how to make paneer

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How to make paneer at home. Making paneer is very easy and anyone can make it at home.

I have been making paneer since ages now. I do not buy paneer from outside. At home, all of us prefer homemade paneer as it is fresh and no preservatives or additives are added.

how to make paneer

You can easily get soft and porous paneer from mithai shops. Some of them even sell some types of special paneer like Masala paneer, malai paneer. however, it is best to make paneer at home. As Homemade paneer is more hygienic, fresh and suits the pocket as well !!!

Below I have mentioned the description of paneer, the food acids required to make paneer and the tips to get the best paneer.

paneer Indian cottage cheese

What is paneer

Paneer is fresh Indian cheese where milk is curdled by adding a food acid. Paneer is also called as cottage cheese or chenna.

Paneer is not a fermented or cured product like other cheese varieties. Paneer is a firm non-melting cheese. after curdling the milk, the coagulated milk shreds are collected in a muslin or cheesecloth and allowed to be hung or pressed with a heavyweight object.

After cooling you get a block of cottage cheese which can be used for making a variety of paneer recipes.

Unlike many other kinds of cheese in the world, the making of paneer does not involve Rennet as the curdling agent thus making it completely lacto-vegetarian and providing one of the sources of proteins for vegetarians in India. Paneer is also generally unsalted.

How to make paneer

This method of making paneer that I am going to write about is how I learnt it in my home science cooking classes. Milk is boiled and then curdled by using an acidic ingredient like lemon juice, vinegar etc.

Once the milk is curded, the whey is strained and the coagulated milk solids are gathered in a muslin or cheesecloth. A heavyweight is kept on the curdled milk solids in the cheesecloth for 30 minutes.

Later after 30 minutes, you have a nice 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 sets well after 30 minutes – there you go, your homemade paneer is ready.

5 food acids that are used to curdle milk

  1. Lemon juice or lime juice
  2. Vinegar
  3. Curd or yoghurt
  4. Buttermilk
  5. Citric acid

In the table below I have mentioned the name of 4 food acids that I use and also the kind of texture they produce. The amount that needs to be added in 1 litre of milk is also mentioned. Please do note that the nature of the acid used and the quality of milk will curdle the milk faster or slower. i do not use citric acid when making paneer, but do use lemon juice, vinegar, buttermilk and curd.

Food acidPaneer textureAmount to be added in 1 litre milk (approx)Culinary uses
Lemon juiceSoft & firm3 to 4 teaspoonsIn any paneer recipe
Vinegar (apple cider vinegar or white vinegar)Soft & firm2 to 3 teaspoonsIn any paneer recipe
Curd or yoghurtVery soft &
Slightly firm
3 to 4 tablespoonsIn paneer bhurji or paneer sweets like gulab jamun, kalakand, paneer barfi, sandesh etc
ButtermilkSoft & firm4 to 5 tablespoonsIn any paneer recipe

Tips to make best paneer at home

1. Use full cream milk or whole milk. The milk can be raw or pasteurized. Full cream milk yields excellent results just like it does for making homemade curd.

2. Do not use toned milk for making paneer. The paneer won’t set when toned milk is used. Do not use skimmed also for making paneer as it will give less quantity of paneer and make it hard.

3. Always use good quality milk within its shelf period.

4. You can use any one of the four ingredients that coagulate the milk as mentioned in the above table : lemon juice, curd, buttermilk, vinegar. Each of these will contribute their taste a little to the paneer you make. So do remember this. If you don’t like lemon or vinegar’s taste than add curd or buttermilk instead.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Once the milk coagulates or curdles completely than don’t boil it more. Remove immediately and strain the milk as overcooking will yield hard and crumbly 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. Alternately you can also soak the paneer in warm water after you have removed it from the fridge.

homemade paneer recipe

Whey from paneer

After making paneer, a greenish colored whey is left which is very rich in nutrients. Instead of discarding the whey, you can use it in various recipes. Do note that the taste of the acid agent used will be felt in the whey. Example if lemon juice has been used to curdle milk, some sourness will be felt in the whey and will also be felt in the recipe dish that you will be adding it to. You can easily refrigerate the whey for some days and use it later too.

How to make paneer

Boiling milk

1. Take a heavy saucepan or a pan. Rinse it with water first. Then add 1 litre milk in it.

how to make paneer

2. Switch on the burner and begin to heat milk on a medium-low flame.

how to make paneer

3. stir occasionally so that the skin does not form on the surface and also so that the milk does not get burnt from the bottom.

how to make paneer

4. Meanwhile assemble the following. Take a pan or a bowl. Place a strainer on the pan. Line the strainer with clean muslin or cheesecloth or cotton napkin. You can even line the pan directly with the muslin.

how to make paneer

5. Let the milk come to a boil and it should start foaming and rising.

how to make paneer

Adding food acid for making paneer

6. At this point, add the food acid – lemon juice, vinegar, buttermilk or curd. If using lemon juice, you can add 3 to 4 teaspoons. For vinegar, add 2 to 3 teaspoons. For curd, add 3 to 4 tablespoons or more. For buttermilk add 4 to 5 tablespoons. The amount of food acid to be added will depend on the quality of milk and the strength of the acid in the food acid ingredient.

how to make paneer

7. After adding the lemon juice, stir and the milk will begin to curdle.

how to make paneer

8. The milk has to curdle completely. Stir the milk when it is curdling so that the curdled milk does not stick to the base of the pan.

