You can flavour homemade paneer cheese or leave it plain.
Homemade paneer is easy to make. You can of course purchase paneer that is totally fine for adding to curries, baking or grilling. To be honest, that’s what I normally do but making your own homemade paneer means that you can add other flavours and even serve it as a starter with a few crackers.
Once you make your homemade paneer, you might like to try it in recipes like chilli paneer, paneer fry, muttar paneer, paneer balti and/or saag paneer. If serving your homemade paneer in a curry, don’t forget the rice and/or homemade naans and chapatis for a complete meal.
What is paneer?
The popular Indian cheese is really easy to make and is usually made plain but you can add other ingredients such as spices and herbs if you like.
How do you make homemade paneer?
Cooking the paneer only takes about 10 minutes. Then you need to collect the curds in a muslin and allow them to drip for a couple of hours over the sink.
Once that is done, you place the curds in a mold of some sort. Something like an open cake tin will do fine. Whatever you use needs to be open at the bottom. Place a heavy object over the paneer in the mold to form it into the hard paneer shape of your choice.
As the paneer is pressed down in the mold, more whey will be released, leaving you with a delicious chunk of homemade paneer in the end.
Do you have to add spices and herbs to your homemade paneer?
No. This is a recipe from my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Veggie’ where I wanted to give the homemade paneer more flavour. If you just want plain paneer, that is fine. Just leave out the herbs and spices.
How do you use homemade paneer?
You can use this homemade paneer in curries, fry or grill it. This homemade paneer recipe is delicious in any recipe that calls for paneer.
If adding to a curry, your homemade paneer should be added at the end of cooking. If paneer simmers too long in a sauce, it has a tendency to fall apart.
When adding to a curry, you might also like to cut it into cubes and fry it in a little oil first. This helps the cheese stay together when added to a curry.
Can you add paneer to any curry?
Yes! Paneer is the perfect vegetarian substitute for meat in a curry. If you like curry house style curries like chicken tikka masala, you could substitute the paneer for the chicken tikka.
- 1.5 litres (6 cups) whole milk
- 2–3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp dried chilli (hot pepper) flakes
- ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- In a 3-litre (3-quart) saucepan, heat the milk until it is almost boiling. Be careful, as when it does boil, it will quickly bubble up and go all over your hob. So, when almost to boiling point, turn off the heat and allow to cool for a minute or two.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. The milk will begin to curdle. Add more if necessary but you only want to use as much lemon juice as required to separate the curds and whey.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients, if using. Cover a sieve with a cheesecloth or muslin and carefully pour the curds and whey into it. The whey will run through the cloth, leaving just the curds, spices and chopped herbs behind.
- Wrap the cheesecloth around the curds and squeeze as much excess whey out as you can. Then tie it up and hang it on your tap to drip into the sink for 1–2 hours.
- To finish, place an open mould on a clean surface and fill it with the curds. You could use a small loose-based cake tin (pan) for this, leaving the base out. Press the curds down firmly and lay something heavy on top so that it becomes compacted. You want the bottom to be open so that the cheese can continue to drain excess whey.
- Leave it in a cool place for a few hours, then remove your very attractive piece of paneer from the mould.
Store in the fridge and serve as is, or use it in your curries, grill it or fry it.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 66Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 648mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 4g