Paneer from Scratch

What is Paneer?

Paneer is an Indian cheese that’s soft, unaged, and does not melt. It can be marinated and grilled, scrambled (bhurji), used in a curry, deep fried (pakora), etc. It’s available in any Indian store, but homemade paneer is fresher and cheaper!


Which works better: vinegar or lemon juice?

In my experience, vinegar yields a bit more paneer than the lemon juice.

Will I be able to taste the vinegar or lemon juice in the paneer?

Nope! You won’t be able to taste it. It’s just necessary to separate the milk into whey and paneer.

What % fat should the milk be?

Any milk will technically work, but whole milk will yield the most paneer.

Timmi’s Tips and Tricks

  • You may not need to use all of the vinegar or lemon juice listed in the ingredients, or you may end up needing slightly more. It varies depending on the milk.
  • Instead of throwing away the whey, you can use it as a high protein substitute for water when kneading dough (aata).


Servings: 4


  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 1/8 cup distilled white vinegar OR lemon juice approximately


  • Bring the milk to a boil, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn or char on the bottom of the pan.
  • Turn off the heat and add 1 tbsp of the vinegar or lemon juice. Keep stirring and the milk should start to separate into whey and cheese curds. If the milk does not start to separate, keep adding vinegar or lemon juice little by little until it does. Stir until the whey is almost clear.
  • Prep a sieve or colander by putting a cheesecloth or strong paper towel (a few layers work best).
  • Drain out the whey by pouring the paneer + whey into the prepped sieve. What remains in the sieve is the paneer.


This paneer is still loose. If you want to use the paneer for bhurji, you can use it as is. If you want to cube it to use in a curry, get rid of as much of the whey as you can by squeezing the paneer in the cheesecloth. It helps to put a weight on top of the cheesecloth-wrapped paneer for a few hours (at least 3-4 for best results) so the whey continues to drain out.

Try out one of our paneer recipes!

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