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Do you make your own paneer? (page 2 of 2)

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Making your own paneer - the ubiquitous Indian fresh cheese - is easy and great fun. See how it works!
Page1  2  

... then turn it and squeeze the cheese.

Here is the freshest cheese you'll ever see!

Put it in a plate or form.

Add a plate and some weight on top and leave in the fridge for a couple hours. Some more water will come out, just discard it.

Here is your finished paneer.

You can cut it in pieces and pan-fry it for 3-4 minutes in alittle oil or ghee for longer preservation or use immediately.

This is the most basic cheeses of all, but if things go Mad Max on us, I know where to start to try and reinvent all of the world's cheeses!

Published 12/02/2007
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160 Comments

  • #1
  • Comment by CCC
  • on: 16/02/2007
Hey Francois, I told you I'd visit! For a special occassion, think
about adding a very small quantity cardomom seeds, freshly crushed for
an aromatic flavour. If, however, your meal also includes a pillau
rice, where cardomom may be present, then a generous finger pinch of
(oriental) cummin seed could be added for a different dimension...Hope that's helpful, all the best.
  • #2
  • Comment by Ariana
  • on: 01/03/2007
Lovely, thank you so much for these simple and beautifully illustrated instructions.Om Shanti ~ Ariana Saraha
  • #3
  • Comment by Stacie
  • on: 08/03/2007
That's SO much easier than I ever thought. The pictures are very helpful; thank you!
  • #4
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 26/03/2007
Thank you! I even got a very encouraging email from the manager of Tamarind Restaurant in London praising my paneer for its good look. Praise from Caesar indeed!
  • #5
  • Comment by parshu.narayanan
  • on: 29/04/2007
Though a lactose-loving dairy people, we Indians are not a particularly cheese-eating culture (very hot climate!). This is the only cheese we have. For those interested, the word Paneer is a foreign import ( from Turki or Persian) the pure Indian words are Chhena ( Bengali) and Chaman (Kashmiri)from Hindi "Chhaan" which means "to strain"
  • #6
  • Comment by john
  • on: 10/06/2007
In Savona, Italy we call it tumin and it is good!
  • #7
  • Comment by Jarabito
  • on: 11/06/2007
In Mexico we call this panela, but we don't squeeze it till dry, when you eat it it still has a little bit of liquid in it. And boy is it delicious :D
  • #8
  • Comment by suzann
  • on: 12/06/2007
I used to make goat cheese by heating goat milk to just the scalding point, then letting it sit covered on the counterfor a while.  It would separate and I'd strain through an old teeshirt. Then I'd run cold water on it while it wasin the tee shirt, squeeze as you did, and there it was.
  • #9
  • Comment by Beth
  • on: 27/06/2007
Thank you for this. It went down very well at an Indian theme night that I held in my house. My guests were amazed that I had made the cheese myself. I added some crushed black peppers corns to it and it was delicious
  • #10
  • Comment by sandra oliva
  • on: 11/07/2007
Can lime be used instead of lemon?  What other flavours can you add to it?
  • #11
  • Comment by Roni
  • on: 31/07/2007
I have made paneer with my mummy, and so far it looks great!! Thanks a bundle, even though my mummy already knew how to make it!!  ThanksToni n Gang
  • #12
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 15/08/2007
You can use all sorts of flavors and also marinate the cheese.

