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Recipe For Paneer Handcrafted Cheese

Updated on September 20, 2015
Paneer, a simple Indian handcrafted cheese.
Paneer, a simple Indian handcrafted cheese. | Source

When one sees paneer for the first time, tofu is brought to mind. Paneer is a mild, unsalted cow's milk edible that is often used in cooking, especially with fresh peas and sauces like curry.

How to Make Paneer ("Indian Cottage Cheese")

Many nations have their own recipes for simple homemade cheese, especially from rural and agricultural traditions. Southeastern European nations have their own homemade cheeses, for instance, many of which are similar to farmer's cheese to cottage cheese.

The general recipe below is a basic one found in some parts of India. It is a bit time consuming, but worth the preparation. Paneer may be found in the marketplace in the USA, and cottage cheese or farmers cheese may be substituted, although these likely contain salt, whereas paneer does not.


  • 3 Cups Whole Cow's Milk
  • 1/2 tsp White vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon juice


  • Warm milk in a pan on the stovetop over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the milk boils.
  • Immediately remove pan from heat and turn off the burner.
  • Keep stirring milk and slowly add white vinegar.
  • Add lemon juice as you continue stirring.
  • Stir well and see the milk curdle. Strain the curds through a double layer of cheese cloth and squeeze out all of the liquid.
  • Hang cheese to drip dry for about 3 hours or overnight.
  • Mold cheese into a rectangle-shaped pan like a bread pan and place a weight on top of the paneer to compress it for about 45 minutes.
  • Remove from pan and cut into whatever shapes you like.

Use any mold pan you like for your paneer.
Use any mold pan you like for your paneer. | Source

Paneer Made In the Factory (Hindi, but video is great.)

Chillies, Cilantro, coriander, and turmeric in Chilli Paneer create a hot and cool flavor that is unforgettable.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: Serves 6

Please rate our main dish.

5 stars from 1 rating of Chilli Paneer

Chilli Paneer

Serves 6


  • 3 Cups paneer, cut into cubes
  • 1 White onion, chopped
  • 1 Large tomato, chopped
  • 6 Dried red chilies
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp powdered turmeric
  • 3 Green chilies, chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 Cup packed cilantro leaves, chopped


  • Toss dried chilies in a dry skillet for 2 minutes over medium heat.
  • Add coriander seeds and turmeric; cook and press together with a wooden spoon in the skillet for 1-2 minutes.
  • Process spices and dried chilies to a powder in a food processor or dry blender.
  • Fry onions in oil in the skillet over medium heat until brown; add green chilies and cook until soft.
  • Stir in the spices and cook 60 seconds (1 minute), then add tomato and stir well.
  • Add paneer cubes; stir and cook for 3 minutes until well coated and hot.
  • To serve, place in bowls and garnish with cilantro.

Garam Masala

This is blend of spices in India and Pakistan: brown cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg , mace and black pepper; sometimes  cumin seed, caraway, and bay leaves added. In Punjab, often with coriander as well. [Photos, public domain.]
This is blend of spices in India and Pakistan: brown cardamom, green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg , mace and black pepper; sometimes cumin seed, caraway, and bay leaves added. In Punjab, often with coriander as well. [Photos, public domain.]

Chili - Vegetable Paneer

Serves 6


  • 1 Cup Paneer or cottage cheese
  • 2 Cups cooked mixed vegetables
  • 3 Tomatoes, medium size
  • 2 Yellow onions
  • 1 tsp each of Ginger and Minced Garlic
  • 2 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Coriander
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Cup wole milk
  • 1 Tbsp cream
  • 1 Tbsp Ghee or clarified butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil or Ghee for frying


  • Mince onions and set aside.
  • Place tomatoes in hot water until skins crack then remove and peel and chop.
  • Cut the paneer into pieces and deep fry in ghee or oil..
  • Heat about 1/2 inch oil in a pot over moderate-high heat and fry onions until browned.
  • Add ginger and garlic; stir-fry 30 seconds.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric, coriander, chili powder, Garam Masala and salt. Stir-fry for 3 - 5 minutes until fragrant and heated through.
  • Add vegetables, milk, cream, and fried paneer; cook 5 minutes and serve.  


How to Make Ghee Four Your Recipes

Ghee is clarified butter that can be used in many dishes.

In a sauce pan on the stove top over medium heat, simmer unsalted butter until all the water content has boiled off or evaporated. The milk solids (protein) is settled on the bottom of the pan at that point, with clarified butter on top.

The cooked butter can be spooned off the top and stored without spoilage for quite a while in an airtight container on a shelf. The ghee will exhibit a range of colors, flavors and textures, depending on the source of the milk and length of simmering.

Roasting chilli peppers.
Roasting chilli peppers.

Mattar Paneer


  • 2 Cups Paneer, cut into cubes
  • 2 Yellow onions, diced
  • 2 Tomatoes, medium size, peeled and chopped
  • 4 Cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 Pound frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 Tbsp Cashew pieces
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 Cup cream or evaporated milk
  • Vegetable oil or Ghee
  • Cilantro for garnish


  • In a skillet, stir fry onions in vegetable oil or Ghee until tender.
  • Mix the Garam Masala in a bowl with milk, onion, garlic, ginger, tumeric salt, and pepper.
  • Add the bowl mixture into the skillet and stir. Add peas, stir and cook until thickened.
  • Serve in bowls and garnish with paneer, cashew pieces, and cilantro. 

© 2010 Patty Inglish MS


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