How to Make Paneer

Learn how to make paneer from cookbook author Maya Kaimal in this Howcast Indian food video.

Hi, I’m going to show you how to make paneer. Paneer is an Indian cheese that’s very similar to ricotta. You can buy it pre-made in the store, but it’s so easy to make. I’m going to show you how to do it very simply today.

First, you want to start out with about two quarts of whole milk. It’s really important. It has to be whole milk. You’re going to heat it up and bring it to a boil. Now, it takes awhile. You want to stir it, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Have your heat on medium high, you don’t want to scorch it. You want to watch it because as soon as it starts to boil, it happens really quickly and it foam up. You don’t want it to overflow out of the pan, which it can easily do.

So, we’re getting really close here and you can see the bubbles starting to form. So, you want to keep your eye on it and watch for that moment. As soon as that moment comes, we’re going to add our lemon juice. So, you see how in the middle there it’s starting to rise up a little bit. Now, it’s really starting to boil and as soon as it gets really close to the top, we’re going to add our lemon juice. There we go.

Lemon juice goes in. The foam subsides immediately. we turn off our heat, stir, and what this is doing is it’s splitting the milk. It’s coagulating the proteins in the milk and separating it into curds and whey. They stirring helps facilitate the process.

Now, we are going to take it over to the sink and pour it into a colander lined with cheese cloth. So, we’re going to let the water drain and we’re also going to let the curds cool a little bit because they are too hot to handle now. But, in about five minutes or so, we’re going to squeeze out the water and we’re going to press the curds in the cheese cloth.

So, we’ve squeezed out most of the water from our Paneer. We’re going to form, press into a disk, and twist up the edge. You can add ingredients to your Paneer. You can put in chopped cilantro, you can put in mint. I like to put toasted cumin seeds in mine and you can put lemon peel. There’s lots of ways to make it even more flavorful. But, plain is also good.

So, here we have our disk and we’re going to weight it. I got this on a little bit of an incline so that any extra moisture can drain off. Here I have a pot with a little lit of water in it. We’re going to let that sit for about an hour and then we’ll come back to it to see how it’s pressed.