I am so proud you made it with your mother and that it worked great for you!
  • #13
  • Comment by brinele
  • on: 27/08/2007
Thank you for your paneer recipe, SO EASY!!!
  • #14
  • Comment by Jeanette
  • on: 28/08/2007
This is very cool. Can't wait to try it for myself. Btw, I think your blog is the best food blog I've ever stumbled upon...I appreciate the great photos, your clear descriptions & directions, and the entertaining honesty w/ wh/ you approach things.  I hope you post often!
  • #15
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 29/08/2007
Thank you for your comments!
  • #16
  • Comment by valeria conde
  • on: 01/09/2007
Thank you very much for the palak recipe!I was looking for a well explained recipe as yours.Thank you.Valeria
  • #17
  • Comment by eskim0j0
  • on: 05/09/2007
Very nice, and thanks so much for the info.I'll bet you could add a but of grated lemon zest to the paneer just before you start to drain it - so you'd end up with little flecks of lemon throughout the paneer..You can do something very similar to make quite a soft, sharp 'cheese' out of yoghurt - except you don't need to split it, just drain some of the liquid out of it over night.It makes for a great spread or dip for parties.
  • #18
  • Comment by Alexa
  • on: 08/09/2007
Is it not supposed to be soft like a dip?
  • #19
  • Comment by shannon
  • on: 11/09/2007
Thank you for the excellent and easy recipe.  I especially like the descriptive pictures!  Thanks so much, I can't wait to make some.  Cheese without artificial colours and preservatives... Is there anything better?
  • #20
  • Comment by Lynn
  • on: 02/10/2007
It was easy. Thank you for the descriptive photos
  • #21
  • Comment by mmsarwani
  • on: 11/11/2007
Fantastic!what the mind does not know, the eyes do not see.
  • #22
  • Comment by lalita
  • on: 04/12/2007
Spectacular & creative teaching, very useful article.
  • #23
  • Comment by Cristina
  • on: 10/12/2007
I don't know how Indians do it, but this is a very very Romanian way of doing cheese. We do this since EVER.:)It's cool that other people learn it though:)
  • #24
  • Comment by Sharon White
  • on: 13/12/2007
This looks almost exactly like my grandmother's recipe for "cottage" cheese.  Except, she didn't add lemon.  Is paneer the same as cottage cheese?
  • #25
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 15/12/2007
Sharon, I believe the process is very similar. The lemon or vinegar is used to split the milk into whey and cheese.
  • #26
  • Comment by Brookq
  • on: 16/12/2007
This is excellent! Thank you! I just tried it and I am amazed at how simple it is to make it. Do you have other recipes with similar presentation?
  • #27
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 18/12/2007
Thanks, yes indeed cheese can be very simple to make at home! Have a look at the rest of my blog, there are many other similar recipes.
  • #28
  • Comment by james vaughnn
  • on: 21/12/2007
How hot does the milk have to be?and will this work with less-fat milk?I really love your blog!As an aspiring cook (I'm 19), I find your photos helpful and your descriptions more than enough to make me wanna cook better dishes every time I read em.I tried your ragu recipe (sans the hefty chunk of meat on top), and it came out awesome. I can't wait to try the whole recipe next time.Again, thanks in advance and may you have many more blog entries to come!God bless you.
  • #29
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 25/12/2007
James, you need full fat milk brought to a boil. I am very pleased to hear that as a beginner cook you liked my recipes and that they worked for you! I recommend you do recipes just as explained when doing them for the first time. This of course applies to all recipes. Many time one is tempted to tweak and substitute, and one ends up with a very different dish, not so tasty more often than not. Good luck with the cooking and see you around on FXcuisine!
  • #30
  • Comment by Dody
  • on: 15/01/2008
Hi!! Thanks!! Nice instruction!! I'm gonna try it. But can I add salt to flavour? will it change the process or texture?
  • #31
  • Comment by PLP
  • on: 15/01/2008
Génial ta recette, tes instructions sont claires et détaillées, j'ai hâte de l'essayer!
  • #32
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 16/01/2008
Bonjour vous verrez c'est très facile de faire son propre fromage frais. Prenez du bon lait et un linge très propre. Bonne chance!
  • #33
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 16/01/2008
Dody, you can certainly add salt to the paneer if you want to. Make sure it is properly dissolved in the milk before you start.
  • #34
  • Comment by squeaky
  • on: 17/01/2008
This is a great set of instructions. One question though: How much paneer does this recipe yeild?
  • #35
  • Comment by Kelly
  • on: 20/01/2008
Very frustrating. I tried to make this, but the milk never curdled. Any ideas why? It was store bought whole milk, nothing special.
  • #36
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 22/01/2008
It depends on the milk but I think about 2 cups paneer very approximately.
  • #37
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 22/01/2008
Kelly I am very sorry to hear your milk did not curdle. How much lemon/vinegar did you add? Have you heated the milk? Was it full fat milk?
  • #38
  • Comment by Kelly
  • on: 22/01/2008
I did heat the milk. I didn't bring it to a hard boil but it was hot. I used about a teaspoon of lemon. and that didn't work. so I added more. I wound up putting almost two lemon's worth of juice in the milk. It tasted like lemon, in fact, by that point but still didn't curdle.It was whole milk. I'm in the USA, so that's the kind that has the most fat. It was pasturized though. Does it need to be raw? Unpasturized?
  • #39
  • Comment by Nick
  • on: 23/01/2008
Hi! So I bought some paneer the other day and was looking for some recipes when I stumbled onto your site. I've since decided its more fun/les expensive to make my own paneer, but I've yet to try this, because I dont know what full-fat milk. Keep in mind im sending this from Canada, and I just cant seem to get it! what % of fat is in this milk?
  • #40
  • Comment by jaya
  • on: 23/01/2008
Hi there,Good tutorial and paneer making is very easy. I've done it many times and it is good.I just want to point out one very minor error in your instructions. It is not just the milk fat that remains in the cheesecloth. It is the fat and, more in volume, the casein or milk protein that forms the cheese. The fat is there but far less in volume than the protein and you can also make paneer with low fat milk or skim milk. I have added skim milk powder to skim milk (to increase the volume of cheese) and made fat-free paneer.    
  • #41
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 28/01/2008
Jaya thank you for this important point, yes indeed the casein is part of the cheese, not only the fat!
  • #42
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 28/01/2008
Nick you can try with organic milk even if it is not full fat. If in doubt use whatever milk you find and see how it works - all it takes is a couple minutes and a piece of cloth!
  • #43
  • Comment by Beatrice
  • on: 01/02/2008
Kelly, full fat means (in the US) 4% milkfat.  If lemon juice continues not to work, you can use rennet, a protein extracted from the lining of calves' stomachs - commonly used in cheese-making.  Junket company makes rennet tablets.On the subject of adding salt, in my experience (and this is seconded by most cheese experts) salt is better added at the end, after the molding process.  If you add it before, the cheese may become rubbery.
  • #44
  • Comment by Allen
  • on: 08/02/2008
How fun!  This is much easier than using the cheese press I was considering.  I'll give it a try this weekend.
  • #45
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 12/02/2008
Thanks Allen, do try the paneer with a cotton cloth and you'll see how easy it is! Beware, if you press it too much it won't be as juicy.
  • #46
  • Comment by Judi
  • on: 16/02/2008
Help! I'm making this for an Indian themed dinner party tonight. I started the paneer last night but after 2 batches did not curdle I waited till this morning when I discovered this blog. I have my 3rd batch "trying" to separate but it doesn't look good. There's some separation but it's been about 10-15 minutes and there's a only a little separation. Should I add more lemon? I used 1 gallon of whole milk and juice from 1 1/2 lemons. I brought the milk to scalding hot first and removed from heat to add juice...
  • #47
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 18/02/2008
