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How to make Paneer

How To Make Paneer

Paneer is a homemade Indian cheese. Paneer is used many different ways making desserts, appetizers and main course dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian


  • 8 cupa milk, half gallon
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice


  • Mix lemon juice in half cup of hot water and put aside.
  • Boil the milk in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, making sure not to burn milk.
  • As the milk comes to a boil, add the lemon juice gradually and stir the milk gently. The curd will start separating from the whey, turn off the heat.
  • Once the milk fat has separated from the whey, drain the whey using a strainer line with cheesecloth, or muslin cloth. Wrap the curds in a muslin cloth, rinse under cold water, and squeeze well. This process takes out the sourness from the lemon.
  • To take out the excess water, press the wrapped paneer under a heavy pan for about 1 hour.


If paneer will be used to make any dessert dish:
The most important part of making paneer for dessert is how much water to take out from the paneer.
To check if right amount of  water is out of the paneer, take a little piece of paneer on your palm and rub with your fingers. After rubbing the paneer for about 15-20 seconds, you should be able to make a firm but smooth ball.
For making sweets, paneer can be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days.
Paneer from half-gallon milk will make about 15 to 20 rasgullas.
I suggest 2% milk for rasgullas, ras malai, chamcham or any other dish in that category.
For sandaish, burfee or any other such dish use regular milk.
If paneer will be used for making main dishes:
Before Pressing the paneer knead it enough so paneer is not crumbly.
Press the paneer instead one hour, two hours making firmer.
Cut the paneer to desired shape. Paneer can be refrigerated for a few days or kept frozen for months.
Add salt to the paneer, if you like with your choice of spices one or more, including black pepper, roasted cumin seed, chopped green chilies, chopped cilantro (Hara Dhania) or to your taste.
Keyword Indian Cheese, Paneer
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312 thoughts on “How to make Paneer

  1. Oh Thank you very much for this recipe. I have always loved paneer dishes but was too scared to try to make it at home. I would drive like 20 miles to eat at the buffet restaurant or go many miles to the Indian Grocery & pay $6 just for a few ounces of paneer. After watching your recipe (like 5 times) times, I got up the nerve to try it….I was so sure it would go wrong and I’d end up throwing it away that I only used a half gallon LOL, but it turned out GREAT!!! , and the only problem was that we wanted more, since then I have made it several times using a whole gallon. Thanks so much. I LOVE you!!

  2. I made paneer the other week and it was DELICIOUS. I moved into a small town and missed the Indian food including the paneer I was able to obtain from living in the larger city. I decided to learn how to make my own.

    Your recipe is simple, easy to follow and most of all the finished product is DELICIOUS! Nothing beats fresh homemade cheese from farm fresh milk that I can get living in a small town. So now I have the flavors I learned to adore, added to the freshness of small town life in my very own kitchen. Thank you!

  3. Thank you very much for providing an explanation on how to prepare a key ingredient otherwise completely unknown to suburbanite Colorado, in that it has allowed my family to be able to explore the wonderful world of Indian food, and this very night my dad makes Saag for the first time.

    Much obliged,

    A Coloradan suburbanite.

  4. Thank you very much for your recipies!
    We will try out pakora and then paneer to prepare Chum Chums 🙂
    We are great fans of indian food, especially vegetarian style.
    Kind regards from Germany!

    1. Thank you fdor such a stright forward recipe,I shall try it out today. Other recipes are so complicated needing thermometers or various gadgets. I love experimenting but that would all be too much. I was just looking for a recipe to use up milk which is too old to use as in drinking or coffee and tea and came across this one. If it is as easy and tastes as good as it looks I shall definately look in to many more recipes. Well done !!!!!