how to make paneer

9. If the milk has not yet begun to curdle then add one more teaspoon. The milk should completely curdle. Sometimes you will see the milk has curdled partly but no watery whey can be seen. In this scenario also add 1 to 2 teaspoons more of the food acid and stir again. You should see the greenish colored whey in the milk.

how to make paneer

Making paneer

10. After the milk has curdled completely and you see the greenish whey, switch off the flame and then immediately pour the entire mixture in the strainer lined with the muslin, cheesecloth or cotton napkin.

how to make paneer

11. Carefully gather the edges of the muslin as the coagulated milk mixture will be very hot. whilst doing more of the whey will be strained.

how to make paneer

12. Run some clean fresh water on the gathered muslin all over.

how to make paneer

13. Secure the edges of the muslin tightly and place it back on the strainer keeping it in on a plate or a tray.

how to make paneer

14. place a heavy weight on top of it for 30 to 40 minutes. I have used my stone mortar. Use a heavy object having 500 to 600 grams weight. You can even hang the muslin for an hour if not using a heavyweight object. Some more whey will be strained when you place the heavyweight object. So remove the whey from the plate.

how to make paneer

15. after 30 to 40 minutes the paneer will be ready. open the cheesecloth or muslin. The paneer will be set. I used 1 litre of milk and got 200 grams of paneer. If you keep the weight for a longer time, you will get a firmer block of paneer. For a soft texture in the paneer, just keep the weight for 30 to 40 minutes only. You can use a rolling board or a heavy wooden board also.

how to make paneer

16. You will see a beautiful block of cottage cheese all set which can be used in any paneer recipe.

how to make paneer

17. Now you can use the paneer in the dish you want or you can refrigerate it. If planning to refrigerate, then remove the paneer block and keep it in an airtight steel box. Paneer stays good in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. You can slice the paneer later and use it any recipe.

how to make paneer

18. The collected whey can be added to chapatis or rice or veggies. You can also cool it and mix it with some water and add to your home or garden plants.

how to make paneer

19. Later chop paneer into any shapes or sizes you want. You have fresh homemade paneer ready cubes in different shapes and sizes to go with any of the Indian curries or dishes like Kadai paneer, Palak paneer, Paneer butter masala, Paneer tikka etc.

how to make paneer

Culinary uses of whey left after making paneer

1. Add this nutrient-rich whey for kneading dough of breads like chapati, paratha or even a baked whole wheat loaf or any baked bread.

2. You can even add the whey while making cake batters or cookie doughs.

3. You can even add the whey in dals like dal fry or dal tadka

4. Even pulao and biryani taste good with the whey added. For making veg biryani, add whey in the vegetable gravy instead of water.

5. Add the whey in fruit smoothies, juices and even soups.

6. Whey can also be added in any gravy or curry.

7. You can even make pasta based dishes with the whey.

8. A non-culinary usage of whey is adding it to your plants. But just mix the whey with some water and then add to the plants. On occasions, I add the whey mixed with water to the plants.

This is one of my early posts which I had shared in the year 2012. i have now updated it with better pictures.

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how to make paneer recipe
How to make Paneer
4.92 from 62 votes
Homemade paneer is very easy to make and you get soft paneer cubes which can be added in any Indian curry or gravy or rice or a sweet based dish. This post details the method of making paneer quickly with plenty of tips to get soft paneer. 
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 13 mins
resting time 30 mins
Total Time 15 mins

Cuisine North Indian

Servings 200 grams paneer

Ingredients

ingredients

  • 1 litre full fat milk or full cream milk
  • 3 to 4 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

Instructions

boiling milk

  • Boil milk in a heavy saucepan or pan on a medium-low flame. 
  • Stir occasionally so that the skin does not form on the surface and also so that the milk does not get burnt from the bottom.
  • Meanwhile, take a pan or a bowl. Place a strainer on the pan. Line the strainer with clean muslin or cheesecloth or cotton napkin. You can even line the pan directly with the muslin.

adding food acid

  • When the milk starts boiling, add the lemon juice or vinegar. Begin to stir. 
  • The milk has to curdle completely. Stir the milk when it is curdling so that the curdled milk does not stick to the base of the pan.
  • Sometimes you will see the milk has curdled partly but no watery whey can be seen. In this scenario also add 1 to 2 teaspoons more of the food acid and stir again. You should see the greenish colored whey in the milk.
  • After the milk has curdled completely and you see the greenish whey, switch off the flame and then immediately pour the entire mixture in the strainer lined with the muslin, cheesecloth or cotton napkin.
  • carefully gather the edges of the muslin as the coagulated milk mixture will be very hot. Whilst doing more of the whey will be strained.
  • Run some clean fresh water on the gathered muslin all over.

making paneer

  • Gather the muslin edges tightly and place it back on the strainer keeping it in on a plate or a tray.
  • Keep a heavy weight on top of the muslin or cheesecloth for 30 to 40 minutes. use a heavy object having 500 to 600 grams weight. You can even hang the muslin for an hour if not using a heavyweight object.
  • Some more whey will be strained when you place the heavyweight object. So remove the whey from the plate. 
  • After 30 to 40 minutes the paneer will set. 
  • Once warm or cooled cut paneer into cubes or any shape.
  • 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.
  • Homemade paneer stays fresh for 2 to 3 days in the fridge. you can slice the paneer later and use it any recipe.

Video

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.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Serving: 200gCalories: 530kcal

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Dassana Amit

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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250 Comments

  1. Thank you for this and all other recipes. I am a regular reader of your recipes and the effort you put into description is laudable. I always search on this site for the recipe I want and follow your instructions. The alternative options you give are also very useful and practical. ????????????????