Judi I'm not sure what happened with your paneer. From what you tell me it should have worked. Did you manage to make any paneer at all?
  • #48
  • Comment by cooling
  • on: 19/02/2008
Beautiful! Paneer has always fascinated me! I don't, it's shape and texture... even though I never tried it until... today! I made my very own paneer, using fresh milk from a farm and it is very easy to make! Your pictures are beautiful!
  • #49
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 20/02/2008
Cooling, thanks a lot! I'm glad your paneer worked out and that you liked my pictures!
  • #50
  • Comment by Datelles
  • on: 24/02/2008
I'm trying this in the AM!Your site is THE best presented and conceivedfood blog I've ever seen. I recently had eye surgery and am getting used to reduced vision but your photos bring everything in such detail - I can SEE it! I can't tell you how great it is to  see your pix. Top notch site in every way.Thanks.
  • #51
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 26/02/2008
Datelles thanks a lot for your praise! I just quadrupled the resolution of the pictures a week ago and am glad that it is appreciated. Good luck with the paneer!
  • #52
  • Comment by Diya
  • on: 04/03/2008
Hey! Thanks for the instructions! Wanted to try this.. but wasn't sure it would be good! But with all the fantastic pictures showing me how -- I'm going to give it a go!
  • #53
  • Comment by Cook
  • on: 04/03/2008
Thanks for the instructions! So easy to follow! I had to do it a couple of times to get the chunks. But it worked well
  • #54
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 04/03/2008
Diya thanks a lot for visiting and good luck with your paneer!
  • #55
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 04/03/2008
Vangie I'm glad my paneer worked for you! I hope to see you back on FXcuisine.com for more Indian recipes.
  • #56
  • Comment by Nasihah
  • on: 06/03/2008
Thank you so much. I used to eat a lot of this when I studied in Karachi. Thank God I found your site. Now I can make my own paneer. Terima kasih [this is thank you in Malay language] have you tried Malaysian food? I must visit all of your articles to find out what's in store.
  • #57
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 06/03/2008
Nasihah, thanks for visiting! I'm glad my article brought you back memories of Pakistan and I wish you good luck with your first batch of expatriate paneer!
  • #58
  • Comment by Armand
  • on: 12/03/2008
I have tried this 3 times and each time got only a small bit. I was wondering do you use store bought milk pasturized...also how much should you get from a gallon of milk???and how much lemon juice is needed?should I add more if yield is low.
  • #59
  • Comment by Olivier
  • on: 14/03/2008
Hello,I have made some paneer. The result was good but when I tried to fry the cubes in the pan my cubes melt into a kind of paste... What went wrong. Is that paneer not supposed to remain hard when coocked ??I used UHT milk and not pasteurized one. Does it make a difference ?
  • #60
  • Comment by Kath
  • on: 15/03/2008
I've been learning to make paneer (this morning!) and mozzarella (a few days ago!).  One thing I have read repeatedly is that UHT milk doesn't reliably work. UHT milk is ultra-high temperature pasteurized, and the high temps that kill all the bacteria (and give it its ridiculously long shelf life) also denature some of the proteins that you need to get a good set.  Ricki "the Cheese Queen" recommends using the freshest, most local milk you can find for all cheeses.  Her book got me all excited about cheesemaking!  She runs the New England Cheesemaking Supply Co., where you can find her tips and her book (and also the 30min mozzarella kit I used).  I'm going to mix my paneer into a curry tonight--and by the way, it worked just fine for me using 2% milk and white vinegar.
  • #61
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 16/03/2008
Armand I am so sorry your paneer didn't work out! I use bought full-fat milk. Not sure about the yield, but you don't need much lemon. Did you try full-fat milk? Maybe use vinegar rather than lemon.
  • #62
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 16/03/2008
Olivier, thanks for trying my recipe. You need to keep the paneer under a big weight for some time, a few hours or a whole night, so that most of the water will get out and it will retain its structure. Good luck!
  • #63
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 16/03/2008
Kath this Cheesemaking Supply company sounds amazing, I think you'll find excellent tips over there. Definitely UHT milk is not the thing.
  • #64
  • Comment by Armand
  • on: 17/03/2008
Exactly what do you mean by full fat milk....mine is whole milk and on the back label says 25% fat
  • #65
  • Comment by Connie Sue
  • on: 18/03/2008
CAN SALT AND/OR HERBS BE ADDED TO THE MILK BEFORE IT BOILSTO IMPART SOME FLAVOR TO THE CURDS ?
  • #66
  • Comment by Owen
  • on: 07/04/2008
If you're using pasteurised milk, I've always found mixing some live yogurt into the milk at the start allows it curdle as then it contains the bacteria.
  • #67
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 08/04/2008
Owen, thanks for your tip!
  • #68
  • Comment by Neil
  • on: 17/04/2008
Fantasically well laid out article. Made paneer a couple of weeks ago without incident and it was great, however, when I came to make more this weekend it wouldn't set. It was all wrapped up with weights on it but after 3+ hours it was still not set. Anyone any ideas why?
  • #69
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 17/04/2008
Neil, I'm glad the paneer worked for you the first time. I really can't shed any light as to the failure of the second attempt, sorry!
  • #70
  • Comment by m
  • on: 17/04/2008
I was wondering if a heavy cream would work instead of whole milk.
very explicit photographs and instructions, made it seem real easy.  Thank you.
  • #72
  • Comment by Johan
  • on: 29/04/2008
I made my first batch of paneer yesterday using 10% cream.
I used 2½ liters (I'm in Canada) and a cup of butter milk. At first it did not want to curdle after adding ½ cup of butter milk so I added another ½ cup and turned the heat up again. After about 5 min. it started curdling and it came out very nice. I also added some sesame seed and dried orange rind to the milk at the start, which gives it a nice flavour when deep fried.
  • #73
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 30/04/2008
Johan, congratulations on your first batch of paneer!
  • #74
  • Comment by Scotland
  • on: 22/05/2008
This is exciting.  I'm making this for the first time and my cheese is draining as I type.  Can't wait to see how it turns out.  Thanks for this recipe!
  • #75
  • Comment by Scotland
  • on: 25/05/2008
Amazing - I thought it was too good to be true, but it wasn't.  This recipe is easy and the end result is fantastic.  My husband could not believe how tasty this was. Again, thank you for this recipe.
  • #76
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 04/06/2008
Scotland Squire, thanks for letting me know how well your paneer went. Have a look at my other Indian recipes, some are definitely in the husband-cheering class!
  • #77
  • Comment by MC
  • on: 09/06/2008
I just tried this recipe and had to use 3 1/2 lemons--suddenly it curdled wonderfully, but it is definitely not 1 Tbsp of lemon like it says in the recipe.  Also, I notice some comments say that they scalded the milk, but in the recipe it says to heat gently and not let it simmer.  Can you explain the discrepencies in the recipe?
  • #78
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 12/06/2008
MC unfortunately I am no expert on cheesemaking, but the cheese will curdle with only a drop of lemon or vinegar if it has reached the proper temperature and acidity. I am sorry you have to use a whole lemon grove to get it to curdle and hope it was still good fun.
  • #79
  • Comment by weezie
  • on: 15/06/2008
   I've made paneer numerous times this year trying different temperatures. What I found was the 'boiling point' gives you a paneer with a fairly hard curd, and it fries well (without melting or disintegrating) but the hardness is not pleasant, especially if eaten cold or when tryiong to make rasgullah. Using a temp of 180*F as an end point gives a softer curd but it does fall apart when frying. I am still trying to tweak it to make rasgullah- haven't come up with the precise combo to give me a kneadable curd to shape into balls.
  • #80
  • Comment by Neena
  • on: 17/06/2008
Very nice method and a wonderful presentation.
Thanks a lot......
It helped me ...
Good job
  • #81
  • Comment by Uma
  • on: 19/06/2008

