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Homemade Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)

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Homemade Paneer or Indian Cottage cheese is a rich source of protein and a must in the Indian Vegetarian Kitchen.

Home made Paneer |Indian Cottage Cheese

Paneer is one such ingredient that can be used in all the three courses. i.e. starters, main course, and desserts, and Paneer is one of them. Milk is the main ingredient in making paneer and the best paneer is made from full-fat milk.

Paneer can be eaten raw or sauteed in ghee (Clarified butter) or butter. Sprinkle it with salt and butter and you have an easy energy booster snack or even finger food for your baby or toddler. It was one of my go-to dishes when my son was a baby.

Another easy and kid-friendly dish is Paneer Paratha, which serves as finger food for toddlers or is good in lunch boxes too for kids and grown-ups.

A block of paneer on a plate

Paneer is a very common replacement for vegetarians for many chicken-based dishes. Simply swap the chicken with paneer and you should be okay.

I love to make Rasgulla the famous Bengali dessert which is best made from cow milk’s paneer or Rasmalai.


Home made Paneer |Indian Cottage Cheese

How is Paneer Made and How long it takes

Making paneer at home is very easy. There are no special tricks you need for this. Believe me, once you make this you will no longer buy the store-bought one. It is way softer and does not have any rubbery texture, unlike the store-bought ones.

All you need is an acidic agent like lemon juice or vinegar in addition to milk, and you are done. Yes, the process of boiling milk, curdling, and then setting it takes time, but then there is no need to babysit it. Boiling milk can be done simultaneously with your other chores, and the rest is just curdling that takes a minute or two, and then setting it into shape if you need firm size pieces. Homemade Paneer is Ready.

Pro Tip – Diluting the acidic ingredient used in making Paneer helps it make soft and firm. If an acidic ingredient is not diluted, the paneer might turn crumbly.

Close up texture of Homemade Paneer cubes.
Homemade Paneer

How to Store Homemade Paneer

Refrigerating Paneer

Yes at times I just make this and keep it in my fridge for 4-5 days. I do not keep it in water or anything at all, just use an airtight container. If you live in a hot climate do not go over 2-3 days in the fridge. But I would say Homemade paneer stays fresh longer.

Freezing Paneer

If you want to keep paneer for a long time or make it in bulk, it is best to cut it into the desired shape. Arrange it in a tray and freeze it. When frozen save it in a zip lock or a container. When required remove, and defrost in hot water for at least 60 minutes. That’s it, you have fresh Homemade Paneer whenever you need it.

Paneer Recipes on my blog

Air Fryer Vegetable Paneer Kofta
Air Fryer Vegetable Paneer Kofta is a healthy and delicious appetizer made using simple vegetables and paneer.
Check out this recipe
Air Fryer Vegetable Paneer Kofta served in small glasses.
Paneer Tikka (Tofu Tikka & Vegetables)
Paneer Tikka is a very popular Indian Style appetizer or a vegetarian barbeque recipe made using cubes of paneer and Veggies marinated in yogurt and spice mixture.
Check out this recipe
Vegan Tofu Tikka served in a plate along with onion and mint chutney.
Nutty Spinach , Potato & Paneer Balls
This Nutty Spinach, Poato & Paneer Balls have the melt in the mouth texture and is perfect as a side, evening snack or for kids lunchboxes.
Check out this recipe
Nutty Spinach , Potato & Paneer Balls
Baked Potato Skins with Paneer & Veggies
Baked Potato Skins with Paneer & Veggies is a yummy and delicious starter or appetiser that can be made well ahead of time.
Check out this recipe
Baked Potato Skins with Paneer & Veggies is a yummy and delicious starter or appetiser that can be made well ahead of time.
Palak Paneer Stuffed Idli | Steamed Spinach & Cottage Cheese Cakes ~ Gluten Free
Palak Paneer Stuffed Idli is healthy, gluten free meal loaded with the Proteins, Iron & Calcium. A healthy finger food, travel or delicious lunch box idea.
Check out this recipe
Palak Paneer Stuffed Idli | Steamed Spinach & Cottage Cheese Cakes
Tandoori Paneer Biryani | Paneer Tikka Biryani
Tandoori Paneer Biryani is a flavourful, aromatic and delicious Biryani perfect for parties. It is cooked with spices along with grilled and marinated paneer.
Check out this recipe
Tandoori Paneer Biryani | Paneer Tikka Biryani
Methi Matar Paneer without Cream
Methi Matar Paneer is a nutritious and healthy curry which uses fresh homegrown methi, matar (green peas) and home made paneer (cheese).
Check out this recipe
Methi Matar Paneer is a nutritious and healthy curry which uses fresh homegrown methi, matar (green peas) and home made paneer (cheese).
Sana Thongba|Manipuri Paneer curry
Sana Thongba means Paneer Curry is a pure Manipuri dish which is simple and quick to make using very minimal ingredients.
Check out this recipe
Sana Thongba|Manipuri Paneer curry
Paneer Paratha | Indian Cheese Stuffed Flatbread
Paneer Paratha is a popular breakfast food made using Paneer, aka Indian cheese. They are a healthy toddler food as well as good for lunch boxes.
Check out this recipe
Paneer Paratha is a popular breakfast food made using Paneer, aka Indian cheese. They are a healthy toddler food as well as good for lunch boxes.
Vegetable Paneer Kofta Curry
Rich and creamy, this Vegetable Paneer Kofta Curry is made using simple ingredients and without any cream or nuts like almonds or cashews.
Check out this recipe
Vegetable Paneer Kofta Curry served in a steel kadai on a white board with some white flowers behind.
Palak Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese in Spinach Gravy)
Palak Paneer is an easy to cook gravy dishes which is healthy and is packed with proteins and vital nutrients along with a few spices.
Check out this recipe
Palak Paneer
Matar Paneer (No Onion No Garlic)
This No onion No garlic version of, Matar Paneer or Green Peas with Indian Cheese is a quick and easy main course recipe and is generally paried with Naan.
Check out this recipe
Matar Paneer
Soft Spongy Bengali Rasgulla (Pressure Cooker & Open pot method)
Soft Spongy Bengali Rasgulla or Rasagolas are sweet balls made using fresh chenna and soaked in sugar syrup and served chilled.
Check out this recipe
Close up look of Soft and spongy rasgulla, pure white
Condensed Milk Instant Kalakand
This Instant Kalakand is soft, creamy, and has a crumbly and melt-in-the-mouth texture. It is made with just 3 basic ingredients condensed milk, paneer, and cardamom powder.
Check out this recipe
Top View of Kalakand or milk fudge on a black cheese board.
Home made Paneer |Indian Cottage Cheese - Step by step instructions on how to make the best soft paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) at home without any special equipments.