  2. I tried making paneer for years. But I never succeded in making it with lemon.
    I used a chemical acid (allumen) before but I had the impression it was not totally good for health.

    Your recipe is fantastic. I never had better paneer than this one. The description is perfect. I am so happy to have paneer again… now I can try all your wonderful recipes with it. Thank you!5 stars

  3. 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!5 stars

    1. 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.

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

    Thanks
    Anu5 stars

  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?5 stars

    1. 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.

    1. 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

  6. 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!5 stars

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

  7. 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.4 stars

    1. 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.

  8. 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!

    1. 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.

  9. First, I’m loving this website. I’ve made several recipes and have loved EVERYTHING! Regarding paneer, in the U.S. we use ounces, quarts, and gallons. Would a liter be about the same as a quart?

    1. thanks a lot michele. 1 litre is approx 1 quart (1 litre = 1.05 quart). so you can easily use 1 quart of milk.

  10. I did it and it’s perfect! I’m so happy because I will be able to cook many more recipes from your blog! I’ve tried a lot already and they were all successful and I’m proud of myself because I hate cooking except Indian recipes(I’m french) because it’s so easy and colorful and tasty! And I’m a vegetarian too. Next step, I want to try naan bread!
    Thank you so much for your blog and your hard work!5 stars

    1. thats nice stephanie. thanks for such a lovely comment. indian cooking is colourful and tasty too as you mention. i am a fan of french cooking. though just tried a couple of recipes. do try naan and i hope you will like it.

  11. hello dassana
    i tried making paneer using ur recipe several times…first few times it came out well but now the milk does not curdle even after adding a bowl full of curd….i end up adding all curd , lemon and vinegar…then only the whey separates but the result is a crumbly paneer….not with a gud taste….i have tried all combinations and separately as well…but same result everytime….where am i going wrong5 stars

    1. deepti, either use only lemon or curd. avoid mixing curd and lemon or vinegar. firstly the milk has to be boiling hot, when curd or lemon juice is added. secondly keep extra curd or lemon juice or vinegar on the kitchen top, in case the milk does not curdle. when i prepare paneer from 1 litre of milk, i use about 1/4 cup curd. if using lemon juice, then 2 to 3 teaspoons works for me. same is with vinegar. also once you add the vinegar or lemon juice, then stir very well. if the milk does not curdle, then add 1 teaspoon more of the vinegar or lemon juice. hope these tips help.

      1. Thanks for the prompt reply… I always boil the milk…. And add much more than the required amount of curd or lemon juice but milk does not curdle…. Only then I try combinations…. But then it becomes crumbly… Don’t know wat the problem is?

        1. welcome deepti. its due to the quality of milk. so what i suggest is keep some lemon juice or vinegar handy. stir very well once you add the lemon juice or vinegar or curd.

    1. if the milk does not have the burnt smell, then you can make paneer. if the burnt smell is there in the milk, then the paneer will also get the burnt aroma.

  12. Thank you for such an easy paneer recipe! There is no point to buying paneer, I agree. I made this twice, once with nonfat/skim milk, the second time with whole milk. Skim milk yielded much less paneer, and it was harder. I had to grate it with a microplane (to use in another recipe) and it took a long time. Whole milk gave much more paneer, and it was so much softer!

    I also used a regular thin dish cloth, not a special muslin or cheesecloth, and it turned out fine. Squeezing it tight yielded a firmer paneer. Less pressure created a softer paneer. Thank you for your spot-on recipes as always! 🙂5 stars

    1. thanks anjali for this detailed comment. agree on all the points you have mentioned. skimmed milk does give lesser paneer. any thin cotton cloth can be used. its not necessary to use muslin or cheesecloth. yes squeezing tightly, gives a firmer paneer and less pressure creates a softer paneer.

  13. What can we do with the whey we get after preparing paneer?
    Heard the whey is very nutritious. How long can the whey be preserved.

    1. kavitha, you can use the whey in making chapatis, parathas, dals, gravies and even pulaos & biryanis. generally i add it to chapatis or gravies. i keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days only. just note that there will be a slight sour taste in any dish that you add the whey. it is due to the lemon juice/curd/vinegar added while making the paneer. so you can easily use in recipes where a faint sour taste is there, eg biryanis or some sour gravies or curries.

    1. on the face both look same. but are not. chenna is the coagulated milk and paneer is the coagulated milk which has been set firmly. chenna is more moist than paneer.

  14. Hey dr Can u plz hlp me find a paneer recipie which i hd read it before bt iam nt able to find it , it was very simple with blanch tomatoes and milk to add plzzz hlp me find it

  15. I am from the Cayman Ishands ant find paneer at all, so I made my very own. It turned out great. Thank you for your help5 stars

  16. Hi,

    Tried to make paneer but after I put the lemon juice there is no coagulation. I end up with losts of small flakes of cream. I drain it using a muslin and put a weight on top of it .
    I obtain a paneer that is too soft and disolved itself into my gravy.
    Any tips?

    1. fabrice, some more lemon juice added could have helped in proper coagulation. i feel that the whey has not been drained completely and this could be the reason that paneer dissolved into the gravy. keep a heavy weight. try again and let me know if you have any doubts.

  17. Hello mam,
    Twice I made paneer from 1 liter of milk I got 150gms of paneer,2day I made paneer from 2 liter of milk I got 300gms of paneer, I followed all the steps,Wat went wrong, why I always got less quantity?

