4.5/5 rating (13 votes)

Homemade Paneer

Indian Cottage Cheese

  • Heat None
  • Serves 4
  • Dietary Info VEGETARIAN
  • Prep 5 mins
  • Marinade 55 mins

Home made curd cheese with a slight chewy texture and a little squeaky. It takes on the flavours of the ingredients it is put with.

Hari says

I love making paneer at home. It's so much nicer than the stuff in plastic vac packs you can buy off the supermarket shelves. Paneer is Indian cottage cheese. This is not only a substitute for meat, but is a very important ingredient in it's own right. Paneer is very much about the texture and doesn't really have a strong flavour of it's own. Like soya or tofu, it takes on the flavour of the sauce it is in.

It is very easy to make and is the kind of cooking that makes you feel a bit like an earth mother - makes you feel good about yourself. It can either be used as small blocks which are deep fried and added to a sauce, not fried and added to vegetable dishes, marinated and grilled or crumbled into masala sauces.

Dishes such as palak paneer (spinach and paneer) or paneer makhani (paneer in a creamy sauce) or muttar paneer (peas and paneers or cheesy peas!) have made this ingredient famous throughout UK restaurants. I recently found out (to my horror) that a number of Indian restaurants no longer serve paneer in these dishes and substitute it for cheddar cheese? How is this the same? Well in my opinion its not, so a word of advice - ask before you order.

  • Ingredients
  • Method
  • 2 pints (1.25L) full fat milk
  • 2½ tbsp lemon juice/white vinegar


  1. Pour the milk into a non-stick pan and heat.
  2. Just before the milk comes to a boil and as it starts to bubble add the lemon juice or vinegar and stir. Remove from the heat and stir then leave to stand for 5 minutes. The milk will separate into solid curd and the watery liquid or whey. If it hasn't separated you may need to add a little more vinegar. 
  3. Line a colander with muslin or cheesecloth.
  4. Scoop the curd into the lined colander (you can save the whey as stock).
  5. Pull the cloth into a ball and when cool enough to handle squeeze out any excess liquid. if you want to use the paneer to crumble into a sauce then just leave to hang. If you want to cut the curd into chunks and add to a sauce then you need to make it more compact by placing a weight on to the muslin and leaving it to strain for at least an hour, but the longer the better.
  6. The paneer can then be cut into cubes and fried or crumbled into a sauce.

Served with

This can be added to a tomato sauce, you can tandoori it, add it to a veg sauce or a butter sauce. You can also flavour the paneer by adding in pepper, chilli flakes, coriander, cumin seeds into the milk before you add the vinegar.

Nutritional information

Typical values* per Serving
Fat (g)4
of which saturates (g)9
Carbohydrates (g)11
of which sugars (g)0
Fibre (g)0
Protein (g)33
Salt (mg)0
*Based upon calculated values, supplied by myfitnesspal.com. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated.

Useful equipment

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Comments (9)

  • Lauren


    21 September 2019 at 17:56 |
    Could I use almond milk to make the paneer?


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      29 September 2019 at 14:31 |
      Hi Lauren No unfortunately there is not enough fat in almond milk to make paneer with. Thanks so much Hari


  • Helen


    09 November 2016 at 17:03 |
    Hi Hari,

    I've tried this recipe but I'm not sure I did it right as the paneer cheese melted away when heated - a bit like thick yogurt would. When I took it out of the cheese cloth, it was still quite soft, but I was able to cut it into cubes without it crumbling or going too mushy.
    Do you know what I might have done wrong?
    I used goat's milk instead of normal milk, could this be the reason?

    Thanks in advance!


    • Hari Ghotra

      Hari Ghotra

      09 November 2016 at 17:32 |
      Hi Helen Although goats milk is a great source of milk it has a much lower fat content compared to cows milk so it's difficult to make Paneer from it. Hope that helps Thanks


  • Shashi


    18 July 2015 at 07:38 |
    These paneer cubes look incredibly moist and soft.


  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    26 May 2015 at 09:52 |
    Hi Mixy

    Yes you certainly can fry the paneer first and it's very traditional to do this. I tend to do this for my Muttar Paneer dish but not the saag paneer but you certainly can if you want to. The paneer will not melt it will just get a crisp brown coating. If you are serving this as a main then go for 250g of paneer. I would use about 4 pints (2.5L) of milk for this quantity. Hope that helps. Thanks Hari


  • Mixy


    24 May 2015 at 16:03 |
    Thanks a lot for your quick reply!

    I am very happy I got it right. :-) It really made a difference

    About the softness; in other paneer based recipes (like saag paneer) they mention to fry the cubes first. I noticed you don't do that in your saag paneer recipe. Is that because it will melt with the oil due to the softness of fresh paneer?

    About the quantity; if 150g is more or less what you get from the ingredient quantities, would that serve 4? It felt short to me for 4. for example, i thought that you needed 250g for saag paneer for example

    Your quick step by step guides are a great idea by the way.



  • Hari Ghotra

    Hari Ghotra

    24 May 2015 at 14:11 |
    Hi Mixy

    That sounds about right - you don't get very much. When it separates you are left with lots of the watery whey which is a yellowish colour. If it's still milky then you may need to add a little more vinegar but I think you got it right. It is much softer then the commercially produced stuff but as you said it much nicer because it really soaks up the flavours of the masala. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks Hari


  • Mixy


    23 May 2015 at 16:15 |
    Hi Hari

    Following your recommendation in your Saag Paneer recipe page comments, I gave making my own paneer a go... :-) Thanks a lot

    It worked pretty well !!! More soft than the commercial one, which merged better with the masala

    The only thing is that I am not sure whether I got enough cheese from the recipe. I weighted and it was about 150g.
    I followed your ingredient list measurements, it separated but I thought it was a bit too watery so i added another vinegar tbsp. I still that it was more watery than in your video (before moving it to the colander)

    Do you know how many grams of your cheese your recipe should make?

    Thanks a lot!!!


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