Homemade Paneer cubes in a glass bowl.

Home made Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)

Step by step instructions on how to make the best soft paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese) at home without any special equipments.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Cheese, Paneer
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 250 gms
Calories: 0.002kcal
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Ingredients

  • 1 Ltr. Milk (Full fat preferred)
  • Juice of 1 Lemon/ 2 tablespoon vinegar (More or less of lemon juice or Vinegar might be required depending on the quality of milk.)
  • 1/2 Cup Water

Instructions

  • On slow to medium heat boil the milk in a clean and sterile pot.
  • Switch off once the milk is boiled.
    1 Ltr. Milk
  • Let the milk stand for 1-2 mins.
  • Meanwhile squeeze the juice of lemon in a small bowl and add water.
    Juice of 1 Lemon/ 2 tablespoon vinegar, 1/2 Cup Water
  • Add this lemon juice / Vinegar to the milk and stir it.
  • The milk should start curdling and you should be able to see clear white/green watery whey and the white solids or paneer.
  • If you do not see a watery whey (it means there is still some amount of solids), so add add more of lemon juice/Vinegar and mix it again.
  • Strain the mixture into a muslin cloth through a strainer.
  • Rinse the mixture thoroughly with cold water so that the traces of lemon juice/Vinegar is removed completely.
  • Wrap the mixture into the same muslin cloth and squeeze out the excess water.
    Home made Paneer |Indian Cottage Cheese
  • If you want paneer cubes, put a heavy pan with weight on the paneer in the muslin cloth. (Simply add water in the same pan you used to curdle the milk).
  • This helps the excess water squeeze out of the paneer and it becomes firm.
  • Let it rest for minimum 60 minutes.
  • Cut and store it in fridge or freezer as described above or use it as required.
  • You should be able to make around 225-250 gms of Paneer from 1 Ltr full fat milk.

Notes

Pro Tip – Diluting the acidic ingredient used in making Paneer helps it make soft and firm. If an acidic ingredient is not diluted, the paneer might turn crumbly.
 
 
 
 
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Nutrition Facts
Home made Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 0.002
% Daily Value*
Sodium 0.002mg0%
Potassium 0.01mg0%
Vitamin A 0.01IU0%
Calcium 0.005mg0%
* I am not a nutritionist. The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It varies depending upon the product types or brands.
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist. The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It varies depending upon the product types or brands.


Updated on 13-Jan-2024 with content and more pics. Updated earlier on 24-Feb-2019, with new pics and Content.


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Recipe Rating




Archana

Thursday 18th of January 2024

My paneer always crumbles. Thanks to your tip about diluting the acidic medium, I got a nice block of paneer which I am thrilled about.

Renu Agrawal Dongre

Saturday 20th of January 2024

That is good to know

Priya Srinivasan

Monday 15th of January 2024

Love homemade paneer renu! Easy way to make it and as you rightly said it stays fresh longer. Love how you have got the perfect shape. Very useful post for those looking to make fresh paneer at home.

Neha

Friday 12th of January 2024

I have never seen this method. My paneer isn’t usually soft. I look forward to trying this. Your recipe says equal amount of water to lemon/vinegar. 1/2 cup water doesn’t equal to 2 tablespoons. Please advise. Thank you.

Renu Agrawal Dongre

Saturday 13th of January 2024

Hi, Directly adding vinegar to the paneer makes it crumbly and not soft. If you have noticed, you will not have fine edges in paneer when you do so and hence we dilute it with water while adding. You can add half cup water here. The basic idea is to dilute it. A little more is fine, as it would be anyways removed. Thank You for bringing this to my notice, I have updated the recipe.

Mayuri Patel

Tuesday 12th of May 2020

Homemade paneer is definitely the best as ready made one can be hard, might have preservatives and sometimes it tastes really sour. Does it make a difference if we do not heat the milk after adding lemon juice as I always do. Just wondering.

Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

Thank You, definitely home made is the best. Actually there is no need to boil after adding lemon and at times chances are that the paneer might have a sour taste or turn hard(sometimes)

Swati

Friday 22nd of March 2019

Nothings better than a good homemade paneer. I like your detailed stepwise pics for the recipe. The paneer looks soft ,fresh and melt in mouth

CookwithRenu

Friday 22nd of March 2019

Thank You