  18. Hi… Whenever I make paneer it becomes too soft.. It breaks while cutting.. Not firm.. Why so? Where I hv gone wrong5 stars

    1. generally home-made paneer is soft and crumbly. you could refrigerate in fridge for a day then it would get firm 🙂

    1. yes you can use card or lassi (without salt or sugar). but you will need to add 1 to 2 tbsp or even 3 tbsp to get the milk curdling.

  19. I used your recipe last night and I admit that it was SO EASY and SO GOOD that I’m amazed. Thank you for posting. I did use regular whole milk but I did have to have a tablespoon of vinegar, a bit more than you recommended. Turned out beautifully and super tasty. I’ll be making this all the time now because I love paneer and since I’m vegetarian this is a much better option that having tofu in recipes. Too much soy is not a good thing.5 stars

    1. thanks for the positive feedback, beth. making paneer is very easy. yes sometimes the proportion of acidic agents like lemon juice o vinegar can be less or more depending on the quality of milk.

  20. I made paneer from cows milk. Its has come out really very good. And I used it for paneer tikka. I was lil worried as to whether it will hold the scewer or not but it was firm enough to hold.
    Thanks for sharing.4 stars

  21. I just made this paneer and it turned out excellent as do all of your dishes. I did add a bit of extra lemon juice to get all of the milk to curdle. I left mine to sit about 2 or 3 hours to help it fully drain.

    My husband is from India and I am American, and your blog is my go-to place when I am trying to learn a recipe he loves. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are always so shocked that I can make things like khandvi or paneer, but I really owe all my success to your blog!5 stars

    1. thank you very much liz. i can imagine your mom in law and sis in law wondering how you manage and whats the secret. keep them guessing 😉

  22. Thanks a ton. Tried it – came out pretty good.
    As the milk was boiling, I squeezed 1 big lime, but didn’t notice any curdling, so panicked and added half teaspoon of vinegar too. This worked!
    God bless.5 stars

  23. I tried it.
    The milk did not cuddle at all. I followed exactly those steps.
    Bring milk to boil add lemone juice and wait add more if necessary.
    It did not cuddle, only a fraction cuddled!
    Is the milk adultrated?
    That is very disturbing.

    1. ideally the milk should curdle. did you try adding more lemon juice. sometimes depending on the quality of milk, you need to add more lemon juice.

  24. Hi Dassana,

    I got married recently & have moved to UK. I enjoy enjoy experimenting with your recipes and infact my mom & I skype and try some of your dishes together 🙂

    Here I tried making paneer with whole fat milk, it comes out well till the last stage and is firm enough to be cut into cubes. However, when once I add it in any gravy (even at room tempertaure) it completely dissolves. Plz help!

    1. thanks vidya for sharing your positive feedback. glad to know this. generally it happens because of the quality of milk. possibly there was lot of moisture in the paneer.

  25. Hi,

    where do we get this muslin cloth and after using making this paneer can we wash this cloth as we wash other normal cloth using the same detergentcoz we r putting edible paneer in it so is it safe??if not, then how do we clean tht cloth tobe used later.

    Thanks
    Teena

    1. welcome teena. i got it from a local cloth shop. you can buy 1 meter. you can easily wash it like other clothes.

  26. I never thought that it was this easy to make your own paneer cheese! Thank you so much Dassana, for the recipe and the step-by-step methods. I will be making this asap, I can’t wait to try your delish paneer recipes. 🙂

  27. i love ur website…receipes looks gr8…i am trying ur matar paneer receipe today…i live in Seoul…invited my veg friends…Thankz

  28. Found it, thanks!!! I can’t get paneer here, so I’ll try to makee it by myself for the recipes from your site 🙂 .

  29. Hi Dassana,
    I made paneer yesterday with 2 letters of powdered milk,and I got 250 grams of pale yellow creamy paneer.today I made paneer with 500 ml of fresh milk, and I got 50 grams of white creamy paneer..I used 1 tab spoon of vinegar for 1L of milk..thank you for the recipe..perfect method ..I clicked the picture of both paneer but I can’t upload here.5 stars

  30. I was so pleased with this. It was the first time I made paneer. I used raw milk (I always drink it too even though govt has demonized it) and apple cider vinegar. I made it for vegetable biryani and it came out perfect. I did pick up on the vinegar in the taste but not after it was in my dish. I think I may try the lemon next time. It was quite easy to make and was perfect in my dish. Thank you 🙂5 stars

    1. welcome denise. glad to know this. just rinse the hot curdled milk solids with water and after taste of vinegar or lemon will go away.

  31. Thank you so much for such wonderful recipe, followed your recipe step by step you made it look so easy to make. It turned out great ended up using it in matar paneer. Recipe is totally a keeper. Stay blessed ♥

  32. Thanks a lot for the recipe/process. Of course it took repeated additions of lemon juice (total 1 medium size lemon for 1.5 lt) for it to work. But the result was fresh, soft homemade paneer plus bonus whey! Now I’ll always make it at home.

    One query tho, the paneer had a distinct tho mild flavour of lemon, is that to be expected? Any way to avoid it?5 stars

    1. welcome pradha. after you add the paneer in the muslin, the squeeze the whey carefully and rinse the muslin under a tap of running water. this will remove the mild lemon flavor. homemade paneer is always best.

