Paneer(cottage cheese) is the most widely used fresh cheese in Indian recipes. It is very versatile and is used in making tikka, curry, salad, and sweets. Grated paneer can be sprinkled on the dosa, pizza, pasta, or rice.
Paneer is a fresh cheese made by curdling heated milk with any acids such as lemon juice, vinegar, citric acid or curd. This separates thick curd from the whey. The curdled mixture or the thick curd is then strained in a muslin or cheese or soft cloth and the excess water is pressed out. The cloth with the paneer is hung for half hour to remove the excess water. This is the basic way to prepare paneer.
Paneer can be made at home very quickly almost in 30 minutes. Once you start making it at home, you will prefer to make it regularly at home. It is clean, hygienic and made with care.
I am sharing with you recipe for paneer made using lemon juice. Earlier I have shared the recipe for making homemade paneer using curd.
Few points to take care:
Use full cream milk. (Do not use fat-free milk if you want paneer to cut into pieces if you want to crumble paneer you can go for low-fat milk)
While adding lemon juice, curd, vinegar or any acidic agent to the boiling milk, always lower the heat and then add curd or any acidic agents.
Constantly stir the milk after adding the acidic agents or curd so that it does not stick to the bottom.
After the milk is curdled-it will take another 5-7 minutes for it to separate from the whey (greenish water). Immediately strain the curdled mixture to remove excess water. If you keep the curdled mixture more on heat, the paneer set would become chewy.
The paneer would be set in 30 minutes. If you want paneer to set in a block then wrap the curdled mixture in the cloth and shape the mixture to a rectangle and place a heavy weight over it for a couple of hours. It will set in a nice block. You can cut into pieces and use to make tikkas or use in curries.
To retain the freshness, the paneer block is immersed in a bowl of fresh water. This will also help in removing excess sourness from paneer and also make it soft. The paneer kept in water can be refrigerated for 3-4 days, changing the water every 8 hours.
I started making paneer at home after my son was born. I was not satisfied with the cleanliness and the hygienic conditions of the dairy selling the milk products. I do not want Aarav to eat those. Paneer is very healthy and I prefer eating it weekly once or twice. So then I started making it at home.
So friends do try making paneer at home and you will never go to shops to buy it!
Homemade Paneer Using Lemon (Cottage Cheese)
- 2 litre full fat milk
- 1 lemon juice (around 2 tbsp)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- water to rinse
- Put milk to boil in thick bottom pan stirring continuously.
- When it starts boiling, lower the heat and add lemon juice to it.
- Mix it till the milk curdles and greenish water(whey) is separated.
- Put a muslin cloth or soft cloth in a strainer and strain the curdled milk through it.
- The greenish water will be collected in the bowl. It is known as "whey". It is very healthy and nutritious. Utilise it to make buttermilk, kneading dough, making soup, dal or kadhi, making khandvi.
- Now pour water over the curdled curd mixture to remove the sourness of lemon.
- Add salt and mix well. Bring the cloth together and squeeze out excess water.
- Shape it into a square or circle and wrap in the same soft cloth. Place it on a flat plate
- Place a heavy flat plate or tava or cast iron pan with a heavy weight over it on the wrapped cloth. Keep it for couple of hours to set.
- After couple of hours unwrap the cloth. The paneer is set well into a block.
- Cut into desired shape as required. Immerse the paneer block in a bowl of fresh water and refrigerate to store, Keep changing water after every 8 hours to retain the freshness. The paneer can stay fresh for 3-4 days.
- The paneer is ready for use.
14 thoughts on “Homemade Paneer Using Lemon (Cottage Cheese)”
Making paneer at home is so quick and easy.
I have now tried twice with different receipes each time using 2 litres of full cream milk and once, used lemon and the next apple cider vinegar over low heat, neither worked and wasted 4 litres of milk but im determined……in both cases recipe on Google said to use 125ml of vinegar or lemon maybe its too much as i see your recipe is 2 tablespoons to 2litres…..pls can u give guidance?
Thank you so much for trying out the recipes. Making paneer at home is simple, healthy and most important it is hygienic.
Few tips and it will give you soft paneer that can be cut into cubes.- Use full cream milk. Bring the milk to boil. Once the milk starts to boil lower the heat. (This is important step).
-Now add the acid (lemon juice ). Take juice of one lemon or around 2 tbsp of juice. Now stir continuously on low heat. The milk will start to curdle. Keep on stirring on low heat till entire milk curdles and you can see the greenish liquid separated. (however, if milk takes time to curdle, add a little more lemon juice and keep on stirring on low heat till the milk curdles).
after the milk has curdled and greenish liquid is separated, drain the curdled milk.Place a muslin cloth on the strainer and drain. collect the white particles on the strainer and the drained liquid in a bowl. (the drained liquid is whey and is very nutritious, It can be used to knead chapati dough, soup, dal) Run fresh cold water over it to remove the sourness of lemon. Add salt to the white part and mix well. Squeeze out excess water and place the weight over it and keep it for 30 minutes to remove excess water. The paneer will be ready.
You can also make using curd
FOr 2 cups milk add 1 cup whisked curd or yogurt.
After the milk is boiled, lower the heat and add curd and stir till the milk is curdled.
I hope this will clarify your doubts and you will be making good paneer.
been there done that..
once boiled let the milk cool for a couple of minutes and than add the lemon juice drop by drop while stirring untill u see curdling . if still by some chance it doesnt than add 1 tablespoon of vinegar while stirring …. will get the job done..👍🙏
You have to use milk that’s not homogenised, which normally store bought milk is. We buy milk directly from farm
Hi Swapna.. I love your recipes…please advise.. Am I able to add herbs in the final bag for some added flavour ?.. Can I keep indefinitely ?.. And how long will it keep ?.. Thank you. 😀
Thank you for going through the recipes and liking the recipes. While making homemade paneer, you can add herbs of your choice after the milk is curdle. Mix well and then strain the curdle milk alongwith herbs through the cloth or strainer. (You can also add finely cut bell peppers). Run some fresh water through it to remove the sourness from lemon. Now squeeze out the excess water from the curdled paneer in the cloth and keep aside for half hour to remove excess water. Put a weight on it. After 30 minutes the herb paneer block will be ready, cut and use it or place the block in the fresh water in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Keep changing water everyday to keep the paneer fresh.
I tried the recipe and made paneer but even after the milk curdled I never got the greenish whey. Even after curdling my whey was whitish in colour only. What could be the reason for this. I did wait for almost 15-20 minutes, but my whey remained white in colour like the milk.
Thank you so much for trying out the recipe. The color of the milk will after curdling and will look like . However sometimes it depends on the type of milk too. So it is ok if the colour of the curdled milk is whistish..
Can u tell how much protein is there in green water (left after making of paneer ) if 1 litre of milk is used
Hi, how do you measure the nutritional values you put at the end? Do you use an app for that? If so, which one?
I use recipe maker in the word press to write my recipes. That plug in allows and calculate the nutritional value based on the quantity of ingredients and number of servings. Thank you!
Hi do you know if this recipe works with goat milk or with non-dairy (soy or rice) “milk”?
Am not sure as have not used the non dairy substitute. Do try and let me know if you do. Thank you !!