Homemade paneer cheese

Recently four lovely ladies and I went to an Indian cooking class. It was hosted by Chef Ajay, the dude who makes all the delicious Yash chutneys, pickles and spice pastes at Marrickville Markets. To ensure our new culinary knowledge was put to good use, we organised an Indian Christmas in July dinner party for 20 of our closest friends!

I volunteered to make the paneer, a simple Indian cottage cheese made from milk which is curdled with vinegar. Here is the basic recipe; I’ll post recipes how to turn it into paneer pakora shortly…

  • 3 litres of milk*
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • a clean cheesecloth or teatowel
  • a colander
  • a large deep bowl

Wet the cheesecloth and drape over a colander placed in a deep bowl.

Heat the milk in a large pot, stirring so that it doesn’t catch on the base.

Once on the point of boling, pour in the vinegar and stir once. Let sit for 5 minutes then pour into the wet cheesecloth.

Tie the cheesecloth and squeeze out as much whey as possible. Allow the bundle to drain in the colander, weighed down with something heavy – such as the bowl of whey you’ve just poured off. 

After an hour or so the paneer should be firm and ready to use.

If you can, I highly recommend you check out Chef Ajay’s cooking classes, run from his family home in Peakhurst. To find out more email indiancookingclasses@hotmail.com or call 0411234442

* Please support your local farmers by buying all dairy from your local produce market. To find your nearest market, see the Australian Farmers’ Markets Association website.

If you’re in Sydney, I can highly recommend visiting the lovely Ester Wimbourne to buy some beautiful Country Valley Dairy milk (and getting some scrummy cheeses, yoghurt and butter, too!).

6 thoughts on “Homemade paneer cheese

  1. Hi Liv,
    As you like Paneer I would like to give a small suggestion, use Greek yoghurt instead of Vinegar, it does not have that vinegar smell or taste. This is how my mother had taught us and the cheese is much thicker. Of course you have to try a few times to get it the way you like it.
    One of my favourites, is Palak Paneer(spinach paneer) after boiling Spinach with salt, one green chilli and a piece of ginger, puree it in the blender, sauté onions and add the spinach puree and leave it on fire for a few minutes. Add cubes of paneer, mix to soak them in spinach and serve.
    A quick thing to do is to fry Paneer cubes with onion, Peas or diff coloured Capsicum to give colour.
    Or if Paneer has crumbled you can sauté it like scrambled eggs and have with a nice piece of bread. This is easy and quick meal if you already have the paneer ready in the fridge.
    Real nice reading your comments on Scoff and Quaff.

    • YUMMMMMMM spinachy paneer-y goodness! I’ll post the paneer and spinach pakoras recipe soon – they were tres popular 🙂

  2. Pingback: Homemade paneer (and spinach) pakora « Scoff & Quaff

  3. Love your recipe. I learnt a Paneers recipe from a friend and was quickly addicted. We use lemon or lime juice instead of vinegar and it tastes good. Frying off a slice with seasoning and some mixed spices, like ras el hanout is a great accompaniment for salmon.

    Love your blog…

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