  33. I used food grade 50% phosphoric acid to set my cheese. It has almost no flavor. For 500 ml of milk, I added 2.5ml acid. I have also tried 88% lactic acid and it works too. Still much more neutral than vinegar or lemon juice. Both those types of acids are sold at homebrew stores.

  34. Hi Dassana,
    I always love your recipes…but this time i failed to get the paneer can you figure out what might have gone wrong? i used full fat milk, boiled completely and added more than 2 tsp of lemon juice. nearly 4 tsp It started to curdle, but could not get the whey as seen in your pictures. I kept stirring on low flame for quite a long time. however it didn’t separate completely.There is no whey…its still more of the milk,can i do something with that?

    1. hi uma, the amount of the acidic ingredient to be added depends on the quality of milk. sometimes i just need to add 2 tsp of lime or vinegar and the milk curdles. and at times i need to add 4 to 6 tsp. so usually i keep an extra quantity of the lime/lemon juice or vinegar close, so i can just add them quickly. with the remaining milk, try curdling again.

  35. Hi, i just wanted to ask that are you sure that Indian Panner and Cottage cheese both the same … Cause if you search cottage cheese it looks different.
    I was more interested in cottage cheese because all my fitness magazines says to have cottage cheese for protien and i am feed up searching cottage cheese even google made me confuse there are complicated answers on this … Can you confirm it please.

    1. dinesh, right from the time i had my cooking lessons, we were informed that cottage cheese is the english name for paneer. so i always mention cottage cheese for paneer. i have also checked google and the cottage cheese which i found in the west is very different from what we make.

    1. welcome nuti. there is a way but it takes lot of time. i have not tried it. to make it, there are some ingredients which are not easily available in india.

  36. This didn’t work for me. i used full cream milk, and added more than 2 tsp of lemon juice. It started to curdle, but i didn’t get the fine separation as seen in the above images. I kept stirring on low flame for quite a long time. however it didn’t separate completely. Any tip would help

    1. in this case, you can increase amount of lemon juice. with me too, sometimes i just need to add 2 tsp and sometimes 3 to 4 tsp. it actually depends on the quality of milk.

      1. thanks Dassana, By the way can you post a undhiyoo recipe? I am from chennai not sure how easily i can get surti beans, but if you could suggest something which can match it i would really appreciate it

        1. i have been thinking of adding undhiyu. but not able to get the purple yam here. so i have postponed it for now. surti beans are traditionally added. i remember one of the best undhiyu i have had a gujarati function. you can add fresh lima beans, fava beans or edmame (fresh soy beans) or fresh pigeon peas (fresh tuvar). not sure of you will get these in chennai. but i think you should be able to get fresh pigeon peas as they are in season.

  37. Thank you for all the recipies ! It’s an amazing job that you are doing !
    I have a question. Can I add little bit of curd and let’s say one teaspoon of lemon. I love when paneer is soft and that’s what I’m trying to do, to make it soft.5 stars

    1. welcome pati. either add curd or lemon. curd you will have to add 2-3 tbsp or more to curdle the milk.

  38. This didn’t work for me. The milk wouldn’t curdle. Do you have any suggestions? After the milk rises and you pour in the lemon juice do you continue to heat the milk or remove from the heat? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

    1. okay. i think some more of the lemon juice should have been added. the curdling depends on the quality of milk. after the milk rises, i lower the flame and then add the lemon juice. i don’t remove from heat. if the milk does not curdle, then i add more of the lemon juice and give a quick stir. i always keep the lemon juice or vinegar handy with me while curdling the milk. hope this helps.

      1. Just a tip – for those having trouble getting their milk to curdle, it could be the milk. The milk can be pasteurized, but avoid ultra-pasteurized, as the ultra-pasteurization process keeps the milk from curdling properly. Here in the US, the milk cartons are labeled, and I always make sure.
        Also, I often use lime juice my acid. I think it leaves a wonderful flavor, depending on what I am using my paneer for.

        I just found your blog today, and I am hooked! Thanks so much!!

        1. welcome bonnie. thanks for sharing the tips. i am sure its going to help other readers. in india we get both raw milk and pasteurized milk. so the curdling happens easily.

  39. Just tried this and it worked out great. Much better than paneer from supermarket in my opinion. Thanks for the recipe and clear instructions. Pictures were really helpful.5 stars

    1. welcome lauren. thanks for this positive feedback. i agree homemade paneer is better than from super market.

  40. Hi, thanks for the paneer recipe. Can I know the type of milk that you have used. Must it be fresh cow milk or can u use the milk from the supermarket?

  41. Hello, just chanced upon your site and I am waiting to try out your recipes. I have a question for this recipe. Does one increase the amount of vinegar/lemon juice/curd if one increases the quantity of milk to. You have given 2 tsp of lemon juice for a liter of milk so if one increases the milk to 2 liters, does the lemon juice have to be increased to 4 tsps. Pls let me know. Thank you and god bless

    1. yes you will have to increase the quantity of the acidic ingredient like vinegar/lemon juice/curd if the quantity of milk is increased.

  42. Just made my first truly home made palak paneer curry and it tasted great. Thank you for sharing such great yet surprisingly simple knowledge which produces paneer so much nicer than supermarket bought! My only slight issue was yield, I ended up with about 150g from 1L of full fat fresh cows milk which still had a milky looking liquid remaining. From reading the instructions and the Q&A below, perhaps I was taking the milk off heat too soon? How long from putting the lemon juice into boiling milk would you say is maximum for getting a ‘full curdle’ without overcooking?5 stars

    1. thanks a lot andy for your feedback. generally from 1 litre of milk, you can get about 200 to 250 gms of paneer. this depends on the quality of the milk. as you mention there was a milky looking liquid. which means that the milk has not curdled completely. the milk has to come to a complete boil. then you add the lemon juice. stir well and if the milk still does not curdle completely, then add some more lemon juice. generally the milk begins to curdle as soon as the lemon juice or vinegar is stirred in it.

