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Paneer: So Easy to Make

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Bal Arneson’s Paneer: I am dumbstruck it is SO easy…

But it is not so economical. Oh, maybe it is. You will see how much I get out of two litres of whole milk.

Have a sieve and some cheese cloth (I use a tea towel like I do when I make my yogurt cheese) ready. Measure 1/4 cup of vinegar, and then bring your two litres of milk to a boil. That is how easy this is. It took about ten minutes to bring the ice cold milk to a boil in my heavy pan.

Remove from heat immediately and add the vinegar.

Stir. You will see the curds separate from the whey immediately.

There is a lot of whey.

Pour the contents of the entire pot over the sieve covered with the cheese cloth. I left the entire sink underneath my sieve to catch the whey.

The curds now must be pressed.

Turn them on top of each other to form a brick or a thick rectangle. The paneer is nicer when it is thick enough to have a soft textured middle.

Wrap the cloth back around the curds snuggly and place something very heavy on top to press out all of the remaining whey.

Twenty minutes later, remove the weight and unwrap the cheese.

It is not too fragile and not too stable. You can pick it up, but it will crumble quite easily with a little effort.

Cut it into pieces.

Bal says they are similar to Bocconcini. I say they are not. I love, love, love Bocconcini and I really enjoy paneer. Paneer is a much more dense, much less creamy, curd. Both are young cheese and neither is salted. This is a lovely young cheese that will take on flavours beautifully… and, it needs flavour to give it life.

Bal showed us how to make a very flavourful Pakura batter to dip it in before frying. That really was tasty. I am just frying mine, as Bal did just before she added this to a chick pea dish. After it is browned like this, it is much more stable and will not crumble. I used olive oil and then actually drizzled some over it with a beautiful sea salt. That was nice. It needs something more, but it was still a tasty snack. A plot of the pleasure is in the texture. I find it so much better hot from the pan.

I am actually tickled pink that I learned how to make this and found out how truly easy it is to make. Shockingly easy.Now, the possibilities await! Thank you, Valiant Bal! XO

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About Valerie Lugonja

Educator, Writer, Gardener and Traveler who believes in buying and eating locally, and most importantly cooking at home!

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  1. And THANK YOU for showing us how easy it is to make paneer. Amazing how something so simple can look so beautiful too. You truly are an inspiration, Valerie.

    So I was talking to my mom about the xo sauce and she said she can’t have you over just for xo, we must invite you and Vanja over for dinner sometime too. We’ll discuss the details at a later date though. Keep on keeping on, my friend!

  2. Paneer rules!!!! You are a real trooper, Val for showing the world such a wonderful, simple treat…I can’t IMAGINE my kitchen without fresh paneer :)

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  3. I’ve never MADE cheese…there, I said it! You make this look so doable! And delicious.

    • Sommer: It IS truly that easy. TRY IT! But, remember, you will need to salt it and flavour it with a chutney (the recipe is in my Bal Arneson post) or something else. Even Vanja liked it with just a little olive oil and salt. YUM. :)
      Valerie

  4. wow Valerie, those look so much like Chinese Cheese- panfried TOFU!! I love it! And the whey…mmm..I miss some artisan whey bread.
    I wish you a wonderful and warm weekend!
    Angie

  5. Have you tried the same way to make tofu with soya milk? Exactly the same way….boil the soya milk to 85C and add the acid…and you get what I mentioned “Chinese Cheese”. :-)))
    Sorry for being babbling, I am just too excited to see your homemade paneer.

    • Angie – what kind of acid do you add and what are the amounts? Exactly the same? I am in shock? Really? That is tofu? Tell me the amounts as I must make this! Unreal! Thank you!
      :0
      Valerie

  6. Awesome. I dig the towel print. I love when the natural state of making things also make them pretty.

  7. While hubby’s family is Punjabi, they do not eat paneer, so I never got used to it. REcently i had it a restaurant and realized I liked it more than I thought. It looks wonderful fried, a bit like haloumi, and now that i see how cool it is to make it, I think I’ll give it a go.
    I am book marking this page.
    *kisses* HH

    • HH – did you read my story about Bal? It is the one just before this, and it also has some good Punjabi recipes. I teach at a school that has lots of Punjabi students and teachers and they have been teaching me their food! Rajma is my favourite so far! :)
      Valerie

  8. I have made paneer before since it seems to be unavailable at the stores for my favourite paneer recipes. It is amazingly simple and similar to making ricotta.

