If you love paneer ( cottage cheese) then you know homemade paneer is the best. So in this post I am sharing with you easy way of making homemade paneer in minutes. Paneer that is creamy and soft to make and method to make it is super simple. Try these easy steps for making paneer or cottage cheese at home and you will never buy it again.
There are many ways to make homemade paneer, but basics are all same. You need to curdle the milk and you need a souring agent for that. You can use any of the souring agent from lime juice/lemon juice, vinegar, citric acid or yogurt. But one thing you should not compromise is Milk.
Which Milk for Making Paneer?
Always use full fat milk as that will yield that creamy melt in mouth texture. Homemade Paneer traditionally is made with buffalo milk in India, but these days people often use a mix of cow and buffalo milk.
Easy to follow Instructions to make Paneer
As I said before once you learn to make it at home, you will use it for all your paneer dishes that you make at home. You need just 2 ingredients for making paneer. So lets start the process.
First start with heating the milk and bringing it to a boil. Then switch off the heat and add either 1-2 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to it. If you are using citric acid use ½ teaspoon dissolved in 4-5tablespoon of water and stir in the hot milk. If you are using yogurt add about ½ cup yogurt for a litre of milk.
Once you add the souring agent and stir it immediately you will see milk starts to curdle and curds rising on the top. Now switch on the heat on lowest and stir it with a wooden spoon once or twice. Within 5-6 minutes you will see the curd cheese and whey are completely separated. Do not over cook at this stage as it may get overcooked and result in a rubbery texture.
Since paneer is fresh cheese, it does not require any maturing phase. You can immediately strain it. For straining take a cheese cloth or muslin cloth over a deep pan like I have shown in step by step video and pour the entire content ( whey and hot cheese curds). These curds are also known as ‘Chenna’. Now Fold over the edges of cloth and allow it to stand for few minutes. Whey will be collected in bottom of the other vessel and cottage cheese will be separated in the folds of cloth.
Now you can use this fresh homemade paneer directly it directly if you wish to. But for making it perfect for cutting I keep it pressed under a heavy object for 10-15 minutes. This way you make perfect creamy block of homemade paneer that slices evenly and perfectly.
Few Common Questions regarding Making Paneer at Home.
One question that is most frequently asked on my most paneer recipes is “ What is the difference between cottage cheese and paneer”
The difference between cottage cheese and paneer is, cottage cheese sometimes contains salt and many times cream too is added. But in paneer no salt is added and neither extra cream.
One of the reader asked “Why is my paneer crumbly” ?
Crumbly paneer is the result of premature addition of souring agent. For making perfect creamy paneer that holds together always wait for milk to boil before adding lemon juice or vinegar.
Crumbly paneer that does not hold together well can be caused by premature addition of the coagulent (lime juice or vinegar or any other acidic substance). Adding the acid before milk starts boiling can cause paneer to be crumbly. Make sure milk is boiling well, after which add the acid.
Why does paneer become hard?
If you add too much acidic agent like lemon, lime or vinegar it paneer can turn hard. So add only as much as required.
While cooking, immediately switch off the heat as soon as milk curdles. Overcooking after curdling of milk may turn paneer hard.
Soaking it in water prior to 10 minutes add moisture to paneer and when you cook it paneer will taste soft melt in mouth.
How to Store Paneer to Keep it Fresh
To store it, keep it in water. Make sure paneer is fully submerged in water. This way paneer remains fresh for 3-4 days. To store it for longer durations like 2-3 months freeze it and store in the freezer. When You are ready to use it take it out of freezer one our prior to cooking and soak it in normal water. After one hour take it out and use as required.
How to Make homemade Paneer from Milk
How to Make homemade Paneer in 30 Minutes
- /.1 litre Full Fat Milk
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- Bring milk to roaring boil and reduce heat to lowest.
- Add lemon juice or vinegar and stir with a spoon.
- Allow it to stand 1 minutes.
- The milk will start to split. Stir it once.
- In 2-3 minutes milk will curdle completely and whey and cheese curd cheese separate.
- Switch off the heat now.
- Place a muslin cloth or cheese cloth over another big vessel. Pour this mix over and allow it to strain for few minutes.
- Paneer is ready to use now.
- To shape it into market like block for perfect slicing, fold over the edges and place a heavy object over it for 10 minutes.
- Now you can use this paneer to make your favorite dishes.
- The whey is also quite nutritious and protein rich, so do not throw it.
- you can use it for knead dough, add it while making curries, dal or soups.