how to make paneer | method to make soft paneer at home

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how to make paneer at home

method to make soft homemade paneer from milk with some tips. 

4.34 from 3 votes
total time:
35minutes

how to make paneer at home – i have been making paneer since ages now. i hardly buy paneer from outside. at home everybody likes homemade paneer and so i prefer to make paneer at home.

how to make paneer, homemade paneer, how to make homemade paneer

this post is on making paneer on the stove top. i already have posted the method for making paneer in the microwave. this one can be helpful if you use microwave oven for your cooking and you want paneer to be made quickly. this is the quickest method to make it. it won’t take more than 15-20 minutes. personally i avoid use of microwave for making paneer or any other dish. i use the method shared in this post to make paneer at home.

you can easily get soft and porous paneer from mithai shops. some of them even sell some types of special paneer like masala paneer, herbed paneer. however its best to make paneer at home. as homemade paneer is more hygienic, fresh and suit the pocket as well !!!

only on very rare occasion i buy paneer from outside. otherwise i make it a point to make paneer or cottage cheese at home. its not at all difficult and anybody can learn the method to make paneer at home.

homemade paneer recipe

what is paneer

for all those who do not know…. paneer is called as cottage cheese. it is an indian cheese where the milk is coagulated by adding a food acid. it is not a fermented or cured product like other cheeses. the coagulated milk shreds are collected in a muslin and allowed to be hung or pressed with a heavy weight. after cooling you get a block of cottage cheese which can be used for making a variety of paneer recipes like:

  1. shahi paneer
  2. paneer tikka masala
  3. kadai paneer
  4. paneer bhurji
  5. paneer pasanda

according to wikipedia:

paneer is a fresh cheese common in south asian cuisine. it is of Indian origin often referred in the vedas dating back to 6000 BCE. in eastern parts of india, it is generally called chhena. It is an unaged, acid-set, non-melting farmer cheese or curd cheese made by curdling heated milk with lemon juice, vinegar, or any other food acids.

unlike many cheeses in the world, the making of paneer does not involve rennet as the coagulation agent thus making it completely lacto vegetarian and providing one of the sources of proteins for vegetarians in india. it is generally unsalted.

this method of making paneer that i am going to write about is how i learnt it in my home science cooking classes. this one is quick and within 30 minutes you have a good block of paneer ready. i have been making paneer ever since like this.

i don’t hang the paneer at all. after draining the whey just keep a weight on the paneer and it all sets after some 30-40 minutes. there you go, your homemade paneer is ready.

how to make paneer at home
4.34 from 3 votes
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how to make paneer

method to make soft homemade paneer from milk with some tips. 
course main course
cuisine north indian
prep time 30 minutes
cook time 5 minutes
total time 35 minutes
servings 1 small block of paneer - approx 200 to 250 gms
rough calories per serving 612 kcal
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

ingredients

  • 1 litre full fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar or 3 to 4 tablespoons curd or yogurt

materials required

  • cheese cloth or muslin or a thin cotton napkin
  • some bowls and a heavy weight

how to make how to make paneer

  1. boil milk. when the milk starts boiling, add the lemon juice or vinegar.

  2. as soon the milk completely curdles, remove from fire.
  3. strain the milk in the cheesecloth.
  4. drain the whey.
  5. collect the cheesecloth together with the coagulated milk shreds tightly.
  6. place it on a plate and keep a heavy weight on top of the cheesecloth.
  7. check after 30-40 minutes.
  8. the paneer would be set.
  9. once warm or cooled cut paneer into cubes or any shape.
  10. you can also refrigerate the paneer. keep it in an air tight container or immerse the paneer block in a bowl of water and keep in the fridge.
  11. paneer stays fresh for 3-4 days.

recipe notes

tips on making soft paneer at home

  1. first and foremost use good quality milk. again full cream milk yields excellent results just like it does for making homemade curd.
  2. three ingredients that coagulate the milk. you can use any one of them: lemon juice, curd or vinegar
  3. each of these will contribute their taste a little to the paneer you make. remember this. if you don't like lemony or vinegar taste than add curd instead.
  4. if there is lots of cream floating over the milk, then there is no need to remove it. the natural cream present in the milk, makes the paneer soft.
  5. once you add the lemon juice or vinegar than the milk will start to curdle. the milk has to completely curdle. you should be able to see the whitish or greenish whey.
  6. once the milk coagulates/curdles completely than don't boil it more. remove immediately and strain the milk.
  7. the overcooking  will yield a hard paneer once set.
  8. a way to keep the paneer soft in the fridge is to soak the paneer block  in water in a bowl and keep in the fridge. this way the paneer does not become hard.
  9. alternately you can also soak the paneer in warm water after you have removed it from the fridge.

