Homemade Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)


Seeing plenty of blog posts lately on homemade cheese got me itching for weeks wanting to make my own cheese. Making cheese at home is probably far easier than you’d expect. I was surprised to learn that most cheeses begin with the same ingredients and a similar process. Knowing me to find the simplest method, the few options without needing liquid rennet (to order online) are fresh cheese like ricotta, farmer’s cheese and paneer (indian cottage cheese). All you need is a whole lotta milk and food acid (lemon juice, vinegar, or yogurt). Didn’t I say it’s super easy?

Finally I chose paneer because I’ve been eyeing Palak Paneer (Spinach Paneer) for a long time. My first unforgettable taste of Palak Paneer years ago is still deeply embedded – smooth creamy spinach with soft cheese curds.  A special favorite with North Indians, paneer (cottage cheese) is used all over India to make delicious dishes ranging from curries to desserts.

Fresh Paneer © Photographer: Monkey Business Images;

To prepare paneer, food acid (lemon juice, vinegar, or yogurt) is added to hot milk to separate the curds from the whey. The curds are drained in muslin cloth and excess whey is pressed out. (Source: Wikipedia)

After whey is drained out from the curd, what’s left is fresh paneer. For most dishes, the paneer is placed under a heavy weight for 2–3 hours, and then cut into cubes for use in curries.

After 2 hours of pressing, my paneer tasted more like hard tofu, unlike my first memory of paneer. Will try next with shorter pressing time of 20 minutes for a softer, fluffier cheese.

Look out for my next post on using these paneer to make mouth-watering Palak Paneer.

More delicious recipes using paneer:

4.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)
Cook time
Total time
Paneer (cottage cheese) is used to make delicious Indian dishes ranging from curries to desserts. Just milk & lemon juice to make your own paneer
Recipe type: Appetiser
Serves: 3-4
  • 1 litre full-cream milk (use lean milk for a low-fat version)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Heat milk in a medium pot to a simmer.
  2. When the milk comes to a simmer, switch of fire. Add lemon juice into it. Stir continuously until the milk is completely curdled. There is a separation of the curds and yellowish whey.
  3. Strain the mixture through a clean muslin cloth over a large bowl.
  4. Hang the muslin for 1 hour (tie over kitchen faucet or place the muslin on the side of a big pot, do not touch the bottom of pot). This will drip out all the whey.
  5. To make the paneer into a block, place the muslin in between 2 chopping blocks with something heavy like a pot on top, for 1 hour.
  6. Cut paneer into chunks and serve as appetizer, .



  1. This is what i was searching. Landed on the perfect site. Wooh

  2. I’m so glad you got the itch to make cheese because this looks amazing and now I know how to make it! I love the effort you put into this and I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. As always, it’s a pleasure to be following your creations…
    Javelin Warrior recently posted..Food Fetish Friday 4/20/2012My Profile

  3. I’ve been dying to try making my own cheese since I saw it on Five Ingredient Fix months and months ago. I just haven’t gotten around to it. But I love hearing that it’s so easy!
    Jen at The Three Little Piglets recently posted..May I Speak to the Manager PleaseMy Profile

    • hope you get around making cheese soon. it’s just minutes on stove, then just leave it to drip. I just made fresh ricotta last night, and baked some ricotta cheesecake 🙂

  4. Great job with the paneer Shannon and thanks for linking my Tandoori Paneer Tikka :)Palak Paneer is one of the most demanded foods in my house (especially by my 4year old!!) and I also love the texture and the flavor!
    Soni recently posted..Indian Style Cabbage and Peas Stir-fryMy Profile

  5. We have never tried making out own cheese before, so I hope we get it right the first time.

  6. Hi,
    I used to make paneer at home all the time. But nowadays I buy it ready made from the Indian store. When I make it at home , it turns out too soft and crumbly. I in fact like the texture of your paneer. Looks like it’s not going to break into the gravy and hold it’s shape. Of course anything that is home made is going to be healthier and taste great! Great job !
    Asmita recently posted..Raisin Pecan Oatmeal CookiesMy Profile

    • It’s funny that I want paneer soft & I receive feedback my texture is perfect. Thank you for clarifying it for me, especially hearing from an expert. makes a lot of sense to have harder dense texture so that it holds the shape when cook in gravy. I made my paneer because I didn’t know if there’s any sold at Indian stores, have to check it out next time.

  7. Well done Shannon! It looks great.

  8. This paneer is perfection my friend 😀
    My mum makes ot all the time and I love it, especiallymarinaated and grilled!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Finally Back!My Profile

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