  5. Hi Manjula – I am writing you from Copenhagen Denmark and just thought I would let you know that I am a fan of your site. I have been doing curries for a while – but one day I just had some squash and searched for indian inspiration to do it and came across your spicy squash. Very delicious. So I got fascinated with the way you make it look easy and now I am a regular visitor. Now I am even contemplating making paneer myself – a thing which would never have happened if I had not found your site. Thanks for the great inspiration. Br Nanna

  6. Hi Manjulaji,

    I did the paneer and it came out wonderful. But I was feeling sad to throw away all the water that lefts out of the milk after curdling. Can you suggest the ways we could use that water ?? In cooking or something else ?


  7. Hi Manjula,
    I was always afraid to make paneer or even where to begin thinking it was very complicated. I watched your video and I was blown away at how simple you made it seem! I am looking forward to using the recipe as well as using your oil vs ghee method on paranthas :p Mine always come out too crispy. Thank you for your continued recipes!! :p

  8. Hi Manjula ji.

    Thank you so much..I made the mattar ki kachori and it was delicious.. i check ur website for almost very recipe you have added..Being an vegeterain myself, I just love ur site..

    Thank you very much…

  9. I was really pleased with the method of ” How to make paneer “.
    Very well put together in a very simplified way.
    Great! Can we have a receipe for a proper punjabi kebab and chicken tandoori please.


  10. Dear Manjula
    I made ​​”paneer” and went out delicious. I do not know why but when I tried to knead my cake sticks. Why? It’s too fat cheese? Cheese cake have to be fresh or have to sit in the fridge for a while?

  11. Dear Manjula
    I love to learn new and interesting things are and especially when I serve. But it must also have a good teacher. And in the kitchen you’ve found such a teacher. Along with written recipes videos are very helpful. In many recipes are several small “secret” for good food out. You reveal us and these little secrets. I remember when I was young and someone gave me a prescription with the words “as you put flour contains” skip it. Over time I have met homeowners who revealed the mystery to me “as comprising flour” and I could do and those recipes. Also when I was young I wanted to learn to crochet and knitting. And I found that not everyone has the talent to explain. And so it was at school, not every teacher has the talent to teach no matter how intelligent they are. I can tell you’re a good teacher. I admire your patience and dedication to post so many recipes and others. God bless you and bless you for your work.

  12. can I use lime instead of lemon? or if I use vinegar, do I use white vinegar? and do I also mix it up with water?
    thank you,

  13. Hello Aunty,

    I would like to try this recipe and use it in the Palak Paneer recipe, I need 1/3 pound paneer for this.

    I wanted to ask, how much paneer does this recipe provide?

  14. Formula of paneer
    milk+boil at 90¤c +maintain at 60¤c+setric acid(satri)(1%)+curding+out whey frm chena+dbab thoda sa paneer pr only 20 minut k liye +ice water 5¤c me dubona after det paneer is ready 4 u.

  15. Hi Auntyji,

    I made paneer exactly with the instructions given by you. I was able to make it well. But,the paneer became crumbly after cutting and dissolved into particles when I put in the gravy. Could you please let me know the reason behind and the steps to be taken to avoid making the mistake next time.

    I appreciate your response.

    1. Hello,
      it sounds like you did not knead the cheese enough before pressing it; that will prevent it from being crumbly.

  16. Groan!! Aunty I cannot understand what I did wrong. How come my paneer is so crumbly? While cutting I had to be extremely careful not to break the pieces, and they looked so untidy with rough edges. Finally, when added to a hot sauce, they became even more fragile and some more crumbs came off and my sauce lost that clear look that makes it so attractive. Taste wise, I guess I had no problem and my encouraging husband ate up so it didnt go to waste.

  17. I am trying to buy Indian products in Las Vegas. Trader Joe’s now has Palek Paneer
    but where can I buy paneer, already made and tandoori masala. Thank you.

  18. Hi Manjula Aunty,

    I have tried many recipes of urs..Its comes out very well…
    My family just loves it..
    I also tried paneer and dat too comes out very well!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank u Manjula Aunty!!!!!!!

  19. Can you use ricotta cheese as a substitue for paneer in your recipes?We don’t get full cream milk

  20. did u mean chena by paneer or cheese? in bengali paneer means cheese…if i use salt to make paneer how much i can use?

