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April 09, 2005

Comments

tanvi

mmm paneer! ive never tried to make it myself but i love the stuff. if you prefer the kind you've had in indian restuarants, you should try buying paneer from any indian store- my family uses it all the time and its pretty good. just a suggestion.

ps. im enjoying your blog!

Catherine

Such a good idea, Tanvi. I should really learn to be lazier ;) Truth be told, I'm not sure where all this sudden industriousness came from! Naan and paneer could be a meal by themselves! Thanks for the kind words about the blog!

Riti

Hi,

Thanks for the receipe for paneer.

However, Please let me know , is little bit of lemon juice sufficient (1 tsp)? Also, I didn't let the milk come to a full boil and added the lemon juice. I did not get any paneer.

Thanks,
Riti

Catherine

Riti - you don't say how much milk you started with, but you can see that in my recipe a 1/2 gallon requires at least 2 TBSP of lemon juice, and some recipes call for 3. You probably didn't use enough. And, you have to let the milk come to a boil first. Go back and try again, following the directions to the letter, and you should have no problem. My first try was successful, after all! Good luck!

Daoud

New link to superchefblog article on Madhur Jaffrey is:
https://www.superchefblog.com/2004/11/madhur-jaffrey-our-lady-of-india-cbe.html

MANOJ

NOW I CAN TEACH MY GIRL HOW TO MAKE PANEER
TIKKA, YOU MADE MY DAY.

ananya

hi....i m just married and never made paneer at home b'coz i was afraid that it would not be good.........after this i tried that and that is delicious.
thanks
ananya

Anita

Hi,
Read your article and enjoyed it thoroughly. Just thought I'd add to it. The watery liquid that separates (whey)from paneer is very healthy and greatly contributes to the flavouring of any gravy. Please do not pour it away. In fact, infants who have indigestion problems are given this liquid if they are unable to digest milk.
Just thought this info might be of use.

Anita.

Catherine

Anita -- that's very interesting and informative, thank you for adding this to the post!

Lou

I found a similar recipe on the web and tried it this weekend.
Complete failure. I ended using 3 lemons and at least 2 TBSP of vinegar and I never got the milk to curddle, for the whey to separate. I think I didn't let it boil first. Also, is whole milk sufficient? Or should one use something heavier half/half or even cream? I used 1 litre of whole milk. I added some salt and curry powder for flavor and then added tbsp after tbsp of lemon juice. In the end I used 3 lemons, nothing happend.
Do you stir after you add the lemon juice or do just let it sit?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Lou.

Catherine

Lou, Whole milk is sufficient. I am no paneer expert, but the two times I made it I followed these directions precisely -- e.g. let it come to a boil before adding lemon juice, stir a few minutes until the curds start to separate, then let it sit the 10 minutes or so for it to develop fully. Both times it worked very well. I would try it again, and let it boil before you add the lemon juice. Also, you could consult Harold McGee or similiar text to see if adding the salt somehow changes the milk's ability to curdle (cannot imagine it does, but one never knows). Good luck!

PaneerKing

This recipe works great. You just have to simply read the directions and FOLLOW THEM. Thanks for the great Paneer.

Sunny

Hello,
I learned to make Paneer from a friend who gave the exact same directions as this site except she used vinegar instead of lemon juice. I tried to make it once and did not let it boil and did not end up with Paneer. I also once tried to use half and half or some heavier cream thinking that it would give me more curds compared to whole milk. I was wrong as I got no curds at all. Just something yucky. The best way is to use whole milk and either lemon juice or vinegar and don't forget to let it boil. It is so delicious! Good luck all.

mary ann tracy

i am always trying to watch the fat content of foods. is it possible that paneer can be made by using skim milk or what about soy milk? i would greatly appreciate your expertise on this. thank you.

Catherine

Mary Ann, I don't know about soy milk. Maybe. But definitely not skim. You need some fat to make the cheese. You could try 2% and see how that does.

6810

Curdling soy milk makes tofu...

Vinod

For some years have been carrying pre-fried paneer from Delhi. Recently tried making it home - some comments:
75-80 deg C gives good results and saves mess making possibilities.
1 litre of 3.2% fat milk can yield 160 gms cheese. Of course it could be less if you squeeze it to long/hard.
I am using citric acid powder - add it slowly till the liquid is a a very pale watery blue.
I am so pleased with the results that I am trying to persuade the local (national) dairy company to take it on as a new product.

Anusha Mirza

Thanks for the lovely recipe. I had to scroll through quite a few before deciding on this one. Somehow personal experiences narrated in such a manner are always sellers!!! Have left my curds to hang. I feel I have quite a few though I didn't leave them in the fluid for long enough. I am wondering if the paneer I get will taste like the kind you find in restaurants or grocery shops. Have plans of using it to make palak paneer and ---- I guess the proof of the pudding will be in the eating!!!!!!!

