Homemade Paneer

If you’ve ever wanted to try making homemade cheese, this recipe for Homemade Paneer is a perfect place to start!  It’s super easy and makes a light cheese great by itself or in spicy Indian recipes!

Homemade Paneer. An easy recipe tutorial to make this light cheese at home. Great for cooked dishes and on its own too. BoulderLocavore.com

I have wanted to learn to make my own cheese for years.  If I were to have predicted, ricotta or mozzarella probably would have been my first endeavor but instead it turned out to be Homemade Paneer.  Go figure.

I think my interest in cheese making stemmed from my original locavore experiment when I was trying to source all my protein and produce from a 100-mile radius over a Colorado winter.  That lent itself to dabbling in a number of homesteading practices like root cellaring and canning.

Homemade Paneer. An easy recipe tutorial to make this light cheese at home. Great for cooked dishes and on its own too. BoulderLocavore.com

I find it very gratifying to create food that I’d normally buy.  I love learning new things and often find exploring making ingredients from scratch if often easier than one would guess.  The results are usually something better tasting than what can be purchased too.  In this case I love cheese so checking out making it myself was a natural pursuit.

For those unfamiliar, paneer is fresh cheese made by curdling cow’s milk with something acidic like lemon juice or vinegar.  It is popular in South Asian recipes as well as eating by itself.  Paneer is formed into a block which can be sliced or cubed and used in cooked dishes without it melting.

Homemade Paneer. An easy recipe tutorial to make this light cheese at home. Great for cooked dishes and on its own too. BoulderLocavore.com

Before making Homemade Paneer I’d done some research and realized it is an easy process.  Much like other recipes for ingredients normally purchased, after making it I was energized to try making other cheeses.  Whole milk is heated and lemon juice added.  While stirring, the milk separates into curds and whey just as referenced in the Little Miss Muffet nursery rhyme.  As the curds form (they look like cottage cheese curds) the liquid or whey has a green tinge so it’s obvious when it’s forming.

Once the curds have formed they are compressed in cheesecloth, rinsed and allowed to drain.  Finally, the compressed curds and refrigerated with a weight to form a round block of fresh cheese.  It has a light flavor and dense texture.  Paneer is great for salads, in cooked dishes and crumbled with nuts and honey.  I’ll be sharing it in a delicious vegetarian recipe next week so please check back!

Homemade Paneer. An easy recipe tutorial to make this light cheese at home. Great for cooked dishes and on its own too. BoulderLocavore.com

Comments

  1. Pam says

    My daughter loves Indian food and always gets Sag Paneer when we go out to eat. She would love to make her own Paneer.

  2. Ora Lee Gurr says

    Making Paneer would be a fun thing to do next time one of my sisters visits. We enjoy creating new things to eat and sampling them before springing them on our family. If we goof up, we just toss and carry on. The kids and hubbies will never know.

  3. says

    I had no idea what paneer actually was until I tried palak paneer at a local Indian restaurant and fell in love. I would never think to attempt to make it myself.

  4. Nicole Escat says

    I am not familiar with Paneer but I think it is similar to our local white cheese. It looks yummy!

    • says

      It’s used in many eastern Indian dishes. It’s a firm cheese that has a light flavor and can be eaten by itself or in recipes. I’ll be posting a recipe using it this weekend.

  5. Shilpa Shetty says

    I love Paneer,.. I have been making Paneer from many years,.. Thank you for the post.,…

  6. Ann Bacciaglia says

    I have never made my own cheese before. I will have to pick up the ingredients so i can try this recipe. It looks delicious and easy to make.

  7. Susan says

    Thank you very much for sharing this recipe. I’ve wanted to try paneer, but haven’t found any place locally to buy it. I have a question about the process: is the whey from this cheese-making process useable? When I make yogurt I always save the whey and it is good for using in smoothies and I freeze some as ice cubes for when I don’t have fresh, or for when I’m soaking grains. Thanks.

    • says

      I don’t see why it wouldn’t be usable Susan! Since I was focused on making the paneer I did not consider retaining the whey and using it myself; but that was merely since I did not need it in the moment.

  8. says

    Even though I am a cheese lover, I have never made my own and have to admit, I have never heard of paneer. With all the concerns over additives and such in our food, I have entertained the thought of making a lot of my own foods. This could be a great place to start.

  9. says

    So no more churning butter…wait is that even how you make cheese? Well I am always looking into making stuff from scratch so this is cool!

  10. Sarah Bailey says

    I have never attempted to make something like this but you make it look so easy. I must give it a try!

  11. Robin Ruehrwein says

    I absolutely love Indian Food! This is a great place for me to start to be able to make some of my favorite dishes now at home.

  12. Jennifer Henry-Novich says

    Paneer is something that I have never heard of before but it looks amazing. Definitely marking this down as something to learn in my cooking experiences.

    • says

      It’s very light in flavor. I’ve seen suggestions to eat it plain with honey and walnuts as well as use it in recipes. I’ll be sharing a recipe using it next week!

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