  9. I have not entered into the realm of making cheese myself. This does look so easy and I can imagine all the possibilities with different flavors added! What a wonderful series, too!

  10. I am inspired to make my own. Something about the frying at the end just did me in. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Oh wow! This is one of those treats I only enjoyed in restaurants since it seemed hard to make at home, but this is fantastic! So easy – thanks for making it so simple!

  12. I’ve made ricotta in a similar manner (imagine this is a cheese much like ricotta) and was amazed at how simple it was. I used it to make gnudi, but if I had weighted it down, probably could use it in this recipe.
    Looks delicious, Valerie!

  13. I used to have access to store-bought paneer and now don’t. This is just a wonderful tutorial, Valerie, that I absolutely plan to try soonest. I can’t wait to be able to make my beloved palak paneer again AND have the satisfaction of knowing that the spinach is from my own garden and the paneer from my own kitchen. Thanks so much!

  14. And you made it so easy for everyone else to make with these clear instructions!! Thanks so much Valerie! It looks fun to make and seems to have a lot of possibilities to make something tasty out of it!

  15. I love this, thank you, Valerie! I am thrilled to see this post. I’m in love with paneer and I have a really hard time finding it here. I had absolutely no idea it was so easy to make! I’ve bookmarked this and will be making it soon. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

  16. Paneer is awesome in many indian dishes. Love the idea of making it from scratch. I am making this for dinner tonight, thanks for sharing.

  17. Oh wow! That looks delicious! Don’t know if I have the patience to make this, but gosh darn it, I just might have to try!

    invasionista

  18. They look fantastic and I think I will try to make them some day. This cheese with spinach is one of my favorite Indian dishes!

    Although christmas is approaching and I prefer to make Christmas foods I think I will squeeze in some Paneer.

    Almost a year since I was in South Africa, I miss is very much!

  19. The method is very close to the way of making tofu. Lo0king yummy.

    • Pepy: I have just sent you a personal note to ask for that recipe as you are the second person that has said this. If it is as easy as Paneer – I am IN! :)
      Valerie

  20. Val…, seriously yummy paneer you’ve got going on here…, I love making these types of cheeses, so I’m in. Thanks

  21. Hi Valerie

    Great post!This has been on my “to make” list for awhile, and this has definitely inspired me. i wasn’t really sure from the pictures, how much did 2L of milk end up making?

    Also- I’ve never seen a sieve like that that is flat on top.

    • Hi, Katrina,
      The sieve is from my Thermomix Machine – you could use a round flat tami… sold in kitchen stores. She has a stainless one probably also sold in Ethnic Indian stores. The 2 litres ended up making all of the pieces you see on the white board. That is it. about 1/4 of the amount of the milk. So, not so much, but, I suppose I would pay that same amount for fresh cheese. Try it! It is better than any paneer I have every eaten in a restaurant. But, you should know paneer before you make it, me thinks. :)
      Valerie

      • Thanks! That’s good to know. I use paneer a lot so I was trying to estimate whether it would cost less than the packages, which are between 400g-454g and I think it would be:)

  22. Wow, thank you Valerie for the post. That was easy!I myself have never tried making my own cheese–but after seeing this, I think I will attempt to do it!

  23. Paneer is so easy? It reminds me a bit of our shankleesh except that one is made with yogurt. I am excited as I love homemade cheese and I would make it and add some zaatar to it!

  24. Hi Valerie,
    I recently just tried making paneer this past Monday, and you are right..it is really easy! However, I used 1% milk which probably caused the cheese to be too lean and dry. What % of milk did you use? I’m going to use homo/cream next time.
    Thanks again (and thanks for adding me to your list of Edmonton blogs!-I’ve added you to my site as well)

    • Mona! Thanks for asking. I did use whole milk. It is a dry cheese. Have you had paneer at restaurants? Homemade is MUCH more flavourful and moist, but it is still paneer.
      I liked it with olive oil and salt. :)
      Valerie

  25. Great photos Valerie! I’ve been making Paneer with Thermomix for some time now and I agree, hot from the pan does taste better. But even better than that is seasoning the milk first. After trying a few different ways, my favourite is making paneer with an infusion of chili pepper and then adding fresh cilantro. Using lemon juice instead of vinegar helps bring out these flavours too. Wow — it sure looks like you are having a lot of fun these days!

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