Krista

Wow - just tried this for the first time, and it makes lovely paneer :)

Thanks!

Judith

I love paneer and tried to make it myself. I thought everything worked very well as it is described, but then at the end the cheese did not stick together it was somehow crumbly, if I can say so for cheese. I don't know what was my mistake and want to ask now, if somebody has an idea. Thank you.

Catherine

Judith, To my mind, paneer is sort of a crumbly cheese, which is why it's necessary to smoosh it between plates or books. If yours didn't gel, maybe you didn't leave it long enough? I don't have any other guesses since I don't make paneer often enough and have not had that problem myself.

spadge

You can also use the left over whey liquid to water plants with.

suchi

hi,
this is a good recipe...i remember my mom teaching me the trick to perfect paneer....its the boiling of milk before adding lemon juice. i loved the way its described...thanx

slackermom

I would challenge you to an "Eat Indian Food Till We're Sick Contest" but the nearest Indian restaurant for me is over 200 miles away! I've had to learn my favorites. I'm happy with my Chicken Tikka Masala and my Chana Masala, some basic curry dishes and lately my Naan! I just made paneer yesterday from a similar recipe. It didn't specify whole milk however so I got a bit less than a half cup of cheese from 2 cups of 2 percent milk. (I ended up here trying to find out why I didn't get much cheese.) I will definitely try again with a quart of whole milk because it was so easy and still so good. My recipe called for a quarter teaspoon of lemon juice for two cups of milk but I found I had to drip in a bit more, maybe up to a half teaspoon. I also boiled mine for quite a while and blew on the foam when it would get too high. I kept boiling it cause I wasn't getting a lot of curd, probably cause I didn't have full fat milk. I ended up with something that was almost mozzarella which is very exciting! I can get fresh, unpasteurized whole milk from neighbors so I will try with that, soon! cheers -

Bill

Just made paneer for the second time. It's being pressed right now. I came across your site because I needed a reminder as to how it's made. I never knew making cheese was so easy! Anyway for the person who said their paneer was crumbly I suspect they didn't press it with enough weight or long enough. My understanding is that paneer can differ in India depending on how hard the paneer is. Some like to beat or knead the paneer to yield a texture like mozzerella. Thanks for the recipe!

Paul

Hi, Try using natural yoghurt instead of lemon juice or vinegar..

christine

The way I learned to make it is with a gallon of milk and about 3/4 qt buttermilk added slowly. Gives a good creamy taste.

William Flinn

If you want a paneer recipe to die for find Anjum Anand on google ,you can find the recipes from her BBC series one is Punjabi Paneer with Tomato etc and I made it on my first make and it was so good its on for tomorrow night . Good luck

Kiki

A friend of mine makes paneer and had told me how, but by the time I got around to needing some (pregnancy craving for mataar paneer) I had forgotten how. Thanks for posting this - the directions are exactly how she had described it to me and I can't wait to make some in the morning!

Scott

Well I just tried this and it was a really bad failure. I brought the heat up slowly to avoid scorching and used a whip to stir it often. I took it off the heat just as soon as it started to boil. I then put in the 2 table spoons of lemon juice. Stirred it for about three minutes. Let it sit for about 15 and then strained in a couple tea towels.

In all I ended up with about four table spoons of solids.

I fried it trying to get it to hold together but no go...

Since it tasted good I put it in my Palak Paneer. Looked like 1/4 size small curd cottage cheese. LOL

Oh well I had fun trying.

Thayne

over three years after the fact, i'm yet another blogger who is going to try this recipe. i even bought some garam masala and curry powder to fry up with the paneer. sadly this requires waiting until my roommate is done in the kitchen.

Mandy

Re: curdling failure and low-fat cheeses....

If you have curdling problems, check your milk. If you see "Ultra-Pasturized," it means the milk was heated so high that the proteins responsible for curdling have denatured.... i.e. they won't curdle any more. Pasturized is fine, just not the super-duper-ultrapasturized stuff. If you have doubts, look for smaller local dairy suppliers - they can get away with lower heat sterilization techniques since they don't have to truck it so far in the hot sun.

Low-Fat Cheese - Usually, you can't do this easily at home - if you start with 2% milk, you'll just end up with less cheese than if you started with whole milk, both will be full fat! Sorry.

And as for the Paneer Recipe, YAY! THANK YOU! I actually got into cheesemaking (you have no idea how easy it is to make a good, marinated fress mozzarella, from milk to mozz in 1 hr) partly because I could not find a place to buy paneer. This is the easiest and best recipe I've tried! I know I'm a year late to stumble on, but you still deserve accolades!

Mandy

Re: curdling failure and low-fat cheeses....