  43. Hi!! I’m from Argentina.
    I made paneer few hours ago and it is delicious! But I had a problem, when milk started to boil I added 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice… nothing happened! I added 2 more… nothing! So, I added 2 tsp of vinegar and milk began to curdle automatically…
    The result was great, but I don’t know why my lemon juice didn’t work.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. depending on the quality of milk, the amount of lemon juice may increase. but i think 2 to 3 tsp is fine. 4 tsp of lemon juice is a bit too much while making paneer.

  44. Hi Dassana,
    I stumbled upon you website just yesterday and fell in love wid it 🙂
    Liked your passion for cooking and the way you present the recipes.

    Coming to making paneer, I hv tried it n number of times, but somehow it becomes crumbly. Till date, I hav not been able to cut d cubes. Also when I add homemade paneer to currues it just breaks n mixes off 🙁 I can make only paneer bhurji out of homemade paneer.
    Can u guess the reason for this?
    Thanks in Advance.

    1. thanks trupti. generally when the milk comes to a boil, add the lemon juice/curd at once and the stir. the milk coagulates in few seconds. as soon as the milk coagulates switch off the fire. if you cook the coagulated milk even for some seconds or a minute, then the paneer crumbles, when its set.

  45. Hey Dassana,
    Thanks for the easy instructions. I was wondering since both lemon juice and curd can be used, is there any difference with the texture of paneer that comes. I was confused with which one to use. Does lemon juice give a different texture as compared to curd?5 stars

    1. with curd you get a bit softer texture in the paneer. plus with curd you won’t get the after taste if you add vinegar or lemon juice. depending on what you have, you can use any.

    1. generally paneer is not stored in the whey. not sure of the reason though. some people keep the set paneer in water in the refrigerator. this is so, so that the paneer stays moist.

  46. Salam Dassana!
    Sidra from Pakistan…I was looking for new and into the budget recepies…and I am happy that I clicked the very right place…I am really inspired by the way you guide the people…this honest try of yours reveals your enthusiasm to cooking…
    God bless you for giving us the very best directions for cooking…I will be a regular visiter Inshallah….5 stars

    1. thanks sidra. glad to know that you liked the blog and our love for cooking. big thanks for your blessings. keep visiting.

  47. Hi Dassana, I follow ur recipes regularly n results are always amazing… But in this one, my paneer always turns crumbly n it won’t set.I know I’m doing something wrong here but can’t figure out. Can u plzzz help me.

    1. hi meera, the paneer becomes crumbly if after adding the vinegar or lime juice you still simmer the milk. firstly the milk has to come to a boil. when it starts boiling, then you add the vinegar and lime juice. the entire milk should curdle once. if half of the milk is curdled and half of its not curdled, then too the paneer will become crumbly. once the milk curdles, don’t even cook for a second. switch off the flame and immediately strain the mixture.

  48. Hi dear dassana im so happy and surprised on seeing my panneer block. I cudnt believe my eyes. No one can explain clearly like u. Thank u sooooo much. I became a big fan of u .4 stars

  49. Great recipe! Now can i cut them up in pieces and freeze them for later? The ones I buy in stores in the US can be frozen.

    Thanks!

  50. Oh my. I made this tonight and cannot believe how easy it was to make delicious, soft paneer! Better than a lot of paneer I have eaten, in India and Australia. Thank you so much.5 stars

  51. Hi, I have been hesitating to prepare paneer as many of my friends could not get a firm paneer. Yesterday finally followed your recipe and it came out wonderfully. Its soft, firm and tasty. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  52. Hi dassana
    Lovely!!! Thanks for sharing
    Also I need to say that you have got a fantastic Blog
    I need to try them all one by one soon
    Also, can you please tell us how to make tofu at home
    I’m just longing for this recipe. Plz do share on how to make tofu as soon as possible5 stars

    1. thanks priya. making tofu is a bit complicated as you need some special stuff for it which is not available in india. you can search on google as there are a lot of recipes showing how tofu is made.

  53. Hi

    I tried using the spoilt milk , but ended up in vain ….But they do say that we can make panneer using the spoilt milk ….I dont know wat went wrong ….
    Actually while the milk was on the stove , it started curdling .but after adding the lime juice
    things all went away just like that and it looked like a watery curd …5 stars

    1. if the milk is badly spoilt than paneer cannot be made. if its just lightly spoilt then paneer can be made. in this case no need to add any lemon juice as the curdling happens on it own.

  54. Hi Dassana. I followed the directions and ended up with awesome quality paneer, much much better than the store brought, frozen version. Thank you for all the wonderful recipies on this site, including this simple paneer. Keep it up! 😀5 stars

  55. Well, I went and bought the milk fresh just for this recipe. It had been open for 1 minute before I started using it! The milk I used the first time was about 3 days old! But I’ll try again and see what happens. The creamy cheese was very nice, I would just like to know *why* it happened. Thanks very much

    1. then i guess its the quality of milk. i remember getting paneer from outside once the cheese was exactly the way you have described.