  21. Hello Manjula! 🙂

    I just wanted to say…YOUR RECIPE’S ROCK!!! They are the BEST!!!

    I am in Cottonwood Arizona U.S., and I have to say that your recipes are the best and you should have your own t.v. show here!!!

    I have learned so much from you and love watching your very well done videos!!!

    Love, Light & Cosmic Infinity! 🙂

  22. You are simply the best. What would I ever do without you?
    Since I got engaged two years ago I needed to learn to make Indian food and you saved my life. My husband cant believe I make idli sambar vada burfi jalebi etc. I really want to say thank you so much Manjula aunty!

    1. Teri, soy milk won’t separate and form paneer like cow’s milk does. For Pea’s question…tofu is made by a different process than is used to make paneer.

      For some dishes, tofu can be substituted by the flavor and texture is not the same as paneer, but it’s not too bad either. Sort of a matter of personal preference.

    2. You can make tofu using Nigari salt, I don’t think it works with lemon juice.
      I have used tofu to replace paneer when was not available in my pantry and it was very good.

  23. Pingback: Chum Chum | Manjula's Kitchen | Indian Vegetarian Recipes
  24. Thank you so much for your clear and concise videos and recipes! I just discovered you today on YouTube and I could not be more thrilled! I’ve got my shopping list together and you have inspired me more than you know. I cannot wait to cook all of the foods I loved so much from when I was in India right from scratch and not using the premades at the Indian grocers. You are number one!

    Very best regards,
    Hasina Mehndi & Body Art

  25. Dear Ma’am,

    My name is lavanya from Mysore, Karnataka, India.

    As i am a jain too I am very fond of vegetarian cooking. I have tried most of ur receipe and its really great. My constant support and encouragement will always be there for u. U r doing a great job.
    Keep up the good work.


  26. I made this with my 6 year old son today and it turned out great!! It was very simple and the panir stayed firm even when I fried it. It tasted great with mango chutney. I plan to make it again soon but this time I will season it!

  27. Are you familiar with methods used to make VEGAN paneer? I don’t drink milk and I do my best to stay away from dairy. I’m curious if there’s a Master Vegan Paneer Maker out there.

    1. Paneer made with anything other than milk will have a different taste and texture. Tofu can be used to replace milk based paneer, but you give up authenticity in the taste. For some recipes, tofu just doesn’t work and cannot be used as a substitute.

  28. i tried making this but i think i did something wrong. it seemed good and the paneer was nice and firm after i pressed it. i then went to use it in your butter paneer masala recipe, and found that it started to melt when i fried it.. so i didn’t fry it completely. when i used it in the recipe, i found that the paneer melted and disintegrated quit a lot into the sauce! what went wrong? i thought paneer was not supposed to melt!

    1. oh, when i drained the paneer in the cheesecloth, i found it stuck in the cloth and was hard to remove..

  29. i have tried this 2 times but it not make dry its made too sticky its not live the cloth i m so upset 2 time it didnt make i put havy weight also

  30. Thank you so much for posting this recipe + the video demonstration. I made this exactly as you directed (to use in palak paneer), and it turned out perfectly. So glad to have a foolproof method and recipe for making this wonderful cheese.

  31. This is the best recipe easy to follow with the demonstration video that I have found. I feel confident that I can now make this delicious cheese. Thanks.

  32. Wow Manjula, I am so impressed! I am not a very good cook but my paneer turned out excellent! The milk immediately started to curdle! It’s like a small little miracle.

    I would like to reassure everyone: yes, paneer works even if you use vinegar. I wanted to use lemon juice but I didn’t have enough for 1/4 cup, so I added vinegar. It still curdled fine. My paneer doesn’t have a vinegar or lemon taste.

