Paneer is a type of fresh cheese which is also known as Indian cottage cheese. It is widely used in a lot of North Indian curries. It is an acid set cheese and no ageing or culturing is required. It is prepared by curdling heated milk with lemon juice, vinegar, yoghurt or any other food acids. Homemade Paneer is very versatile and can be used in an assortment of recipes. It is a great source of animal protein for vegetarians. This non-melting cheese appears in desserts and as a filling for stuffed breads as well.
It is a very simple process, slightly messy but worth the effort if you want homemade soft paneer. To conclude my North Indian themed week, I thought I should share this basic recipe to make paneer at home so that it will be useful to follow my Paneer butter masala recipe and other paneer recipes to come in future posts. So give it a try and make this soft and succulent paneer at home .
Step-by-step process in making Homemade Paneer:
It is best to use whole milk to get a good yield of paneer. Heat whole milk over medium heat and bring it to boil in a non-stick pan or a heavy bottomed vessel. Stir occasionally so that it does not stick to the base of the pan.
When the milk begins to rise, lower the heat, keep stirring and add the lemon juice or vinegar or yoghurt. I’m using lemon juice today.
The milk starts to curdle. If it doesn’t then add some more lemon juice till the milk curdles completely and continue to stir. You should be able to see the greenish whey. Whey separates out from protein and you get paneer.
Now drain the curdled milk through a muslin cloth or a kitchen towel. You can also first drain using a strainer and then transfer to the cloth. Twist the cloth to squeeze additional whey out.
Press it to the desired shape and place something heavy on it for about an hour to drain leftover whey away. I’m using my Silit Pressure Cooker, as it is very heavy. By doing this the paneer becomes free of moisture. Refrigerate it to make it compact, cut into cubes and use it within 3 days.
You can use this Paneer to make mouth-watering dishes like Paneer butter masala, Shahi Paneer, Palak Paneer, Kadai Paneer, and so many other dishes. Will keep you posted…a lot more to come!!
- 1 litre whole milk yields approximately 200 to 250 gm paneer
- 2 to 3 teapoons of lemon juice
- It is best to use whole milk to get a good yield of paneer.
- Bring whole milk to boil in a non-stick pan/heavy bottomed vessel over medium heat with constant stirring.
- When the milk begins to rise, lower the heat and add lemon juice.
- The milk starts to curdle. If it doesn’t then add some more lemon juice till it completely curdles and keep stirring till you get the greenish whey.
- Now drain the curdled milk through a muslin cloth or a kitchen towel by twisting it.
- Press it to the desired shape and place something heavy on it for about an hour to drain leftover whey away.
- Refrigerate it to make it compact, cut into cubes and use within 3 days.
- You can use this Paneer to make various dishes like Paneer butter masala, Shahi Paneer, Palak Paneer, Kadai Paneer, and so many other dishes.
- Use whole milk to get best results.
- Yield of paneer depends on the fat content of the milk used.
- Remove the curdled milk from heat as soon as it curdles.
- You can add some ice cubes to stop overcooking paneer once it curdles and this way the paneer remains soft. Overcooking will yield hard paneer.
- You can use the whey to knead dough for pizza, roti, for cooking vegetables or it can be used to water plants in your garden after cooling.
Few Paneer related recipes on blog:
- How to make Paneer at home
- Paneer Butter Masala
- Capsicum Aloo Paneer Tikki
- Tandoori Paneer
- Paneer Capsicum Paratha
- Khoya Paneer Gulab Jamun
Many more to come!!…..STAY TUNED!!
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Happy Cooking ????