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Paneer Cheese

This Indian paneer cheese recipe is super easy to make, requires no prep, uses only 2 ingredients and requires only a few hours of inactive rest. This homemade version results in a creamy Indian cheese that tastes so much better than any store bought variety! You will never buy it at the store again after trying this! 

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homemade paneer recipe

This Recipe's Index

What is Paneer?

Paneer is a soft, melt-in-your-mouth Indian cheese that is similar in texture to cottage cheese. It is usually made by curdling cow or buffaloes milk, just like how the swiss cheese is curdled first. The only exception is that it's not aged, it's consumed fresh which is why it's soft and tender.

You can often find paneer in Indian specialty grocery stores, however nothing like Homemade Paneer. Fresh homemade Paneer is not chewy unlike the store bought paneer.  All you need are two ingredients and you can easily make this paneer recipe.

Paneer Recipe Video

What does Paneer taste like?

Paneer cheese has a milky, creamy flavor. It is very similar to either cottage cheese or ricotta. 

Store bought paneer is often bland and somewhat unappetizing, but when you make a paneer recipe at home, it tastes amazing.

Homemade Paneer versus store bought Paneer

Homemade paneer and store bought paneer really don’t compare. When you make paneer cheese at home, the flavor and freshness are unmatched with store bought brands.

Store bought Indian cheese is like a lot of premade food: it is designed to save you some time. And the companies that make them hope you won’t figure out just how easy and fast it is to make paneer at home.

Even more importantly, your tastebuds will thank you when you make this paneer recipe at home.

What is Paneer similar to?

Paneer is an Indian cheese that tastes similar to other fresh cheeses that many Americans are familiar with. The closest flavor and texture to paneer is cottage or ricotta cheese. 

Restaurant Style Butter Paneer Paneer Makhani

Paneer Recipe ingredients

2 easily available ingredients. you can make minty paneer by adding dried mint when the milk had curdled.

When you make this paneer recipe, you only need two ingredients. They are:

  • Full fat milk - There really is no great substitute for this since you need the fat to create the cheese.
  • Vinegar or Lemon Juice - You can use white wine vinegar or distilled, both work fine for this. 

If you want to add more flavor to your paneer, you easily can. Once the milk has curdled, you can add a few dried mint leaves and mix them in a bit. This will give the paneer a minty flavor, which can make it a refreshing treat.

 

How to make Paneer Cheese

First, pour the milk and vinegar into the Instant Pot. Close the lid, seal the vent, and then pressure cook for 4 minutes followed by a natural pressure release.

Once the pressure has released and the pin dropped, carefully remove the lid and stir the curdled milk.  If you would like to flavor the paneer, you can add in dried mint leaves or other dried herbs now.

Homemade Paneer Recipe

Next, line a strainer or tofu press with a cheese cloth and pour the mixture through the cheese cloth so that the whey drains.

Once the whey has drained, wrap the cheesecloth and then squeeze and press the paneer flat. When we make it, we use heavy cans placed on top of the paneer to apply pressure for a couple of hours as any remaining whey drains.

how to make paneer

Finally, before serving, cut the paneer into squares before serving or using in your favorite recipe. Some of our favorite uses for homemade Indian cheese include:

Pro tips and tricks to make soft and tender Paneer

When you make paneer at home, you should follow these tips and tricks for the best results.

  • Don’t skip pressing the Indian cheese at the end. This squeezes out the remaining whey and helps give the paneer its texture and flavor. You can use heavy cans or other heavy objects to make the press.
  • If you want to add more flavors to the paneer, such as mint, roasted garlic, or other herbs, do so once you remove the lid from the Instant Pot.
  • Serve the paneer in your favorite recipes that call for the use of paneer cheese. We have shared some of our favorite recipes through out this post that call for the use of paneer.

Tikka Masala Sauce Tikka Masala Curry V4

How healthy is Paneer Cheese?

Paneer cheese uses a whole fat milk. It contains a lot of fat, protein and calories. If you follow a low fat or lower calorie diet, you may want to consider enjoying this in moderation.

Can you eat paneer raw?

Yes! Raw paneer is fully cooked and ready to eat, so you don’t need to add it to your favorite recipes. 

In fact, it can be quite good when eaten raw. My grandfather used to eat it raw for breakfast with crushed salt and pepper on top.

air fryer tandoori paneer tikka (5)

How do you store paneer in the fridge?

Storing Indian paneer cheese is a bit trickier than storing other foods, but it is not difficult. When you are ready to store the paneer, wrap it in a dampened muslin cloth and place in a plastic bag. You’ll want to keep the cheese moist, so you’ll need to dampen the cloth once every 4 to 6  hours.

How many days paneer cheese can be stored in fridge?

Indian Paneer cheese is best served or used in a recipe when you make it fresh. If you need to store it, you should be able to store it for about 2 to 3 days in the fridge as long as you keep the wrapping moist. Since homemade paneer is free of preservatives it doesn't last as long as the store bought paneer.

Can you store paneer in the freezer?

If you want to make a large batch of paneer ahead, you can store excess in the freezer. It should stay fresh for up to 6 months

You can store freshly made paneer in the freezer on its own or you could freeze your favorite recipe that uses paneer. If using frozen paneer, thaw it in hot water for it to resume it's texture and moisture. 

How do you soften Indian cheese?

To soften up Indian cheese, thaw it in hot water. you should heat a small bowl of water on the stovetop or microwave. The goal is to make the water warm but not boiling or simmering hot.

Place the paneer cheese cubes in the warm water so that they are submerged completely and then let them rest for about 5 minutes. Don’t let them sit for much longer or they could start to fall apart.

paneer bhurji made with fresh homemade paneer

Some of our favorite recipes using Paneer cheese

Let us know what you think

If you make this delicious  Indian paneer cheese recipe, let us know how it went! When you make this, be sure to take a pic and tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind or Facebook @thebellyrulesthemind!

Indian Paneer Cheese Recipe

Indian Paneer Cheese Recipe

How to make Paneer

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This Indian paneer cheese recipe is super easy to make, requires no prep, uses only 2 ingredients and requires only a few hours of inactive rest. This homemade version results in a creamy Indian cheese that tastes so much better than any store bought variety! You will never buy it at the store again after trying this! 

Ingredients

  • Full fat milk 6 cups
  • Vinegar or lemon juice 3 tablespoon

Instructions

First, pour the milk and vinegar into the Instant Pot. Close the lid, seal the vent, and then pressure cook for 4 minutes followed by a natural pressure release.

Once the pressure has released and the pin dropped, carefully remove the lid and stir the curdled milk.  If you would like to flavor the paneer, you can add in dried mint leaves or other dried herbs now.

Next, line a strainer or tofu press with a cheese cloth and pour the mixture through the cheese cloth so that the whey drains.

Once the whey has drained, wrap the cheesecloth and then squeeze and press the paneer flat. When we make it, we use heavy cans placed on top of the paneer to apply pressure for a couple of hours as any remaining whey drains.

Finally, before serving, cut the paneer into squares before serving or using in your favorite recipe.

Notes

  • Don’t skip pressing the Indian cheese at the end. This squeezes out the remaining whey and helps give the paneer its texture and flavor. You can use heavy cans or other heavy objects to make the press.
  • If you want to add more flavors to the paneer, such as mint, roasted garlic, or other herbs, do so once you remove the lid from the Instant Pot.
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