Just came across the website while surfing on the net. I am on a visit to the US from India and cooking is my passion. My forte is Kashmiri dishes which stand out in India , a multi cuisine country.   Great to see your demo with our paneer. Just one more I could add if paneer is a little hard ( if in fridge for long )just boil water ( the pieces should soak in it ) put a good pinch of turmeric and cover it. Viola your pieces will be soft for
use.
Would love to interact with anyone interested in Indian dishes.
Uma
  • #82
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 21/06/2008
Uma, thanks for visiting, I am by no means a paneer expert, just a keen amateur!
  • #83
  • Comment by Radha
  • on: 24/06/2008
Good. Great help to make paneer at home.
  • #84
  • Comment by RENEE
  • on: 25/06/2008
Can you add other things?  salt? sun dried tomatoes?
  • #85
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 28/06/2008
Renée, you can add all sorts of things to your paneer, certainly.
  • #86
  • Comment by sweety
  • on: 30/06/2008


hello..
i think the article u provided is very helpful but it is done at home.. do u have any weblinks which i can go through in which i can see the process of paneer made in the industry..
  • #87
  • Comment by Jo
  • on: 09/07/2008
What a Lovely website you have created - wow -  came via a link about pistachio paste.....and stayed to greedily read your recipes and feast on your pictures!  I have made something like this cheese by hanging up  full fat imported greek yoghurt in a muslin cloth over the sink over night and then flavouring it with zhatar mix which is  Sesame Seeds, Sumac, Thyme. - it has  different taste from paneer but it is wonderfully fresh. I used to make it a lot but haven't for a while and you have prompted me to try it again. And your paneer recipe too. Thanks!
  • #88
  • Comment by candace
  • on: 09/07/2008
A friend from a MUSIC site led me here and I hust had to say that I am so very impressed with how easy you make it seem by way of instructions and pictures.  Thank you and I am so looking forward to making my own paneer.  

