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How to Make Homemade Paneer Cheese

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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.

Homemade paneer

What is paneer?

Paneer is the most basic of cheeses and is often likened to cottage cheese in flavour. Homemade paneer is delicious stirred into a curry or marinated and cooked over fire on your barbecue.

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.

You might like curry house style curries which are perfect for paneer. Try this homemade paneer in any of these famous curries.


Yield: 4

Homemade Paneer Cheese

Homemade paneer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes


  • 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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 66Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 648mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 4g

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I hope you enjoy this homemade paneer recipe. If you do try it or have any recipe questions, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you and I’m happy to help.


Monday 2nd of November 2020

Dear Dan I tried making paneer with disastrous results, and I cannot buy it here at all (Turkey) but can get halloumi easily. On Wednesday I am planning to make a small batch of your curry base sauce, a prawn Rogan josh and Bombay aloo. One of the few things I miss here is an Indian takeaway, I have not been to England for so long and just need an Indian restaurant meal so much! I was hoping to visit for Christmas but I don't think it will happen now! One of my favourite starters is paneer tikka, dry spiced, served on a skewer with onions etc. Would cubes of halloumi work?

Thank you for your help!

Also, if you know of a place in the Bodrum area where I could get a British Indian restaurant experience, please share!


Dan Toombs

Monday 2nd of November 2020

Hi Anne If all you can get is halloumi I would definitely use that, I think it would be fine. I am afraid I don't know Bodrum at all as I have never been to Turkey. Thanks Dan


Thursday 27th of October 2011

you probably have this recipe if not give it a whirl its lovely winter comfort food and if you leave out the coconut milk its low fat too Although we had it trinnidad at carnival time and it was still great in the hot sun best wishes


Thursday 27th of October 2011

Will be having a whole day cooking (joy) next week Im going to do 2 of your chutneys and the paneer dish along with a batch of the basic sauce.Alongside my soup making marathon which includes a soup served at carnival in trinnidad which has a scotch bonnet in it ! Im afraid I chicken out and use dried chillies. thanks for your recipes will let you know how i get on best wishes

Dan Toombs

Thursday 27th of October 2011

Thanks Maggie

I'm really looking forward to hearing from you. Please let me know if you have any questions.


Tuesday 25th of October 2011

Hi Dan, does the milk have to be full fat ? (im watching calories) also could i grill the paneer to crisp it up a little many thanks maggie

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 26th of October 2011

Hi Maggie

Ive made paneer with 2% and 4% milk. Both times with good results. I've found that store bought paneer is better for frying if you are new to cooking. If you are quite good with your spatula, this fresh cheese can be fried to a crisp with great results.

To be honest, I've never placed it under the grill.

I would love feedback if you give it a try!

One thing I didn't mention in my recipe is that fresh paneer cheese tastes great with fresh herbs, black pepper and/or chilies thrown in!


Monday 16th of May 2011

Hi Dan

Thanks so much for your speedy and detailed response. I will definitely try the above suggestions and especially like the sound of the herb version.

Love your site, you certainly have a huge variety of recipes suitable for all.

Cheers. Kaz

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 18th of May 2011

Thank you Kaz for that. I'm glad you are finding the site of interest. Please don't be a stranger and let me know how you like the herb paneer. Thanks Dan :)

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