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
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!
- 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.
- Bring 1 Litre full fat cow’s milk to the boil in a saucepan.
- Once the milk starts to boil and rise up, turn the heat down and add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Keep the milk on the heat for a minute or two, stirring gently with a metal spoon or whisk to help the milk curdle.
- Remove from the heat.
- 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.
- Pour the lumpy mixture through the cloth and run cold water through it.
- Tie up the cheese tightly in the material and hang it from the tap for 10 mins to remove more of the whey.
- Loosen the tie, place on a plate and weigh it down with a heavy chopping board or something similar to press the cheese.
- After 20 mins it will be flattened into a firm disc ready to eat!
- 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!