If you have curdling problems, check your milk. If you see "Ultra-Pasturized," it means the milk was heated so high that the proteins responsible for curdling have denatured.... i.e. they won't curdle any more. Pasturized is fine, just not the super-duper-ultrapasturized stuff. If you have doubts, look for smaller local dairy suppliers - they can get away with lower heat sterilization techniques since they don't have to truck it so far in the hot sun.

Low-Fat Cheese - Usually, you can't do this easily at home - if you start with 2% milk, you'll just end up with less cheese than if you started with whole milk, both will be full fat! Sorry.

And as for the Paneer Recipe, YAY! THANK YOU! I actually got into cheesemaking (you have no idea how easy it is to make a good, marinated fress mozzarella, from milk to mozz in 1 hr) partly because I could not find a place to buy paneer. This is the easiest and best recipe I've tried! I know I'm a year late to stumble on, but you still deserve accolades!

Jill

WOW; I absolutely LOVE your blog. I, too, challenge you to an Indian Food Fest! ;) Being vegetarian, I love mutter paneer with roti (or naan) and any kind of curried vegetable dish. Indian cuisine is very vegetarian-friendly.

I found a different paneer recipe the other day, and it did NOT mention boiling the milk. I shall have to try it your way, as I know it will be awesome. I did get a small cake of paneer-like cheese after using tons of lemon juice, but the curds were more like small wisps of semi-solid milky blobs and it took for. ev. er. Strained thru a coffee filter in my colander for a long time, then pressed it out with a paper towel.

I liked my little lemony cake of cheese okay, but I am going to dream of making your recipe tonight. I can hardly wait to go get some milk!

Thanks so much!

gin

Just a comment about the paneer making/cheese in general. If the milk is ultra-pasteurized (it's not required to be labeled that way) there will be little to no yield. If you can't find any in your area, reconstitute powdered milk and add a cup of half-n-half per gallon of milk. It will increase your yeild, and produce a yummy cheese- just make sure to let the reconstituted milk sit at least overnight, or it will make the cheese taste funny. Oh, and whey makes a great fertilizer or can be used to make "whey ricotta."

Shiks

wow!! made paneer for the first time. It was perfect although I didnt hang it in cheese cloth instead used a sieve to drain whey and left it for a while.. it wasnt crumbly even without the weights on it.. also I used Semi skimmed milk and was fine... i am thinking of buying extra milk everytime to make yummy homemade paneer :) Thanks a lot for the recipe :)

G

I only just had Indian food for the first time. although my sister has raved for years I never had the occasion to try it.
I had Naan lasy night and while searching for a recipe I came across your blog.....WELL DONE! I will be back again and again.

DianeH

Hello! I tried this recipe last night to the "T," and it didn't initially work. I used whole organic milk, brought it to a full boil (and almost over the top of the pot), added 2.5 Tbsp. of lemon juice, etc.

What I ended up with was about 1 or 2 Tbsp of curds and milk that did not separate. So, I put it back on the stove, brought it to a boil again, and added rice vinegar (I'm sure any vinegar would work), and Eureka! Instant success.

I think that the key has to do with the lemons. Lemon varieties vary, and lemons within a variety vary. I believe there just wasn't enough acid (or whatever you need) in the lemons that I used to make the milk separate.

Anyway, the Paneer was fabulous. Many thanks for all your content here.

David

We made two batches of paneer, each with a half-gallon of milk. In both cases, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice was woefully insufficient. Just keep adding lemon juice, a tablespoon at a time, and mix it in slowly. When you've added enough, the reaction is fairly fast and obvious, so don't despair if you can't get it to curdle right away. Just keep adding lemon juice until the liquid turns clear instead of milky white. We ended up using at least 1/4 cup for each batch.

Sj

I love your blog!

I am also so enamoured with learning to make Indian food at home. So far I have made various Indian veggie stir fries, carrot halwa, and palak without the paneer (my to die for favorite dish is palak paneer but I was not about to pay $8 for a tiny package of premade paneer when I can easily make my own for $2). Tonight I made paneer for the first time! I have it pressing right now. I have leftover palak in the freezer, and will put them together tomorrow. :-)

I used another recipe before seeing yours...would definitely have used a half gallon of milk rather than a quart. A quart makes only enough to half-fill my glass butter dish lid (the only rectangular form I had at hand that was not plastic). I will end up with a block of paneer slightly larger than a stick of butter when it is done pressing. Enough for one recipe, I guess...

I also wanted to add that the other recipe states that the lemon whey left over can be saved and reused next time, and will make an even nicer, tender textured paneer. I am freezing it and plan to try that next time. There's a lot of it left after the paneer is finished, and I bet it would also be good added to soups, etc for a nice lemon flavor and nutrient boost.

I am also intrigued by making a mozzarella-like cheese by kneading the paneer...hmmm!

Randy

I saw an Indian friend do this with milk in the process of making ras malai (probably my favorite Indian dessert) from scratch. So I just learned that ras malai is the same as paneer.

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