Paneer, a mild, no-fail cheese is great for beginners and fun to make with kids but it’s so delicious and versatile that advanced cheese makers and cooks around the world love it.
It is unique because though it softens when cooked, it doesn’t really melt. Paneer actually absorbs seasonings and sauces that surround it. This makes it a perfect tasty addition to curries, pasta dishes, saucy enchiladas, kabobs and any recipe that calls for tofu or chicken. With this simple recipe you can make it in less than an hour. Bonus - infuse the milk and then fry the cheese for very special paneer. Learn how below!
Need supplies? Try one our cheesemaking kits for beginners and you'll have everything you need. Just add the milk.
- 1 gallon whole cows' or goats' milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
- 2 tsp citric acid (included in our kits), or 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp cheese salt, to taste (included in our kits too)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder or ground black pepper (optional)
- Large pot- at least 5 quart
- Thermometer (included in our kit!)
- Fine cheesecloth (included in our kits, yup also)
- Large slotted spoon
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 1 ¾ lbs
Measure the citric acid into 1/4 cup of cool water and stir well to dissolve. Alternately, measure your vinegar.
Heat the milk in your pot stirring often to prevent scorching at the bottom. This is the time to stir in curry powder or black pepper so that the milk infuses as it heats. Heat until you see bubbling, foam and steam - 200˚F or even until it reaches a boil if you don't have a thermometer (included in our kits!).
Turn the heat to low, before the foam subsides, drizzle in the citric acid solution or vinegar and watch the magic! Cook for 1 minute, stirring very gently.
Remove from the heat. The curds are white (or golden if you added curry powder) and the whey should be clear yellow. If the whey is whitish, sprinkle a pinch more citric acid in the pot and make sure you heat to at least 200˚F.
Once you get a clear separation of curds and whey, let the pot sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
Pour the curds into a colander lined with cheesecloth.
Gently twist the top of the cloth to squeeze out extra whey.
This is the time to add the salt and any other optional spices, herbs, chili peppers etc.
Twist the cloth so that the cheese is in a nice bundle. Rest the bundle in the colander, and place a small plate and a weight (such as a gallon of water) on top. Allow the paneer to press for ½ hour-1 hour.
Unwrap the paneer and refrigerate in a covered container overnight for maximum firmness. You can cut it, cook with it, eat it as is and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Try browning a small piece in a little olive oil, salt and pepper…yum!
Want to make an incredible appetizer? Slice the paneer into cubes or "fingers." Fry them in a hot, oiled pan over medium heat. Ghee or avocado oil work well. Fry on at least two sides until toasty and crispy. Enjoy!
Note- this golden batch was flavored with one teaspoon curry powder.
- Cover and store in the refrigerator
- Use within 1 week