Paneer

Paneer


For the longest time I was unable to find paneer and I had bookmarked a few recipes that I wanted to try that called for it. Though I recently found a source for paneer it was pretty far out of the way and I never seemed to have the time to head out and get some. Since I had come across several recipes for making paneer at home that sounded pretty easy I decided to try making some of my own. Making my own cheese had interested me for a while and I finally resolved to try it.

Paneer is dead simple to make! You just bring some whole milk to a boil, mix in an acid such as lemon juice and let the milk curdle. After it has curdled you drain the liquid, form the curds into a block in some cheese cloth or muslin and let it sit with a heavy weight on it for a few hours. At this point you have a brick of fresh paneer cheese just begging to be used!

Since you did not add anything to the cheese other than just enough acid to cause it to curdle, the paneer is pretty flavourless. This is normal and since paneer really absorbs the flavours of the dish that it is in, it will soon be nice and tasty in addition to having a great texture. I saw several posts where the authors suggested adding fresh herbs or other flavourings to the curds before forming them into a brick and weighing them down. Next I will have to try my hand at some flavoured paneers!

Since it was so easy and fun to make the paneer I will also have to look into making other cheeses at home.

Paneer

(makes about 2 cups)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 liter of whole milk
1/2 lemon (juice)

Directions:
1. Bring the milk to a boil in a large sauce pan.
2. Add the lemon juice and stir until the milk curdles.
3. Strain the curds through a muslin cloth.
4. Tie the muslin cloth up tight and form it into a brick.
5. Place something heavy on it and let it sit for a few hours.


Recipes that use Paneer:
Palak Paneer
Butter Paneer Masala
Butter Chicken Burritos

49 comments:

jenncuisine said...

Looks great! This looks very similar to how one would make ricotta - do you know what the difference is between making ricotta v. paneer?

Jenn said...

Wow, that is simple!! I love paneer too. I no longer that to buy the store kind. Yes!!

Cate said...

Thank you so much for this! I've actually made paneer before but completely forgot about it. I can't get much cheese around here, so I'm definitely going to make it again!

Marie-Ève said...

Wow that does sound easy. Perhaps easy enough for me to attempt making my fav indian dish.. saag paneer. So, so good.

♥Deeba @Passionate About Baking♥ said...

Perfect paneer Kevin.Well done. I often make paneer at home, but get lazy because it's so readily available around every corner here. Yes, you can flavour it with herbs, or now even with spices, which they call 'masala paneer'. I'm on a soft cheese making spree too. Done mascarpone & ricotta! Nothing like fresh homemade cheese!!

Pam said...

Kevin - everytime I want to try something, you try it first! This is great, because I use you as my learning curve! Except, most of the time (like the Thai curry paste), I never end up trying it anyway.

Millie said...

I have never heard of this but now I'd like to try it. I hope you post a flavored one if you make it.

redforever said...

this is for jenncuisine

I believe the only difference between paneer and ricotta is that the paneer has been pressed and more water has been removed.

The process for making both is pretty well identical.

chefectomy said...

How interesting, I have never thought about making my own cheese, this looks so simple. Love the herb idea.

--Marc

Ann said...

I Love Paneer and all sort of preparation..that looks so kute Kevin..

Violet Dear said...

Hee hee - this reminds me of India - when you buy tofu in the grocery store there it is labeled 'soya paneer' It took me a minute to realize what they meant!

In Vancouver I can always find paneer at the hippie dippie organic grocery co-ops - but maybe I will try to make it! Thanks!

My Asian Kitchen said...

interesting and simple!! what you eat with paneer?

Baked Alaska said...

Thanks for sharing your cheese-making. I find it interesting how so many of the cheeses are made with the same ingredients. I've now made mozzarella, ricotta, mascarpone, and chevre. I'm getting ready to make feta. I haven't tried paneer yet, so I'll have to do that. I think I've had it before, but a long time ago.

TINTIN said...

Hello Kevin,

I've a Kreativ Blogger award for you in my Blog.

I never tried paneer before and wonder how it taste :)

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Love it. My husband has been wanting us to make cheese for a long time.

Joanne said...

I love paneer. It always reminds me of a cheese version of tofu. Thanks for posting this, I've never found it in a store.

erisgrrrl said...

Yay! I knew it was easy to make paneer but didn't realize how easy until your post! I made some last night and it's YUMM! I added 2 cloves of garlic and 1 Thai chili to the milk while it was cooking. You can't really taste the chili but it has a nice garlic-y flavor.

Now I'm trying to find uses for the leftover whey... maybe your next post??

Y said...

I love paneer and never thought it would be this easy to make!

ttfn300 said...

i had no idea it was that easy!! love saag paneer :)

Poornima Nair said...

