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Homemade Paneer (Indian cheese) Recipe

I just love this yummy homemade Paneer recipe. Even though, I’m lactose intolerant, I feel this creamy Indian cheese (Paneer) recipe is certainly worth popping a lactose free pill. It tastes fresh and creamier than the store-bought Paneer.

finished platter

The store-bought Paneer is a little denser, so it may hold up a little better to stove heat for my delicious Saag Paneer dish. (Check out products tab for a description of my gourmet all natural, gluten free seasoning mix). If you do make homemade paneer and want to use it with my Saag Paneer seasoning,  gently fold it in at the very end of cooking the spinach.  This is a simple recipe but there are a few nuances that you need to keep in mind for it to come out well. What’s really nice about this recipe is that you can eat it as an Hors d’oeuvre with crackers or served with fresh basil, grape tomatoes for a fusion Indian twist.

Tips:

- You definitely want to use full fat or whole milk. If you use skim milk, the milk will not curdle well. Similarly, don’t use ultra-pasteurized milk as it won’t yield much paneer and it might be dry.

- When adding acidity to make the milk curdle such as vinegar, or lemon, add 2 tablespoons and then add 1 tablespoon at a time up to 5 tablespoons. You could also use ¼ cup of plain yogurt (although I personally haven’t used it) which I’ve heard makes the cheese creamier, but I like to keep it simple and use lemon.

- Cover your colander/strainer with a cheese cloth with an additional 3-4 inches of cheese cloth hanging over the colander. Have it ready, so that it’s easy to drain the milk into the cheese cloth.  

- Save the whey, which is the liquid part of the curdled milk. You can do this by placing a big container underneath the strainer. Whey is full of protein and can be used as a base to make many other things such as smoothies, cheeses, dressings and marinade.

Ingredients you need:

8 cups (1/2 gallon) Whole Milk: Please do NOT use ultra pasteurized or skim milk

2-5 tablespoons Lemon juice or Vinegar OR ¼ cup plain yogurt

Colander/Strainer

Cheese Cloth

 Recipe:​

1.  Pour the whole milk into a large pot over medium heat. Make sure it is a large pot or if it boils over, it will spill easily onto your stove. Stir frequently in a clockwise and bring the milk to a rolling boil. Make sure the bottom of the milk is not burning and that you are watching it as it boils very quickly. This will take time, so be patient. pour milk
2. After the milk comes to a boil, start adding 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (I prefer freshly squeezed lemons) one tablespoon at a time up to 5 tablespoons. Keep stirring milk in one direction only so it’s easier for the milk to clump together easily. You’ll see the milk curdle and start to separate from the whey which is light greenish in color. When this happens, stop adding the lemon juice and turn off the stove and remove the pot from the heat. If you don’t see the whey separate after adding tablespoons of lemon juice, let the milk boil for a few more minutes till you see it separate. add lemon juice
3.  Turn off the stove and set the milk aside to cool slightly for ~ 5 -7 minutes. curdled milk
4. Carefully pour the hot curdled milk into a cheese cloth that is placed over a strainer/colander. If you wish to save the whey, place a bigger container underneath the strainer/colander to catch the whey. When you have poured all the milk out. 
curdled milk
5. Pour ½ cup-1 cup of cold water over cheese to rinse out the taste of lemon juice while stirring the curdled milk. This also stops the milk from cooking further. Remove the strainer from over the bigger container catching the whey so that the cheese is not sitting in the liquid whey. 
pour water
6. Add ¼ tsp of salt (optional) for taste and mix well.
mix well
7. Pull the ends of the cheese cloth together, twist it tightly till the curdled milk is wrapped in a tight ball in the cheese cloth. Squeeze out all the liquid carefully, the curdled milk can still be pretty stove hot, so please be careful. twist paneer into bundle
8. You can tie the long end of the cheese cloth to your kitchen faucet and let it drain into the sink (optional) for at least 45 minutes. I personally prefer to unwrap the tight bundle of cheese into a ball and re-wrap the cheese into a tight square block. If you drain the cheese cloth on a faucet, you’d still need to do the following process anyway, so I just skip the step of draining it and go right into weighing the cheese down to squeeze out the excess liquid. wrap paneer in cheese cloth
9. Place the cheese which is still wrapped in the cheese cloth on a plate or clean flat surface. Weigh it down by placing another flat plate such as a cast iron skillet or pot that has a heavy object in it i.e. a heavy jar to squeeze out excess liquid. Leave it in a cool dry place for a minimum of 45 mins to at least 2-3 hours. weighing down paneer
10. Remove the cheese from the cheese cloth and place fridge. You can cut it into 1” cubes before or after you place in fridge, but I feel storing it in the fridge will help it harden even more. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge anywhere from 4-7 days. paneer


 paneer

Enjoy Paneer with my delicious Saag Paneer seasoning mix and recipe OR as a fusion Indian Hors d’oeurve in a cheese and cracker platter OR with fresh basil, grape tomato with balsamic vinegar. 😋 😋 😋

 


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It was delicious!

My wife and I met you as you were setting up at Market District on Sunday morning. We purchased one of all the seasoning kits you had there.

Marcie made the Chicken Tikka Masala over basmati for dinner on Monday. It was delicious! We are so happy we ran into you and purchased your products. We are anxious to try the others.

As you indicated it makes a plentiful amount so we have enough for leftovers. Also we had extra sauce so the next day for dinner I simmered wild shrimp in the sauce and served it over mashed butternut and sweet potatoes. That too was very good.

Thank you Vince and Marcie for your AWESOME review! We are delighted that you loved our Chicken Tikka Masala seasoning kit. We especially LOVE your creative fusion Indian twist of using wild shrimp with the chicken tikka masala sauce over mashed butternut and sweet potatoes. It's ultimate comfort food! YUMMY !

So delicious!

Thank you for another amazing recipe! I made this using your recipe for seafood stew and it was incredible! It was such a treat and so easy to make. I will definitely be ordering another packet to make again!

Soooo good!

Had my first experience making Indian food and so appreciated the kits! Made chicken tikka masala and saag paneer, and they were both excellent. And, they were even better heated up as left overs! Will definitely buy again!

Hi Pam,
I am SO very thrilled that you had an AMAZING experience with both the chicken tikka masala and saag paneer kits. We are delighted that you love our easy Indian home cooking made with love! Thank you so much for your thoughtful and awesome review!
Cheers,
Priya

A
Virtual Indian Cooking Class
Annette hladio (Ambler, US)
AMAZING!!

Priya is a fabulous instructor. Very funny, great directions, always checking to make sure I was following along. Food was also very amazing! Totally enjoyed the class. Will do it again!

Annette!!! It was such a pleasure to have you in class. I thoroughly enjoyed your company. I am quite delighted that your very first experience of cooking an entire Indian meal of main entrée and accompaniment (Chicken Tikka Masala and coconut rice) was a success! Thank you for your wonderful review :-).

Excellent and easy

Why bother trying your own when this is so easy? . Delicious!

Thank you so much for your awesome review! I’m delighted that you loved my chicken tikka masala seasoning kit. My vision was to make this dish super easy to make and skip the hassle to help making Indian food easier. So I’m thrilled that I made it easy for you to make this dish. I appreciate the feedback !
Cheers
Priya