The only problem?  It's one of my favorite cheeses in the whole world and I had no idea it was a whole milk cheese.  Uh oh.  I could see myself becoming easily addicted!

Thanks for your site!  

You rock.   
  • #89
  • Comment by wendy
  • on: 12/07/2008
I would like to make a sweet paneer that i can use instead of a custard- i'm thinking of squeezing it out and then putting into muffin cups to get a shape which will fit into something i am trying to create - do you see any reason why adding sugar or honey to the paneer would be a problem?  It would be more like a sweet ricotta i guess, but without the heavy fat content. I'm planning to use 2 % milk. Has anyone tried this?
  • #90
  • Comment by naphi
  • on: 14/07/2008
I'm an Indian who grew up knowing that making paneer is the easiest thing in the world, yet I'm ashamed to say that I have never really tried to make it myself.  Reading your article has inspired me to make some for my friends who have never tasted paneer before. Thanks.  And I must say I am quite addicted to your articles now.
  • #91
  • Comment by shanur
  • on: 15/07/2008
HELLO I NEED TO KNOW CAN I MAKE PANEER WITH BUTTER MILK.
IF SO; WILL IT BE likeABLE,
  • #92
  • Comment by Serena
  • on: 16/07/2008
That was absolutely fantastic...I ended up making paneer with one of my husband's new t-shirts as I don't know wht a muslin cloth is and also didnt have any cheese clothes... Though he hated the use of his t-shirt, he loved the saag paneer I made.. thanks
  • #93
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 17/07/2008
Jo, thanks for visiting my site and I wish you success with your paneer!
  • #94
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 17/07/2008
Candace, thanks for visiting! I just posted an article about traditional cheddar step-by-step - this should interest you as well I think.
  • #95
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 17/07/2008
Wendy, I have no information about sweet paneer but you should try it and report back, perhaps it will be a success?
  • #96
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 17/07/2008
Naphi, thanks for your kinds words and I hope to see you back!
  • #97
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 17/07/2008
Serena, I hope your paneer success made up for the stained shirt!
  • #98
  • Comment by rachel
  • on: 19/07/2008
The method described is same as the one used for making hung curd. If so what's the differnce between hung curd and paneer?
  • #99
  • Comment by fran
  • on: 27/07/2008
I was just told about this cheese today. I wanted to see just how it is made and I just love the step by step process.
  • #100
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 29/07/2008
Frances good luck if you try to make this cheese, it's great fun!
  • #101
  • Comment by Mahashakti dasa
  • on: 05/08/2008
Hare Krsna! Your pictures are excellent. We have been using curd in our diet since the 60's. Milk is considered the perfect food according to the Vedas. There are so many varieties of milk available to us. Ghee, as you mention, is another variance of milk, namely butter. If people would stop eating meat and focus on health-giving milk, they would become infinitely happier, healthier and more peaceful. Maybe you can show your guests how to make ghee!
  • #102
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 12/08/2008
Mahashakti, thanks for visiting, I will write an article about making ghee in the future then!
  • #103
  • Comment by Lee
  • on: 15/08/2008
how easy! can't wait to try. Homemade palak paneer!
  • #104
  • Comment by Meenakshi
  • on: 17/08/2008
Hi Francois:
 My son loves paneer dishes from MTR brand of Bangalore, India and even though they are delicious I find them oily. So, I thought I should make my own paneer first and make the dishes based on paneer myself. I googled for paneer recipe and saw your recipe. Went to store, bought whole milk 1/2 gallon (about 2 liters), lemons and cheesecloth. I live in Endwell, NY and so whole milk means it contains about 4% fat. In US, milk is homegeneized which means the fat is evenly distributed thro' milk and hence it takes extra effort to remove them. Thus, any milk in US is not a great candidate for making milk sweets. It is still possible to make sweets using this milk, it just takes extra effort. Visualize what the street side bhaias in Bombay do. They take wide mouthed vats to evaporate water and condense the milk.
 I brought home milk and put in a 3 quart stainless steel container and followed your steps. Your words 'gently warm' stayed in my mind and heated the milk gently. I watched the condensation of water droplets on the outside slowly disappear and at this point, reduced the heat completely and added fresh squeezed lemon (1 table spoon first). I noticed that milk began to curd and since I know that it won't do any harm to add another teaspoon of lemon juice. The whole container of milk is curdling now and while it is cooling, I decided to turn of the stove completely. I believe that it is going to be a successful operation.
I apologize for elaborating on my method just to convince one or two folks who used USA's whole milk and had difficulty curding and hence making paneer. When I called out to my son to show my process, he said that he had done this earlier in his 8th grade class Science olympiad competition for food chemistry category and he said that he used vinegar. He is  a 11th grader now.Thus, it appears that it is as easy as you say it is to make paneer.
   I would like to add a small tip. In South India, where I grew up, it is customary to make milk based dishes and desserts in humongous quantities (to send gifts to in-laws and relatives). So, my mother always added a small, round metal plate in the milk pot while cooking to prevent charring at the bottom as well as evenly distribute heat.
Thank You,
Meenakshi
  • #105
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 19/08/2008
Meenakshi, thank you so much for your detailed feedback, I was a bit anxious that readers who live far from cows (unlike me in Switzerland) might have troubles reproducing this. Your proved otherwise! I love South India and visited last Christmas and came back with a crate full of books. You remind me I should post a few more dishes to honor the unique cuisine of Kerala!
  • #106
  • Comment by A C
  • on: 25/08/2008
I was making a tiny test batch, used a standard coffee filter and it worked beautifully-- though I do have one question: Are there any suggestions as to what can be done with the filtered remains? (That is, the fluid half?)
  • #107
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 26/08/2008
AC I just visited a mountain cheesemaker this morning at 5AM and they were using the whey (that's the liquid that remains after you remove the curds) to make some whey cream. You could add some milk and make ricotta, or you could make a whey cheese like our Swiss sérac.
  • #108
  • Comment by ariun
  • on: 02/09/2008
Or you could do as Mongolians in the countryside do -- use the whey to bathe babies or children. It's supposed to be very good for their skin, and full of Vitamin B.
  • #109
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 02/09/2008
Ariun, coming soon is an article of a lady making whey cheese somewhere in the Swiss Alps - another use of whey!
  • #110
  • Comment by TAPAS DASGUPTA
  • on: 14/09/2008
The process of making paneer has been explained very simply.
The liquid that forms was collected and saved for the future paneer making. It is an excellent substitute for lime juice or vinegar and give you much better paneer.In fact all paneer is made at home as well as professional in this manner only.
The liquid being slightly acidic is very good for cleaning utensils.
  • #111
  • Comment by Abhijit
  • on: 15/09/2008
Dear Francois -  I think you should try this same recipe with buffallo milk (ask your local producer of mozzarella di buffalo if can share some with you).... thats what i used to use in australia and it works like a miracle.

