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How To
Make Paneer

A simple, fresh “farmer cheese,” Indian paneer is similar to Italian ricotta (though firmer). You can use a variety of acidic ingredients to curdle the cheese, but I’ve found that vinegar produces the best texture.


Set a large a wire mesh strainer over a spacious, heat-resistant bowl and set aside.

  1. Pour 8 cups of whole milk in a non-reactive, heavy-bottomed pot set over a medium-high heat.  

2. Bring the milk to a boil then curdle it by stirring in a tablespoon or two of acid—yogurt, vinegar or lemon juice.

Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer.

  3. Pour the cheese through the strainer, separating the curds and whey. Let sit for 20–30 minutes then rinse with cold water. Squeeze and remove as much water as possible  

4. Shape the cheese into a rectangle, wrap with cheesecloth and top with a heavy weight such as a stone, a bowl of liquid, or a heavy pot. Place on a plate and refrigerate over night.

Note: If you prefer a softer texture, press the cheese for only 20–30 minutes.


5. Cut the paneer into cubes and fry them in oil to a light golden brown color.

Proceed with your recipe.


Barbara Adams Beyond Wonderful
How To Indian Cooking Tips and Techniques.