How to Make Paneer

Soft cheese is easier to make at home than you would think, and homemade paneer is a great place to start!

Making paneer at home is quite simple and with just TWO ingredients you can make soft and perfectly textured paneer each time at home.It does not involve too much cooking time, You need only 15 minutes near stove top and then 30 minutes resting time and it is ready.

WHAT IS PANEER?

Paneer is a fresh cheese common in the Indian subcontinent. It is an unaged, non-melting soft cheese made by curdling milk with a fruit- or vegetable-derived acid, such as lemon juice. Its acid-set form, before pressing, is called chhena.

WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED?

Here’s a quick rundown of everything you’ll need.

  • Milk – Always use full fat milk for best cheese/paneer.
  • Acidic agent– You can use either lemon juice, vinegar, citric acid or yogurt for curdling the milk.
  • Cheese cloth – To separate the whey and paneer. Any thin cloth will do here

HOW TO CHOOSE MILK FOR HOMEMADE PANEER?

One thing that is incredibly important is your milk. Whole milk has the most proteins that will form the curds, giving you better cheese.Even 2% or skim milk is not very ideal for this recipe.

The other thing to look for are the three letters UHT(Ultra High Temperature Pasteurized). UHT pasteurization heats milk to 275F and is used to give milk a 6-9 month shelf life before it is opened. But, heating milk that high starts to break down the proteins needed to form those curds we want. So, look for milk that simply says pasteurized or HTST (high temperature short time) pasteurized, as these only heat the milk to 161F, and don’t interfere with the proteins needed for our cheese curds.

which acid to use for making paneer?

There are three different acids you can use to make paneer: lime juice, vinegar and yogurt (curds). Adding vinegar will give you a really firm block of paneer. Lime juice and yogurt will result in softer, creamier paneer.

HOW IT IS USED?

Paneer is the most common type of cheese used in traditional cuisines from the Indian subcontinent. It has a very mild creamy flavor and crumbly texture that goes well with many curries and desserts!

Fresh paneer can be grilled on skewers for some fun kebabs and also used in sandwiches, wraps and pita pockets!

It is a very versatile ingredient to use in Indian curries like Palak Paneer , Matar Paneer or Paneer Tikka Masala. Homemade paneer can also be used in making many Indian desserts, I love making delicious homemade Rasmalai!

Some paneer recipes include

DHABA STYLE TAWA PANEER

Paneer Jalfrezi

KADAI PANEER

MATAR PANEER

PANEER BUTTER MASALA

HEALTH BENEFITS OF PANEER

Cottage cheese makes way into so many of our desserts too. Apart from these indulgent preparations, paneer can make for a healthful food too. Many people also consume raw cottage cheese with black pepper or add it to their salads for its milky flavour and numerous health benefits. Cottage cheese is fresh curd cheese which is mildly flavoured.

  • Paneer is a powerhouse of protein.
  • Adequate calcium levels in paneer ensure healthy bones, teeth, healthy heart muscles and smooth nerve functioning too.
  • The high protein component of paneer also helps slow release of sugar into the blood and prevents abrupt hike and decline in blood sugar levels.
  • Paneer contains potassium which has been known to play a key role in fluid balance of body.
  • Cottage cheese has decent amount of phosphorous which helps in digestion and excretion.
  • Also rich Source Of Folate which helps in red blood cells production.
  • Helps in weight loss as a protein dense cheese can keep you satiated for long and keep the hunger pangs at bay.

How it is made?

Heat the milk in a large non-stick pot, or dutch oven, over medium heat until it comes to a simmer, stirring frequently. This will take 15 minutes.

Add vinegar , a little at a time, stirring very very gently, until the cheese curds start separating from the whey. Stirring slowly helps keep the curds intact.

The paneer will begin to curdle into big lumps. The milk will gradually go from cloudy, to clear-ish, as it cools, and the whey will have a slightly greenish hue. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.

Place a cheese cloth over a colander, and over a bowl if you want to save the whey.

When completely cooled, gently pour and strain. Let the curds drain, and gently rinse with lukewarm water (to remove vinegar)

Gather the ends of the cheesecloth together, resisting the temptation to squeeze the water out – and let it drain naturally for 10 minutes.

