Learn how to make Homemade Paneer (Cottage Cheese) In 15 Minutes and that too, effortlessly! Paneer is a star ingredient that tastes even better when made from scratch at home!
Hello paneer lovers! Today is our day of teaching and learning how to make homemade paneer (cottage cheese) in 15 minutes. Considering how I eat paneer almost every second day of my life, this was a huge missing piece on the blog. And today we are correcting it by showing you how to make homemade paneer easily in just 15 minutes. Yes, it’s that easy and that simple and that fast, and you’ll never go back to buying paneer again.
I’m so so excited to bring this post to you today. Because you know my cooking is generally andaaz, but when you are testing a recipe and end up with almost a kg of paneer after a day of recipe testing it’s not entirely bad. We make homemade paneer in multiple ways and generally it’s all free style, depending on what I have at hand.
Ingredients for making Paneer
All you need are two ingredients – full fat milk (yes, do not skip this and use skim milk) and an acidic agent like lemon juice, vinegar or yogurt.
Usually I’d just tip a spoonful or a capful or maybe two spoonfuls and see what happens because it is so natural and easy to make homemade paneer in an Indian kitchen that we don’t even think about it.But I realised when I planned this post that umm andaaz is not gonna work anymore. So here are easy to follow instructions to make homemade paneer so that you never go wrong, and try making our own paneer every time you crave some.
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.
Step #1 Curdling milk for paneer
Start by bringing a litre of whole milk to a roaring boil, and add a tablespoon and a half of lemon juice or vinegar to it. If using curds or yogurt, I recommend adding 1/2 cup yogurt to the milk. I prefer using yogurt because the paneer is definitely creamier and less tangy, and more fresh tasting.
See how the picture on the right has cheese curds rising to the top? I added half a cup of yogurt to the milk, and took this picture midway to show you how the milk started splitting into soft cheese curds within minutes.
Don’t stop there, because the process of making paneer has just started and this is about 8-10 minutes into the process. I would also recommend not going off to check facebook or scrolling through your Instagram feed because milk can boil over and spill in minutes. So stay there, because it’s just 5 more minutes to creamy, soft homemade paneer.
Step #2: Separating cheese curds from whey
Once the milk starts separating, simmer it for another minute or two and you’ll see it split completely between whey and cheese curds. This is how things will start looking. Switch off the flame, to make sure the paneer doesn’t overcook. Be bold and take a small bite of those hot cheese curds. It’s my favorite part of making paneer! It’s when you taste creamy, fresh, melt in your mouth paneer straight off the stove and your life will never be the same again. You are also done!
Step #3: Strain and Set
The next step is to line a strainer with muslin or a cheesecloth and strain the paneer. Make sure you keep another vessel below the strainer to collect the whey. Don’t throw it away because it’s full of nutrients and perfect for kneading into dough or even spicing it with cumin and salt for a refreshing, tangy drink! Once I’m all done with straining, I like to fold the edges of the cloth over it and place a heavy object on top of it for 5-10 minutes. This really helps shape the paneer and set it into a block that you can slice into for those perfect paneer tikkas.
Hello soft, creamy, life changing homemade paneer!
How to make Malai Paneer
The process of making malai paneer is very similar. While boiling the milk in the first step, add half a cup of cream to it. The fats from the cream make malai paneer even softer.
Recipes using Paneer
- Paneer Butter Masala
- Saag Paneer
- Tandoori Paneer Tikka
- Palak Paneer
- Paneer Bhurji
- Matar Paneer
- Spicy Achari Paneer
- Palak Paneer Kofta Curry
- Aloo Paneer Tikki
Watch How to make Homemade Paneer Recipe Video
How To Make Homemade Paneer (Cottage Cheese) In 15 Minutes
- 1 litre Full Fat Milk or whole milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Lemon juice / Vinegar Or 1/2 cup Yogurt
- Bring milk to roaring boil and reduce the flame to a simmer.
- Add the souring agent of your choice (lemon juice, vinegar or yogurt) and mix with a spoon. Simmer for 2-3 minutes till you see the milk starting to split.
- Switch off the flame as soon as the milk splits completely and separates into whey and cheese curds.
- Line a sieve with a muslin cloth or cheese cloth and place this over another vessel. Strain the paneer into the cheesecloth and collect the whey into the bottom. Use the whey for kneading dough or to make a refreshing drink.
- Once the whey has strained out, you can use the paneer as is. Or if you wish to shape it into a block, cover the paneer with the edges of the cheese cloth and place a heavy weight on it. Set this aside for 10 minutes. Cut and store the paneer in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Malai Paneer: To make malai paneer, add 1/2 cup heavy cream to the milk and use 2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
- Storage: Paneer can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Submerge it in water to keep it fresh and soft. The water prevents it from drying out.
- Freezing Paneer: Paneer can be frozen, though it tastes slightly powdery when thawed. Therefore, I recommend making it fresh or making it a few days ahead instead of freezing it.