Homemade Paneer (Panir - Indian Cheese)
photo by Sandi From CA
- Ready In:
- 1hr 5mins
8 ounces or 2 cups
- 6 cups whole milk
- 1 1⁄2 cups plain yogurt (whole-milk, aka full-fat)
- Prepare a place for the paneer to drain, placing a colander in the sink and lining it with 4 thicknesses of cheesecloth or a clean linen kitchen towel.
- Ina large (at least 3 quart) saucepan, bring the milk to a boil over high heat, stirring almost constantly to prevent it from burning or boiling over.
- As soon as the milk comes to the boil, add the yogurt and sir gently. The milk will soon foam up into soft clouds and then break into thick curds of cheese floating in a thin, faintly greenish liquid called whey.
- Remove from the heat and pour the contents of the saucepan into the cheesecloth-lined colander placed in the sink to drain away the whey.
- When the cloth is cool enough to handle, bring its corners together and squeeze the cheese into a ball, twisting the top portion of the cloth to force out more liquid and then securing it with a rubber band.
- Suspend the cheese from the faucet and let it hang over the sink for about 30 minutes to drain off any remaining whey.
- Now press the cheese to make it firm enough to cut. To do this, place the wrapped lump of cheese on its side in a pie pan or frying pan, and place another pie pan or frying pan of equal or smaller size on top of it, or cover the cheese with a plate. Balance a weighty object, such as a teapot filled with water, on the pan or plate to compress the cheese. As you can see in the photos, I put the wrapped cheese in a bowl, placed a smaller bowl on top of that and a large, full bottle of wine into that bowl. Press for 30 minutes more.
- Carefully unwrap the pressed cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes, transfer it to a container and seal tight. Refrigerate until needed. The paneer will keep 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator and several months in the freezer.
Questions & Replies
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Great flavor! It even works with fat-free milk and fat-free yogurt, though the yield is much lower (just over 1/2 cup). If you only spend a few minutes squeezing out the whey (instead of 30+ min), it still tastes great -- the texture will be softer, but that's perfectly fine in many dishes. Thank you for posting!