  56. Hi, I tried this recipe and it made perfect paneer, it was delicious! But the second time, I ended up with a sort of cream cheese, very soft and sticky. The milk was fresh and I did everything the same. Do you know why this would happen? Thanks

    1. i think its got to do with the quality of milk. sticky would mean that the milk was just about to become sour or get spoilt. with fresh milk this is never the issue.

  57. Can I use Limbu Ka Phool
    (Cytric Acid ) to curdle the milk?
    And how would I store paneer or
    Khoya in the freezer ? Thank U

    1. you can use citric acid to curdle the milk. i usually keep the home made paneer in an air tight box and keep on the rack below the freezer if using in a couple of days. you can also keep in the freezer. if using the next day, then i just refrigerate it. keep the khoya in an air tight container or the khoya packet in the freezer.

  58. Hi, sorry I used to wrong email. I was wondering where I can buy the type of cheese cloth you used in this recipe. Thanks!

  59. Hi Dassana,Thank you for sharing such an important aspect of vegetarian cooking – step by step process of making home made paneer. The pictures and write up are very informative!5 stars

  60. I normally make paneer perfectly, however the last time I made it, it was very sticky.

    As soon as I put the vinegar in, the milk seperated but with a sticky consistency. I put a weight on it, and when I cooked it (wanted to make sukha paneer), it all melted and turned into mash! This is rather shocking as my paneer is always perfect. I used malt vinegar (for the first time), could this be the negative factor in ruining my paneer?

    Thanks!5 stars

    1. actually the milk should not look sticky. if the milk looks sticky, then the milk is not fresh and possibly just on the verge of getting spoiled. always use fresh milk to make paneer. i don’t rule out malt vinegar doing anything wrong, but i would suggest to add regular vinegar or lime juice. yogurt also works well.

  61. i made cottage cheese for the first time 2day. could not believe my eyes when i lifted the weight and cut it into pieces. it was a pure joy to try this recipe. i will definitely try masala n herb paneer sometime.

    1. thanks a lot bushra. also do try the masala and herb paneer. they are so good, you can just have them plain.

  62. I have never made paneer before, but I’ve slowly been growing in confidence in the kitchen and as a newly converted vegetarian and avid paneer lover I thought I should give it a go. It was wonderful! I will never ever buy paneer again, it was so much better than any store bought paneer I have ever tried. I had run out of milk so I halved the quantity (I was still short) and added a quarter cup of cream to make up for the missing milk. I think it made the paneer extra tasty 🙂 I think since I have come across your blog I have looked at every single recipe on here. Your recipes are so easy to understand and your photos are wonderful. It’s such an inspiration to make delicious things I have never tried making before. I will be testing many more of your recipes. Thank you for all of your delicious work 🙂 and for giving me the courage to make paneer – home-made yoghurt is next on the list 🙂

    1. thanks peta for your encouraging comments. made my day for sure. do try the other recipes as well. they all are delicious.

      homemade paneer is always better than store brought. the addition of cream to the milk makes the paneer soft and succulent. when i used to make paneer, sometimes i would add some cream to it and what a difference it would make to the paneer. we call this as malai paneer where malai is the hindi word for cream.

      even a good quality whole milk can yield excellent paneer. the same applies for yogurt too. there is a variation of paneer called masala paneer where you add herbs and some spices to it and mix it with the coagulated cheese before you tie it up in the muslin. here we generally add finely julienned ginger, chopped green chilies or red chili powder and coriander/cilantro leaves. you can add your choice of herbs or seasonings to the paneer. you can try this variation too.

      1. I will try that variation! Thank you so much. The masala paneer sounds too good to be true 🙂 I’m so happy I found your blog. Thanks for the speedy reply and the recipe variations, I can’t wait to try it.

  63. I tried to make paneer several months ago, and it didn’t work out – I can’t remember now the details. But you’ve motivated me to try this again! Thanks!!!

  64. Hi,
    stumbled upon ur blog thru google while searching for tadka dal…and then i started going thru all ur recipes. Amazign work.. I love your space, beautiful step by step pictorial and lovely presentation….I love this paneer making method. I love the fact that it shud not be boiled after it curdles, as i think that is where i make my mistake…Visit my space sometime when time permits.:)

    Love,
    shabs,

    1. thanks shabs. actually just when the boiling pick up, that time the lemon juice or yogurt should be added. if we boil further, the paneer does not retain its softness and becomes dense & hard.

      sure, i will visit your space too.

  65. Hi dassana ,even thou i knew how to make paneer ,i was not comfortertable to make it .now after i read your recipe,i went strate in the kitchen and started showing my kids how to make it.you don’t only teach us ,but you bring the confident in to the people , that means you don’t only reach in to the reader’s computers but you knew how and how deep to reach in to their mind also .these words of mine should explain you how well and how perfectly your recipes are written and explained.keep up good job.

  66. thanks a lot to u dassana….u have made cooking very easy for people like me..becoz of u i have started cooking once again…thanks for ur good recipes….bye

    1. thanks vandana. cooking is easy, but just that at times we require more patience while cooking, especially some of the indian dishes.

  67. Thank you so much for posting homemade paneer, now i can make it easily at home and whenever i need. thanks once again.

  68. Your post on paneer was very well explained & came as a saviour as I was having trouble keeping it from crumbling…
    I tried your method & suceeded in keeping it in one piece…thanks a ton for the post..

  69. I too make paneer just like you but rinse the milk solids under water before putting a weight on it. I noticed that you didn’t do that. I am wondering if paneer sets better if you don’t wash the milk solids?
    BTW- Great pictures and lovely blog.