Also since you write that saffron in your favourite spice Zaffrani Malai Paneer is probabaly the best paneer you can get in India (only available in zoroastrian shops in bombay i'm afraid). The basic recipe would be 1 liter buffalo - or cow milk, mixed thoroughly with 1/2 litre of cream, 1/4 cup of greek style yoghut. Bring this up to a gentle bubble add the saffron and immediately proceed to split it with an acidulant of your choice.

Lastly the traditional parsi-zoroastrian paneer - called topli nu paneer - basket cheese - (the very best in India)uses the dried inner lining of a chickens stomach (enriched by the rennet and peptic acids used by the chicken to digest its food) - all powdered up instead of acidulant. The effect it has is that while it curdles the milk it also gives it a soft velvety junket-jelly like consistancy to the milk solids - rather similar to an aereated ricotta mousse.

Cheers
  • #112
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 16/09/2008
Abhijit, thanks for this intriguing recipe, the chicken rennet will prove difficult to source, but the recipe sounds delicious! I will ask my good parsee friend Zed if he knows where I can find that rennet.
  • #113
  • Comment by Upstate NY Farm Mum
  • on: 19/09/2008
I have some help for some of the other commenters.  It takes 2-3 tsp. per QUART of milk for the coagulation to happen properly.  Please bring the milk to 212*F or 100*C and add the lemon juice or vinegar.  The heat with sufficient acid makes Paneer.

I use fresh goats milk.  It takes about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of vinegar to a gallon to make the cheese.
Kelli
  • #114
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 19/09/2008
Kelli thanks for visiting and sharing your hands-on experience on home cheesemaking!
  • #115
  • Comment by Angelo
  • on: 22/09/2008
Francois, is there some way to use the whey(?) that you drain off from making the paneer? I guess it's my frugal nature kicking in... It seems like a waste to just toss that liquid out with the dishwater. I mean, it did come from milk and I'm assuming that it's still got some nutritious qualities about it. Lemme know if you do know a way to make use of the liquid. Thank you and God bless.
  • #116
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 22/09/2008
Angelo, you can mix it with fresh milk and make ricotta, or you can make Swiss serac, both are whey cheeses. Soon I'll post an article about a lady making whey cheese in the Swiss Alps so you can see how it's done - in large quantities this time!
  • #117
  • Comment by AK
  • on: 28/09/2008
Hey FX, I made paneer this morning using your steps, and it came out fantastic.  Don't believe the naysayers, American milk works fine!  I can't wait to fry it up in a nice Indian Chili for dinner.
Thanks for the great site,  AK from New Hampshire, USA
  • #118
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 28/09/2008
AK well done and congratulation on making your first batch of paneer, the first of many I hope!
  • #119
  • Comment by LENA
  • on: 09/10/2008
Whey you can use while cooking indian dal (lentils stew) or to cook rice, or add while making chapathi/bread instead of water. Thats what I do.
  • #120
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 09/10/2008
Lena, this is the best idea for using spare whey that I've heard so far! In a dhal it must be just fabulous.
  • #121
  • Comment by Andy
  • on: 17/10/2008
Paneer is great. How about some complimentary recipes for sauces to serve with paneer?
  • FX's answer→ Andy thanks I'll think about some paneer curries!

