In this post I am going to share with you my Easy Paneer Recipe. You can purchase paneer from the store but it is so quick and easy to make so I prefer to make my own.
Easy Paneer Recipe
What is Paneer
It is an Indian homemade cheese that is used in Indian cuisine. Over the years it has become really popular and there’s so many great dishes that you can cook using this indian cheese.
Paneer is very similar to Ricotta Cheese. Although you can easily purchase Paneer from the store, homemade is so much better.
Homemade paneer is softer and creamier. It is also cheaper to make your own. Once you make your own I promise you will never go back to store bought.
When I say this is an Easy Paneer Recipe, trust me it is.
You have to use full-cream milk as the milk needs to have enough fat to separate into the curds. Paneer has a very mild milky flavour and it is a firm cheese with a crumbly texture.
For this recipe I just used milk and some vinegar. If you want a softer texture you can add some fresh cream to the milk.
Although I have used lemon juice in the past because I thought it was better than the thought of vinegar with milk…haha!
I promise since I started using vinegar, an idea I stole from my Indian blogger friends from India, I will never go back to lemon juice. It definitely makes the paneer softer with a much better texture than lemon juice.
How to make Paneer
Some of us are put off by the thought of making Paneer. I think just the fact that it is a cheese makes it seem like a tedious task.
I promise it is one of the easiest things to make and it’s feels like such an accomplishment when it’s made. And yet it takes absolutely no effort.
It is a simple process where you heat up your milk. Just as it starts to boil remove from the heat.
Start adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar at a time until the milk curdles. Do not add more than required.
You will then see a separation of the curds and whey. The curds should be chunky and not fine.
The whey will be clear with a yellowish colour. If the liquid is looking milky that means the curds and whey hasn’t separated well.
A cheesecloth is used to drain the excess water from the curds. You press something heavy, for a few minutes, onto the cheese so the excess liquid is removed.
The paneer can be refrigerated for an hour to firm up a little more. Cut and use as desired.
Variations for Paneer
I have posted another recipe previously where I added some herbs and spice to my paneer. You can even add some chilli flakes, garlic and dried herbs if you wish.
That’s a great idea if you want a more flavoured cheese. I had no time to go fancy with this Paneer.
I have a million unfinished DIY projects around our home since moving so I thought now is a good time to finish those. I am trying to cook and bake in between my DIY projects. So much to do and so little time.
The amount of lemon juice can also differ. Sometimes you may require a little more than suggested.
Although I personally haven’t used yogurt in my paneer. I know there are recipes that use yogurt together with the milk for a softer texture.
There’s a recipe by The Paupered Chef for paneer made with yogurt. You may want to give it a try, it that’s what you’re looking for.
If you are using Paneer in a curry it is best to have a firmer texture. If it’s too soft it will disintergrate into the sauce and that’s not very pleasant.
I hope this recipe helps you make the perfect Paneer and you enjoy the process. If you do try my recipe please drop a comment and a star rating, it is always appreciated.
Recipes using Paneer:
Easy Paneer Recipe
- 2 litres/8 cups full cream milk
- 1/2 cup fresh cream (optional)
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- Pour the milk and fresh cream (if using) into a large pot and bring to a gentle boil on low to medium heat.
- Keep a close eye on the milk and stir regularly as it can burn or spill over.
- Just as the milk reaches boiling point.. remove the milk from the heat. Add the vinegar, 1 tablespoon at a time and stir until it curdles. You should have chunky bits of curdled milk. Only add vinegar until the milk curdles, you may not require all of the vinegar. If the milk doesn't separate after about 3 tablespoons return to the heat and stir on low heat, adding the remaining vinegar. Remove as soon as the whey turns yellow and is no longer milky.
- Line a sieve with a cheese or muslin cloth and strain the paneer into this. Rinse it under some cold water to cool it down
- Use your hands and squeeze any excess water from the paneer. Wrap the cheeecloth around the paneer very neatly and shape it into a block.
- Place something heavy on top of the paneer. It should take about 10 minutes until all the liquid is drained. However, leave the object on top for at least an hour. You can refrigerate the paneer for an hour to firm up a little more.
- Cut into little cubes. Makes about 2 cups of cubed cheese. You can use it immediately or store it in the freezer for later use.
- When stirring you will see the curd separating from the whey, the liquid will be a clear, yellowish colour
- If you do not have a cheese cloth or muslin cloth a clean kitchen towel will work
- Do not add more vinegar than required as it will result in a hard paneer
- I did use lemon juice before, however the vinegar definitely yields much better results in terms of texture