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How To Make Paneer

A favorite ingredient in many Indian recipes, Paneer is easy to make at home. See just how easy with this step-by-step paneer recipe.

Sliced paneer on a small plate

Making paneer had always been on my bucket list of recipes to try at home. Paneer is a popular ingredient in many popular Indian dishes.

What Is Paneer?

Paneer is a fresh cheese which means you can make it and eat it right away without having to age or culture it.

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Fresh sliced paneer on a cutting board

What surprised me the most was discovering just how easy it is to make paneer. In this easy paneer recipe, the only ingredients needed are whole milk, lemon juice and salt.

How to Make Paneer

Step 1

Pour milk in a large pot and heat it until it begins to simmer.

(Note: you will need to use whole milk. Lower fat milk doesn't have enough fat in the milk to separate into curds and whey.)

Milk in a pot for making paneer

Step 2

When the milk begins to bubble, pour in the lemon juice.  You should immediately notice the milk curdling.

Using a spoon, gently stir the clumps together.

Milk curdling while making paneer in a pot

Step 3

Pour into a colander lined with cheesecloth and rinse with cold water.

Paneer in colander lined with a cheesecloth

At this point, taste the cheese. If you want, add a pinch of salt and gently stir the curds with a spoon.

Step 4

Then, gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and squeeze the excess water out.

From this point, my pictures mysteriously disappeared from my camera and I have nothing to show you of the remaining steps, but trust me - the rest is easy.

Step 5

Transfer the cheese curds which are still in the cheesecloth to a large round plate. Shape it into a disc and place another plate on top of the cheese and weigh it down with a couple of cans or pack of flour.

Place the plate of cheese in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Step 6

Unwrap the disc of cheese and use in any number of Indian dishes.

Use the Paneer in my Saag Paneer recipe for One.

saag paneer next to a plate of rice.

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How To Make Paneer | One Dish Kitchen

How To Make Paneer

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Cheese
Cuisine: Indian
Keywords: cheese
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 301kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • cheesecloth
  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)


  • Line a colander with a large double layer of cheesecloth and place it in the sink.
  • Add the milk to a large pot and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Stir frequently to avoid burning the bottom.
  • Pour in the lemon juice and reduce the heat to low. You should immediately see the milk curds. Using a spoon, gently guide the curds to the center of the pot, making sure they don't break up.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and carefully pour the contents into the cheesecloth lined colander. Gently rinse with cool water and squeeze out any excess water (whey).
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt to the curds and stir very gently.
  • Grab the ends of the cheesecloth and twist the ball of cheese to squeeze out any additional water.
  • Place the ball of cheese onto a large round plate and set another plate on top. Weigh the second plate down with a few cans of beans or something similar.
  • Place the plate of cheese in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.


Serving: 0.5cup cubed | Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 355mg | Potassium: 659mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 790IU | Vitamin C: 5.9mg | Calcium: 551mg | Iron: 0.1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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45 thoughts on “How To Make Paneer”

  1. 4 stars
    Yeah..recipes made with Paneer is as special as chicken for vegetarians in india 🙂 like ‘Palak(or spinach) Paneer’ and “Paneer mutter(peas) masala”

  2. 5 stars
    I’m from India and paneer is part of my staple diet. It is used as a meat substitute in curries, wraps, rolls etc by vegetarians in India. I’m curious though, how is it any different from Ricotta? Can any person who has tasted both paneer and ricotta point out the difference? It is a significant question because if they’re the same then it means that many Italian recipes, making which was hitherto impossible in India, can now simply be made by substituting ricotta by paneer. In India 95% of cheese available is either processed, mozzarella or Gouda (not counting paneer because paneer is not viewed as cheese in India.)

  3. Andi @ The Weary Chef

    I would never have thought to make this myself, but you make it look easy! I love how few ingredients it uses. Great job!

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