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how to make paneer at home

1: heat the milk and bring to a boil. stir occasionally so that the skin does not form on the surface. i tried hard to get the steam in the pics but just could not manage it. guess it poor lighting in my kitchen….

making homemade paneer recipe

2: when the milk becomes to rise…  see the above pic. the milk was rising when i took the pic… once the milk rises, add the lemon juice or vinegar or curd.

lemon for making paneer at home

3: the milk should begin to curdle. if the milk has not yet begun to curdle than add one more teaspoon. the milk should completely curdle. stir the milk when its curdling so that the curdled milk does not stick to the base of the pan.

milk for homemade paneer recipe

4: immediately in a muslin, cheesecloth or cotton kitchen napkin drain the curdled milk. keep a bowl or pan beneath the cheese cloth. the collected whey can be added to chapatis or rice or veggies. you can also cool it and water your home or garden plants.

curdled milk for homemade paneer recipe

5: bring the muslin or napkin together. whilst doing so you will also squeeze the curdled milk. take a plate and keep the muslin with the curdled milk on it. place a heavy weight on top of it. i have used my stone mortar.

homemade paneer recipe

6: after 30-40 minutes the paneer will be ready. open the cheesecloth or muslin. you will see a beautiful block of cottage cheese all set. i used 1 litre of milk and hence i don’t have a huge big block of paneer.

homemade paneer recipe, cottage cheese recipe

7: chop paneer into any shapes or sizes you want.

chop homemade paneer - making paneer at home

8: you have gorgeous homemade paneer ready cubes in different shapes and sizes to go with any of the indian curries or dishes like:

homemade paneer recipe, how to make paneer

dassana amit
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer ||

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


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243 comments/reviews

  1. Hi Dassana,

    Thanks for this and your entire archive of wonderful recipes. I love how you curate recipes from all over India! One question: how does this paneer stay firm when it’s fried in a recipe like kadhai paneer? Mine tend to disintegrate. Thanks!

    • gitanjali for making paneer, use full fat or full cream or whole milk. do not use toned milk or low fat milk as the paneer breaks while cooking and also does not set well. the paneer cubes in the post were made from full fat milk and even after frying they stay firm.

  2. Hi Dassana,
    Your website is wonderful and so inspirational!!. I spend a lot of leisure time browsing through.

    Thanks
    Anu

    • Welcome Anu. Glad to know this.

  3. Hi Dassana,
    How long does paneer stay good frozen?
    Thank you.
    Anu

    • Welcome Anu. Frozen paneer can stay well for a month.

  4. Can I use diz fr making paneer gulab jamun

    • Revathy, yes you can use.

  5. Hi Dasana
    Thank you for your super easy recipes. I have tried many and they have turned out really well.
    But I could never see whey forming when I make paneer. I made it more than once. It came fine. But once I add lemon juice. I keep stirring it till the milk reduces in volume afraid it might stick at the bottom.
    When I add lemon juice the milk curdles but I can only see small parts separating. I cannot see whey separating as you show in the picture.
    For 30 mini just keep stirring the milk. But you mentioned only 5 min to completely curdle.. what is the mistake?

    • welcome bhargavi. this is happening due to less fat content in the milk. use full fat milk. do not use skimmed or toned milk. in fact it takes just 1/2 to 1 minute for the milk to curdle. in case the milk does not curdle, then add some more lemon juice.

  6. Have you tried freezing this?
    Does it work well after defrosting? Thank you!

    • you can freeze paneer. you can keep the paneer in warm water for defrosting or let it defrost at room temperature. yes paneer can be used well after defrosting

  7. Dear Dassana!!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! 🙂 Your recipes are easy to follow and the food becomes yum and makes me feel im back in India!
    I found your website 3months back when i was searching for an aloo baingan recipe. I had enjoyed what I had eaten at a restaurant here in Auckland and kept asking who ever was serving if they knew what was in it 🙂 I love food and I love experimenting. And I found your easy peasy recipe and it was a hit! I have used your website to make different dishes.. And i just made paneer using your recipe! 🙂 🙂 🙂
    Keep up your awesome work and thank you for sharing your awesome recipes and tricks and tips of making yummy food! God bless!

    • Welcome Christina. Thanks for your kind words and best wishes. Glad to know that you liked the website.

  8. This site is very useful and easy to follow steps

    • Thanks Gomathi

  9. Hello..
    I tried to make paneer many times but it was never upto my expectations. I used this method and i got a very good block of soft paneer. Thanks a lot for solving our kitchen problems. I want to know the shelf life of this paneer block and please do mention the method too. Thanks once again.

    • Welcome Bhavna. Glad to know this. In the refrigerator, Paneer will stay good for 3 to 4 days. Just keep it cover in the container while keeping in fridge.

  10. Is this muslin cloth or something specific? ? I have muslin cloth but paneer doesn’t come out clean when I drain the water. Thanks for your help!

    • i use muslin for straining paneer and even for preparing hung curd. use a finely woven muslin. in these pics its a cotton kitchen towel. so you can use either a cotton kitchen towel or a finely woven muslin.

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