Form a ball with the paneer in the center of the cloth and place a plate over top of the ball.Weight the plate down and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Gently remove the Paneer from the cheese cloth. Cut into smaller cubes if using in a curry. Paneer can be refrigerated for up to a week or can be stored in the freezer for longer periods.

Tips for the Best Homemade Paneer:

  • Always use full fat milk for better cheese and check that it is not UHT (Ultra High Temperature Pasteurized).
  • Sometimes you may notice paneer has not separated from the milk. In that case, add few more drops of vineger and mix well. As long as the milk is hot, the paneer will separate.
  • Old vinegar may discolor your paneer and give it a brownish hue. But it’s still edible and has the same nutritional value as the white paneer.
  • Washing the paneer after collecting it in a strainer and cloth is an essential step. It helps to remove the vinegar smell from the paneer.
  • You can collect the whey and use it in while making roti dough, pasta, soups or other recipes.

HOW TO USE THE WHEY FROM HOMEMADE PANEER?

Do not discard the whey left after the process. The whey is rich in water soluble vitamins, minerals, trace elements and electrolytes. Any preparation made out of it is very nutritious and low calorie.

It has a slightly creamy/cheesy flavor and is super high in protein! You can use it to replace water or milk in baked goods, pasta sauces or soups. Try a splash in your morning smoothie. Or, use it to boil pasta, potatoes, rice or beans.

how to make malai paneer?

The process of making malai paneer is very similar. While boiling the milk in the first step, add a cup of cream to it. The fats from the cream make malai paneer even softer.

How to store?

Homemade paneer can be refrigerated for up to a week or can be stored in the freezer for longer periods.I usually store the paneer in water as it remains soft for a week.

Other homemade DIY recipes,

Homemade Ghee

Homemade Ginger Garlic Paste

Homemade PANEER:

INGREDIENTS:

2 liter Full Fat Milk
4 tbsp White Vinegar or Lemon Juice

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat the milk in a large non-stick pot, or dutch oven, over medium heat until it comes to a simmer, stirring frequently. This will take 20 minutes.
  2. Add vinegar , a little at a time, stirring very very gently, until the cheese curds start separating from the whey. Stirring slowly helps keep the curds intact.
  3. The paneer will begin to curdle into big lumps. The milk will gradually go from cloudy, to clear-ish, as it cools, and the whey will have a slightly greenish hue. Turm off the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Place a cheese cloth over a colander, and over a bowl if you want to save the whey.
  5. When completely cooled, gently pour and strain. Let the curds drain, and gently rinse with lukewarm water (to remove vinegar)
  6. Gather the ends of the cheesecloth together, resisting the temptation to squeeze the water out – and let it drain naturally for 10 minutes.
  7. Form a ball with the paneer in the center of the cloth and place a plate over top of the ball.Weight the plate down and place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  8. Gently remove the Paneer from the cheese cloth. Cut into smaller cubes if using in a curry. Paneer can be refrigerated for up to a week or can be stored in the freezer for longer periods.

RECIPE NOTES:

  1. Always use full fat milk for better cheese and check that it is not UHT (Ultra High Temperature Pasteurized).
  2. Sometimes you may notice paneer has not separated from the milk. In that case, add few more drops of vineger and mix well. As long as the milk is hot, the paneer will separate.
  3. Old vinegar may discolor your paneer and give it a brownish hue. But it’s still edible and has the same nutritional value as the white paneer.
  4. Washing the paneer after collecting it in a strainer and cloth is an essential step. It helps to remove the vinegar smell from the paneer.
  5. You can collect the whey and use it while making roti dough, pasta, soups or other recipes.

Are you making this recipe? Then don’t forget to like and leave your comments for this recipe!  I LOVE to see your creations so snap a photo and tag BlendOfSpicesbySara on Instagram with the hashtag #blendofspicesbysara

Reach out to me at blendofspicesbysara@gmail.com and also you can follow me on FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM ,PINTEREST to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Published by blendofspicebysara

Hey!!!! My name is Saraniyaa Pradeep, and I feel very grateful that you have stumbled upon BlendOfSpicesBySara! I am the food blogger and photographer behind BlendOfSpicesBySara. This is my happy place where i combine my great love of food with my passion for photography. To this day,nothing makes me happier than preparing and sharing food with my family, friends and all of you dear blog readers. Ultimately, BlendOfSpicesBySara is about good food. I hope you find something on the site that you like.

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