  • #123
  • Comment by Barb
  • on: 30/11/2008
I liked how you showed the pictures of the different stages.  They reveal how easy the process actually is.
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Barb and I hope you get to try this!

  • #125
  • Comment by Eurie
  • on: 02/12/2008
I tried to make paneer today getting all the ingredients at the local market.  I did add heavy whipping cream though since US milk isn't as fatty and I did find I had to add more acidity, most likely because of the lower fat content, but that is about it.  I also let it set for a few minutes to cool off and form more.  Thanks for your addictive site and all the great visual tutorials/articles that you write!
  • FX's answer→ Thanks Eurie, I hope the paneer worked all right for you!

  • #127
  • Comment by james shandy cavell
  • on: 17/12/2008
I tried paneer with koram and a pehwari naan. It was excellent but still a tiny bit strong for my taste buds. perhaps i cant take lemon juice
  • FX's answer→ James perhaps you could use a little less lemon and still get the milk to curdle?

  • #129
  • Comment by Betsy
  • on: 31/12/2008
Your cheese recipe put a smile on my face:)
  • FX's answer→ Betsy, ah these days a smile is invaluable, glad to hear it!

  • #131
  • Comment by Rama
  • on: 01/01/2009
Hi,
This article made me feel why not try it yaar. As this works out costeffective and look more fresh and definetly more tastier that all those paneer whihc we get froze or in the market. Give it a try.
Thanks.
  • FX's answer→ Good luck if you try it Rama!

  • #133
  • Comment by Poonam
  • on: 12/01/2009
Great Recipe site.
You can make Rasgullas with this paneer. Just blend the paneer/cottage cheese in a blender till forms a smooth dough. Make into grape sized balls and boil (gentle roll) in sugar syrup (1cup sugar in 4cups of water), covered for 20 minutes. Add a rose water or kewra essence for authentic Bengali Rasgullas.
  • FX's answer→ I love Rasgullas - thanks for this idea!

  • #135
  • Comment by anm
  • on: 23/01/2009
Hi Francois

How abt trying ur expert hand at sambar?

regds
anm
  • FX's answer→ I will someday!

  • #137
  • Comment by james shandy cavell
  • on: 28/01/2009
yes i tried to add a little less lemon but it was still far to strong. how can i possibly get rid of these strong tastes in my mouth. or maybe the strong tastes are in the peshwari naan i eat the panneer with?
  • FX's answer→ There are a few other things you can use to make the cheese curdle, you can buy chemical rennet or some plants like sorrel will make the milk curdle too.

  • #139
  • Comment by David
  • on: 08/05/2009
Hey, just a note to those people who have trouble curdling, with riper sweeter lemons it can take quite a few.  I've had to use as many as 5.

I've been told letting the milk simmer for 15-20  minutes  (stirring the whole time of course) before adding the acid can help too, but Im not sure if thats true.


  • #140
  • Comment by Nikita Verma
  • on: 27/05/2009
CURD PANEER [RECIPE]                                                    Ingredients-200gms paneer,edible oil,1 large onion [chopped],1 tsp tumeric powder,1 tsp coriander powder,1tsp aamchur powder,1/2 tsp garam masala,salt,chilly powder,1large tomato [chopped],coriander leaves,2 cloves ,cumin seeds,kari leaves 1,1 cup curd .                                                      method- take a pan,put 3-4 spoons oil in it ,after the oil is cooked ,add cloves,cumin seeds,kari leaf to it.take the onion ,add it to oil with other spices. fry it till the onion chages its colour to light brown.now,add tomato to it and again fry it.add 1/2 cup curd [blended],mix well.now add the paneer cubes and coriander leaves to it .cook for 1-2 mins and then serve it . ENJOY YOUR MEAL .     
  • #141
  • Comment by Nikita Verma
  • on: 27/05/2009
can i send my own recipe?
  • #142
  • Comment by Dhanya
  • on: 02/06/2009
Superb demonstration.
  • #143
  • Comment by Marita
  • on: 26/06/2009
Hi,
can you start off by using milk that has soured naturally/curdled in the heat? I have a liter of beautiful, organic, pasteurized,  full fat, non homogenized milk that "went off" on me and I'm not keen on just chucking it away. If that's possible, how would you do it? Thanks.
  • #144
  • Comment by szar
  • on: 26/07/2009
Hello, i'd like an answer to that one as well.
query / comment by #43 Marita.
I think it should be safe. Cause afterall, its bacteria that curdles it isnt it.
and its all safe bacteria. The only thing that changes is the texture, or form of the milk. In fact, i'd think the first thing people think of when making milk that is going off is to make cottage cheese.
Having said that, my wife just reminded me that we did make cheese out of milk that went bad as she was boiling it for coffee (added some vinegar and boiled). and she says it turned out good! Why dont i remember all this.
It turns out she was making coffee for me as i had a bit too much to drink!
But a proper answer would still be appreciated.
  • #145
  • Comment by V
  • on: 06/11/2009
Thanks for the step by step.  I'll try it now

