different brands but nothing really clicked, we always found it too rubbery. And that’s when we decided to make our own paneer at home. And if you think about it, making paneer at home is awesome because
✓ it’s more hygienic
✓ it’s fresh
✓ you can make it organic using organic milk (that’s what we do)
✓ homemade paneer is super delicious
Now tell me, is there a reason why you should be buying paneer from the store? Now we always make it at home, always!
A couple of point to get this right, first use whole milk. Yes you can very well make paneer using 2% milk also but if you want nice paneer cubes, I recommend using whole milk. Also this particular recipe doesn’t use it but if you want creamier paneer, consider adding some cream to the milk when you are boiling it. I have tried it and it does make a difference.
Making paneer is so simple, you only need 2 ingredients – milk and lemon juice or vinegar to curdle it. You boil the milk and then add the curdling agent till milk begin to separates. Then use a muslin cloth to drain the water and collect the paneer. And that’s about it, your homemade paneer is ready to be used in any recipe you want.
So let’s see how to make paneer at home. And once you have made it, you might want to give these paneer recipes a try!
Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan.
Bring it to a boil, stirring every now and then.
Once the milk rises up, add lemon juice or vinegar. Add 1 teaspoon at a time and add more only if it doesn’t curdle by the amount you added before.
Keep stirring till the whole milk curdles.
Remove from heat and drain the curdled milk in a muslin cloth.
Bring the ends of the muslin cloth together and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Keep the muslin cloth with the curdled milk on a plate and then plate something heavy on top of it. I used my mortar and pestle.
Let it set undisturbed for 1 hour. After 1 hour the paneer will set, take out the block of paneer out of the muslin cloth and cut into cubes.
* I prefer using vinegar to curdle the milk as I feel it results in a more solid block of paneer.
* Start by adding only 1 teaspoon of the curdling agent. Add 1 more teaspoon only if the milk doesn’t curdle and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon only if it still doesn’t curdle.
* The prep time of 60 minutes is the time which paneer takes to set after the milk is curdled.
How To Make Paneer
- 1 liter whole milk
- 2-2.5 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice
- Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan.
- Bring it to a boil, stirring every now and then.
- Once the milk rises up, add lemon juice or vinegar. Add 1 teaspoon at a time and add more only if it doesn't curdle by the amount you added before.
- Keep stirring till the whole milk curdles.
- Remove from heat and drain the curdled milk in a muslin cloth.
- Bring the ends of the muslin cloth together and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
- Keep the muslin cloth with the curdled milk on a plate and then plate something heavy on top of it. I used my mortar and pestle.
- Let it set undisturbed for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour the paneer will set, take out the block of paneer out of the muslin cloth and cut into cubes.
How to make Paneer