    Mina
    http://www.givemesomespice.com

    1. thanks mina. btw your comment had gone into the spam list. when i was just about to delete the spam comments, i saw your comment which was the first comment.

      i don’t rinse the coagulated milk in water as i think the heat helps the paneer to set better as it cools down. i have seen many bloggers doing this, but personally i have never done this. nor it was told to us during our home science cooking classes.

  70. Hi Dassana, can we also curdle paneer in aluminium utensil or we should prefer steel one? Yesterday, i did the work on home made paneer . I used 1.25 ltrs of milk approx and it yeilded 200 to 225 gms of paneer. Though it was soft but the whey didn’t turn bluish or change colour. It was looking like a thin lassi. This means i took it off early from the stove top and milk could have curdled a bit more. I had to squeeze 2-3 tbsps of lemon and 1 tbsp of curd & a pinch of salt.

    love, meeta.

    1. dear meeta, milk can be curdled in any utensil. i hv heard aluminium is not good for the health. so keeping the health prospect aluminium pots and pans can be avoided.

      from what you describe, it looks like the milk did not curdle completely. a transparent whitish or greenish liquid should be clearly visible. if the milk still looks white & opaque and a part has curdled … this means that the curdling is not complete. depending on the quality of milk, sometimes a few tsps or tbsp of lemon juice needs to be added to get a complete curdling of the milk.

    1. dear bridget, i don’t think paneer can be made with non dairy milk. in fact i am also looking for alternatives to paneer. the only non diary substitute that i know is tofu. but tofu texture wise and taste wise is way different from paneer.

      1. I agree, tofu tastes very different, but the texture can be quite similar! It isn’t always a good substitute for cheese, but sometimes it’s OK. My mom makes chili paneer with firm tofu instead of paneer for nutrition, and it is still very good. The tofu can be pressed, dried, and then pan-fried as well to give it substance. She also uses it in place of mozzarella balls in salads.5 stars

        1. i always find the texture of tofu different than paneer. could be as i do not get good tofu here. its always rubbery kind of texture in the tofu available here. so thats why i have not added much tofu recipes on the website. only a couple of times i have had tofu in an upscale chinese restaurant and it did have a paneer like texture. let me know which brand you mom uses. if i get it here, i can try with that brand.

        2. Hi! Yes, I agree with you very much, often it is quite rubbery and not an adequate substitute. We use BCD Tofu, it is a common brand in the US and the most cost-effective. We usually use firm. But, thinking about it, maybe medium would be better for such uses.

          Something I like to do with tofu is to cube it and pan-fry it. Then I add it to steamed vegetables over a bed of brown rice and top it with sauce. Quick and nutritious. Another thing I do is, with silken (very soft and smooth-textured) tofu, I blend it with melted chocolate to make chocolate mousse. It’s light and satisfying.

          I think tofu would go well in Indian dishes with palak, like tofu-palak instead of palak paneer! For something like this, either fried or not fried would work.5 stars

        3. thanks anjali for the info. i won’t get bcd tofu in india for sure. also the silken tofu is difficult to get. i do make some recipes with silken tofu as this is the only tofu (both firm and extra firm) which has a good taste and a soft texture. but i don’t get them easily. one of my european friends use to do the steamed or sauteed veggies over a bed of rice with some sauce. and yes she would add tofu also in it. i have heard of tofu mousse. but never tried. will give a try if i get silken tofu. agree, it does goes well in gravies where paneer is used. i have myself made palak tofu many times. instead of paneer, i would add tofu. but this was in some other indian city, where we would get good quality tofu.

  71. Hi Dassana – your blog/recipes are very easy to follow and methodical. Is there any way of making low-fat paneer from tetra-packs (as that is all I get). Please try as my family loves paneer but we need to watch our fat consumption.

    1. dear madhu, i have made paneer before with low fat tetra milk. the yield of the paneer in volume is less. also i did not like the texture the paneer had. taste wise it was alright. but a bit dense and not very soft. still you can try making them from low fat tetra milk.

      i have also made paneer from fresh cow’s and buffalo’s milk. and the cows & buffaloes were not tortured like the way they do it now. the paneer from these milk were soft, light and melt in the mouth…..

  72. Hi Dassana! I had a few questions on this kitchen tip. How much paneer is made from 1L of milk? Which milk works the best to make paneer – the tetra-pack one or the plastic bag one? I live in Bangalore and don’t have the option of getting fresh cow milk.

    1. even i don’t get fresh cow’s milk. for this post, i have used the packet milk not the tetra pack ones. but i have made paneer both with tetra packed milk and the packet milks. both give nice results. 1 litre of milk will give you approx 200-250 gms of paneer. this is enough for one paneer dish which will serve 3-4 people. in fact i made paneer parathas twice with the whole of this paneer.

  73. Love this post! Your blog is unlike any other blog-unique! I have learnt so many things in such a short time on the art of perfecting home-made food. Keep up the great work!

      1. Hi there.. I have been making paneer since forever but somehow off late it has been coming out hard, I have no clue why, trying to figure, I used the same method always.. boil, add vinegar, strain, keep weight over it. Can it be possible that I am washing it off late and never used to wash it till sometime back or if the weight is too heavy.. I am sure it is not the milk cos i have been using the same milk

        1. may be the weight is too heavy or it is being kept for a long time. just keep it for some 20 minutes… maximum 30 minutes. keeping for a longer time drains out the water and moisture making the paneer dense and hard. i don’t think this has got to do anything with rinsing the paneer.