BTW, where do you get Cheesecloth in Switzerland? I can't find them anywhere (Or maybe, there's a special term for it?) I'm in the German-speaking Switzerland.
Thanks!
  • #146
  • Comment by DizzyLiz
  • on: 01/01/2010
Manjula rinses her curds under cold running water.  Wouldn't that get rid of some of the unwanted lemon flavor?
  • FX's answer→ Not sure why she rinses them.

  • #148
  • Comment by Marion
  • on: 27/04/2010
Did you ever hear about the Mattentart / Matons de Geraardsbergen in Belgium? There you make your own cheese for the filling, pretty much the same way, but you use butter milk (petit lait) to make it curdle. Easy to make and was a real hit here in Berlin with my family. Made so much of it at one time that I had 10 l of liquid left. Recipe idea for the clear milk liquid left over?
  • #149
  • Comment by Jade
  • on: 06/05/2010
I've just made my own paneer today, took me a while to figure out that I really don't NEED a recipe for it, but it is such an exciting process that I'm scouring for photos... Just because. Thanks FX for your photos, nowhere else I have seen has done them quite so artfully as you have.

Oh, and I believe Manjula rinses her cheese in cool water simply to cool it down to an ok handling temperature. I don't believe that paneer has an 'unwanted lemon flavour'....
  • #150
  • Comment by LETICIA
  • on: 08/05/2010
TE FELISITO MAÑANA MISMO LO VOY HACER  TE QUIEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
  • #151
  • Comment by Aneisha Mitchell
  • on: 16/05/2010
I've never eaten paneer nor seen paneer and this method was easy even for me.  It looks exactly like the pictures.  I used powdered milk and apple cider vinegar.  It was the only milk and vinegar I had and I was concerned that it wouldn't work... but it did!!! yay!!! It's in the chiller now and, according to the directions, I have a few hours to look for a recipe.
  • #152
  • Comment by Joe Lube
  • on: 27/05/2010
I just made a batch using 2% milk (low fat).  I used one gallon and had to use the juice of one full lemon.  I heated the milk to 180 degrees prior to adding lemon, though, the temp did get as high as 202.  It curdled slowly and took about 30 minutes.  I finally assumed it was done and strained it.  It looks like I made less than the quantity displayed in the pixs.  I assume that is because I used low fat milk.  In the fridge now chilling.  Bottom line- sure look slike you can make this with low fat milk - can't wait to taste and observe the consistency.
  • #153
  • Comment by Samenda
  • on: 25/09/2010
Wow! I have just tried this recipe. It was so simple! I always thought that making paneer was complicated, you have proven that is not so. Amazing! And Delicious.
  • #154
  • Comment by Tammy
  • on: 02/11/2010
I made this today using ingredients I had in the cupboard UHT ayrshire and bottled lemon juice. It came out perfectly though I did have to use a little more lemon juice. It looks and tastes great. I shall make Paneer Palak with it tomorrow. Thank you :)
  • #155
  • Comment by Christiane
  • on: 17/11/2010
This recipe is really great... but why on earth do you pour the whey down the drains? It makes a refreshing and healthy drink. Thanks a lot!
  • FX's answer→ Christiane, you are right that whey is wasted too often. You can even make another cheese with the whey - Ziger/Sérac/Ricotta for instance!

  • #157
  • Comment by Rebakah
  • on: 15/12/2010
Your pictures are fantastic. I just made some paneer last night and used a slightly different technique. Instead of the lemon juice, which I find hard sometimes because of the differing amounts and sometimes it doesn't curdle and so on, I use a quart of buttermilk to a gallon of milk. Just add it at the same time as you would the lemon juice. It curdles so nicely and the flavor is so light and rich. The yield for this method is very good as well. Enjoy!
  • FX's answer→ Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your own recipe, this sounds like a really good way of doing.

  • #159
  • Comment by Rhiannon
  • on: 19/06/2011
Hi! Thanks for the recipe. It is awesome!! Just wanted to point out that the liquid or whey that you drain off actually has many good uses too!
  • #160
  • Comment by Denise
  • on: 24/08/2011
I have been searching for cheese recipes for the past week. Today I found your beautiful photos and excellent instructions! I just tried this today, and it was so easy! I started off with a 1/2 gallon of 2% milk (USA), and 1 TBS of lemon juice, but it didn't form a curd, so I added 1 cup of half-and-half (half cream, half milk), and 2 TBS of white vinegar. I heated the milk to 190ºF, stirred it slow and then let it sit for 45 minutes.  I got 2 cups of curd for my efforts, and it is beautiful! I didn't drain all the whey off, as I wanted a softer cheese for spreading. I will never buy cheese again! I have another 1/2 gallon of milk on hand, and am going to experiment with herbs and seasonings next. Thank you!

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