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Learn how to make paneer (Indian cheese)

Make paneer cheese -squares of paneer in a bowl

What’s the idea?

Make paneer at home with this quick and easy recipe.

What’s the story

Paneer is a soft, unflavoured, un-aged cheese

It’s used widely in Indian cooking and is usually made fresh 

Paneer does not melt but retains a wonderful creamy texture

So it takes up the flavours of herbs, spices and oils it is served or cooked with

Making it an ideal substitute for chicken or other meats

When I was a child my Mum made this cheese in a pair of her nylon tights!

But you can use muslin cloth if you prefer

To make Paneer you need to curdle milk with a fruit or vegetable acid

Paneer is similar to cottage cheese but it is pressed to remove more liquid

So that it is firm enough to cut with a knife.

Afghan and Persian rulers introduced paneer to Northern India in the 16th century

Back then it was made from goat’s and sheep’s milk

Now it is more commonly made from cow’s milk

But you may use these other dairy milks. 

If they are available to you.

People should do this because…?

To make Paneer you only need 2 ingredients

For this recipe you need full fat cow’s milk and lemon juice.

It is quick and easy to make with no special equipment

And is a rich source of unprocessed protein for vegetarians.

So you will end up with a fresh, soft crumbly cheese to munch

As a snack or to include in a main dish.

But it’s also a fun way to show your kids how cheese is made

By curdling milk and separating the curds whey (supervised of course)

Paneer is a versatile cheese

Because it can be stuffed into a sandwich or wrap with salad

It can be skewered on to a kebab

Crumbled over a salad

Seasoned and drizzled with olive oil to accompany drinks

And or cooked as the star of classic North Indian dishes

Such as Palak Paneer (with spinach) and Mutter Paneer (with peas).

You can buy it ready made in the shops

But it is so much nicer home made!

How do you do it?

To make Paneer, it’s so easy you won’t believe it!

Ingredients

  • 1 Litre full fat cow’s milk (makes 175g paneer)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

This makes enough Paneer for one Indian dish to share

Or sandwiches for the whole family.

Method

  1. Bring 1 Litre full fat cow’s milk to the boil in a saucepan.
  2. Once the milk starts to boil and rise up, turn the heat down and add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  3. Keep the milk on the heat for a minute or two, stirring gently with a metal spoon or whisk to help the milk curdle.
  4. Remove from the heat.
  5. Place a colander or sieve in a large bowl and line with material to strain the curds from the whey. This could be muslin, cheese cloth or an old, clean pair of nylon tights.
  6. Pour the lumpy mixture through the cloth and run cold water through it.
  7. Tie up the cheese tightly in the material and hang it from the tap for 10 mins to remove more of the whey.
  8. Loosen the tie, place on a plate and weigh it down with a heavy chopping board or something similar to press the cheese.
  9. After 20 mins it will be flattened into a firm disc ready to eat!
  10. Crumble or cut into cubes for cooking or refrigerate in water (keep in a sealed container to be used for up to 3 days later.

Paneer may be frozen in an airtight container for a couple of months.

Stuff you may need

  • Large Saucepan
  • Metal tablespoon
  • Measuring jug
  • Muslin cloth or old pair of nylon tights – clean of course!
  • Colander or sieve
  • Something heavy to weigh down the cheese – a heavy chopping board or a plate with a book on top!

Links to other stuffer pages

Make yoghurt at home – explained in 10 easy steps

Learn how to make soy milk using just 2 ingredients

Links to other articles on the web

https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-goat-cheese-is-made-591574

Links to other videos on the web

Links to books

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