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Homemade Paneer

Paneer is an Indian cheese that is becoming an indispensable part of the Indian menu. Unlike other cheeses, it is the easiest cheese to make at home requiring nothing more than milk and lemon juice. Also this doesn’t melt when heated and it holds its shape well. Great appetizers, main course and even desserts can be made with paneer.

Check out the other recipes made with paneer: Paneer Butter Masala, Paneer TikkaPalak Paneer, Koftas and Navrathan kurma.

The recipe is from my mothers notes, it’s come out perfectly each time.

Ingredients you will need:

8 cups whole milk
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Muslin cloth or any clean hand-kerchief (allotted for this purpose!)

I did use cheesecloth once, but that was the last tiCme I ever used it. Even though I folded it many times, it wasn’t handy.

Preparation:

Over medium heat, in a large pot, bring the milk to a gentle boil. Stir often to avoid burning the bottom. I recommend a non-stick pot, I have always used a non-stick pot for this purpose because it works really well.

Stirring gently,add the lemon juice and turn the heat down to low. In 20 seconds you would see the white milk solids and whey (the yellowish liquid) separating. Stir in a motion that gathers the milk solids together.

Line a large colander with a large muslin or any clean cloth and set it in your sink.

Gently rinse with cool water to get rid of the lemon flavor and grab the ends of the cloth and twist. Make it like a ball of cheese. Squeeze out the excess whey by continuing to twist.

By twisting, the cheese is formed like round block. tie it to your kitchen faucet and let the excess whey drip for 30 minutes. Gently squeezing it once in a while.

Place it on a plate with the twisted part of the cheesecloth on the side. Make sure the twisted part doesn’t open up. The twisted part will hold the paneer in shape and the sides too will not crumble. Set another plate on top and weigh the second plate down with a mortar and pestle, cans of beans, heavy cast iron pans or even few books!

After about half an hour, take out the paneer and knead well for 2 minutes. This step will make sure smooth and creamy texture. After kneading, form to a block again. Keep in freezer and let it sit about 10 minutes.Unwrap the disc of homemade cheese and cut in squares, rectangles or triangles! I store extra paneer cubes in a zip-lock bag in freezer.

Now you can use this in any classic Indian dishes linked above.

Tips:

Use only whole milk.

If the milk doesn’t separate, add another tablespoon or two lemon juice  and boost the heat again. The milk would separate.

Happy Cooking

5 Responses to Homemade Paneer

  1. Can you possibly post pictures accompanying each step? The instructions are not very clear to understand for somebody like me, who’s never done this before. Thanks!

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