Kevin, that is awesome. Your paneer looks perfect and so cute. Mine never gets shaped so well and I always end up using it crumbled.

Soma said...

I make my paneer at home.. well most of the times.. they turn out much softer than the store bought frozen ones.. i read in a blog that if a spoon of cornstarch is added, it prevents the paneer from crumbling.. I am yet to try that!

Christie's Corner said...

Does the homemade paneer keep its shape while cooking? I'd love to try this since it's hard to find paneer here, too. And I have promised a friend to make her a paneer dish, so your timing is great.

mona said...

Kevin, good job! The Paneer looks perfect.

Christelle said...

Great idea, glad you tried it for us, you've done the hard job!
Seems very simple indeed, nice! :)

Lisa said...

Wonderful. Paneer is one of my very favorites. I don't know why I haven't made my own yet!

Elaine said...

Hey Kevin, your paneer looks pretty awesome! I don't remember getting a big glob of paneer when I tried making it. Maybe it's because I used 2% milk. Hmm..

Anncoo said...

I don't know what paneer is and wonder what it taste like??

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I have got to try making this -- I've made mozzarella and ricotta. Next stop, paneer!

Larry P (Rochester) said...

I am also interested to know the difference between Paneer and ricotta. In the Jan issue of Bon Appetite - there was a recipe for fresh ricotta. 8c whole milk,1tsp salt, 3 tsp lemon juice.

I did a quick net search and all points to the process as making paneer. I often found this advice "Use the cheese within three days in Indian food or as a replacement for cheeses like ricotta"

Saee Koranne-Khandekar said...

That looks good enough to be sold in Punjab!

denise said...

gorgeous!

ChichaJo said...

I've made ricotta in the past and this is very similar...I hope to try this soon! Your paneer looks perfect!

SarahKate said...

I'm really impressed... that looks easy and totally tasty! Nice work!

Jess Bennett said...

Kevin, your blog is so awesome. I just discovered it recently and I'm in love. Thanks for the delicious paneer recipe.I've searched high and low in Toronto for paneer to no avail. My favourite Indian recipe is muttar paneer and this brings me so much closer to it. Delicious!

Maz said...

My mum makes paneer and we have it with a cup of tea. You just cut the block into rectangles and eat it with sultanas or raisins. Pretty versatile thing!

Janet said...

Kevin, can we use 2% milk or skim milk vs. whole milk to make the paneer? I want to try this recipe but trying to recreate the low fat version of it...

Kevin said...

Christie's Corner: Yes the homemade paneer kept its shape well in the palak paneer that I made.

Kevin said...

jenncuisine: From what I understand you would let the curds sit in their liquid after forming for 24 hours at room temperature and then cook them some more to make ricotta. Ricotta is on my list of cheeses to try making as well.

Kevin said...

erisgrrrl: The garlic paneer sounds good!

Elaine: I tried making it again with 2% and I had to do a double batch to get as much.

Jess Bennett: You can find the paneer in grocery stores in Little India on Gerrard street such as Kohinoor Foods.

Janet: You can use any milk but the higher the fat content the more curds and thus paneer you will get from it.

Ninette said...

This is exactly how you make ricotta too, except you don't have to make it in a block.

gnuffle said...

my roommate's mom used to make the best paneer in rose sauce. I used to eat three or four services at one sitting, still licking off the plate.

Oh, the memories...

Pz said...

Love your blog. Just found it. How does making this yourself compare to buying it dollarwise?

Kevin said...

Pz: I found that the milk cost almost as much as the paneer so it was not much of a savings...

eatme_delicious said...

Oh awesome thanks for this!! I've seen so many recipes that use paneer but never make them because it's not something that's easy for me to get.

The Cast-Iron Darling said...

what a coincidence! i made paneer and posted about it on the exact same day! :) must have been a paneer kind of day.
i'll have to try out your paneer recipes next time i give it a go!

nooschi said...

Good for you! Didn't realize that it was dead simple to make. Thanks for posting that...very cool

Lori said...

Beautiful Kevin. I like dead simple, especially when there is a time investment.I need to try this.

Zaara said...

hooray! I remember the thrill I got when I made a batch of paneer "look - I can make cheese!" - I just learnt that you you can flavor the milk as well, e.g. cardamom, or black pepper, or chilli - to flavor the paneer....

Dani said...

It's funny that people keep mentioning ricotta on this post, because a quick "cheat" way to make paneer is to spread some ricotta in a baking pan and bake it until dry. Cut it up and you have paneer =)
Of course, the fresh one is better, but if you don't have any milk or something like this, it's a nice alternative to have =)

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