Thursday, June 5, 2008

Paneer (Fresh Indian Cheese)

This is a wonderful cheese and can be made in one day if you start in the morning, it will be finished by evening. The flavours are very mild, but it has a unique flavour.


* Stove top
* 3 - 5 sheets cheese cloth or old linen i.e. an old pillow case cut down each side and at the bottom seam throughly washed in soapy bleach water and rinsed very well. (I used old linen, and it worked out very nicely, in fact I don't think I'd use cheese cloth at all.)
* 1 large pot
* 1 wooden spoon
* 1 colander
* 2 plates
* Tin cans, or something heavy like a brick, at least 10 lbs or 22kg.


* 1 litre or 33.8 ounces rich 3.8% milk (avoid ultra-pasteurized)
* 2 tablespoons white vinegar
* 1/2 - 1 teaspoon kosher salt


In the sink or over a bowl, line the colander with the cheese cloth or old linen.

In a pot bring the milk to a low boil over medium heat (Be careful—once milk boils, it foams and makes a mess quickly). Stir constantly as it heats up to avoid scalding on the bottom of the pan.

Once the milk has come to a boil, removed from heat and add vinegar one teaspoon at a time and stir until curdles start to form and a yellowish liquid separates the white curds.

It should look like this...

Once the milk starts to curdle and you can see separate curds from the yellowish whey, walk away from the mixture for 10 minutes so that the curds can develop.

After 10 minutes, give it a stir again. Strain the curds over the lined colander.

Gently stir it around a bit to help the whey to drain. Once it is cool enough to handle sprinkle on the salt to taste, just a little not too much. Stir in the salt into the curds, then bring all sides of the linen together and start twisting. The tighter you twist the more liquid will come out. While twisting, stop for a few minutes and squeeze the ball of cheese to get the whey out. The more you squeeze, the firmer your cheese will be.

Once you have squeeze it, let the cheese sit in the colander to drain off the whey for a few minutes. Once the cheese has drained, untwist the cloth, but keep the cheese covered. While still in the cloth pat out a 1/2 inch disc on a plate and place another plate on top, then place your cans, or heavy object on top of the cheese and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours. More whey will come off the cheese, discard it or save it for making your next batch of paneer. The whey from a previous batch will yield a more tender cheese.

Wrap the cheese and cut it into cubes and enjoy!

You can make paneer makhani (butter paneer), or fry the paneer in a little ghee (clarified butter), or oil for a tasty snack.


The paneer should not be crumbly, it should be a solid cheese, but soft like goats cheese.

Makes about 6 ounces of cheese. Use immediately, or keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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Anonymous said...

Mmmm. It looks so Yummy! I bet it will taste so good making Butter Paneer with it.
Keep up the good work,

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