  33. use curd instead of lemon juice …
    •8 cups (half gallon) milk
    •1 cup curd(dhai)(yogurt) or more thn that

    p.s u can use the remaining milk in sabji or roti(chapatti)

  34. Aunty,
    Thank you so much for this recipe and video! I lived in New Delhi in 2007-2008 and have craved paneer every since I moved back to the U.S. I don’t live close to an Indian grocer so I cannot buy paneer. I made it for the first time this weekend and used it in a tikka masala. It was just like I had in India! I will be trying many of your other recipes, too!

  35. hello aunty,
    i tried making paneer yesterday but it got really crumbly when i made karhai paneer with it! i think i didnt knead it before pressing it under weight!my cloth used for straining was i guess not muslin cloth n wz very small so the paneer wz smelling of lemon!im very new to cooking. Il try it once again with everything available.please can u tell me,can we use vinegar instead of lime juice…i read it somewhere.

  36. how to make low fat paneer ??????????????????????????
    and low fat paneer body and flaver same like full milk paneer

    1. Hardik, you probably can’t. If low fat food tasted as rich as full fat food than it would all be really easy!

      A few pieces of paneer will not ruin your health. Like anything rich and delicious, you must eat in reasonable amounts.

  37. Hello Ms Manjula,
    What I want to know is: if the paneer is to be used for a curry dish like Palak Paneer, should it be cut into cubes/sticks right away after removing it from under the heavy pan, or do you knead it to make it smooth? The paneer in your video looks rather crumbly, like it may fall apart during cooking.
    My family loves Palak Paneer but they’d turn up their noses if it didnt look good too.

  38. namaste Manjula Ji

    Really ur all recipes works. I am having very good image among my circle due to you only. I prepared bangali rasgula which was very hard and also not doubled of the size. once again I am going to try this. Please guide me how to make soft and big ragullas

    1. hi Neeru,

      u have to take out the right amount of water by pressing the paneer under heavy weight for 1 to 2 hours and then comes the process of kneading paneer.
      either u can do with your hands like Manjula Aunty does or if u have a blender u can do it in that also. like i have a magic bullet so i knead it in this only. and u have to blend the paneer till the time u see a dough forming.then u can start making your rasgullas. so try it and then tell me.

  39. i made paneer tonight and it was easier than i expected! i used it for the matar paneer.
    i didn’t have cheesecloth so i used coffee filters and it worked beautifully!

  40. Thank you Ms. Manjula!
    I live in Ottawa, where good paneer is hard to find and soo expensive.
    I will try making this for my family.
    Wish me luck!

  41. hi manjula aunty,

    can i use citric acide(limbu na ful) to make paneer??? my lemon are very old so will it be good to use to make paneer???

    please reply soon

    1. Nisha – White distilled vinegar works the best because it’s more acidic than lemon juice and works almost instantly with no added taste to the paneer. It’s called “white” vinegar, but is actually clear like water.

  42. Hello Manjulaji,
    I frequently watch your recipes and have tried some successful attempts.
    I tried making paneer with whole milk 1 galloon. But my lemon juice was less so I added some vinegar. And now the paneer is been resting overnight but still it is mushy like thick curd. What should I do?
    What would have been the actual problem? The vineger or the tying was not proper?
    Can I still use this in any recipe? Should I try the whey with more lemon juice now? Please guide or else I will need to throw away that which I do not like.

    1. Hi D,
      Using vinegar and lemon juice together should be ok. The way you describe your paneer I think the curd did not separated from the whey all the way. May be you needed to add little more vinegar until whey is very clear.
      But do not throw the paneer mix little bread and bake it till it is firm and then use like paneer or make paneer burfi, follow the recipe I have posted earlier.

      1. Thank u. I also saw the recipe u have for malai kofta. so was planning for that. But the paneer is too much. so can try with barfi too.
        Thank again for such a quick reply

  43. Hello Auntyji, Thanks for this awesome video. Where do I buy cheese cloth? I am fairly new to cooking. Is there any other alternative I could use?

  44. Hello Manjula,

    I am addicted to indian food, and will eat it whenever i go, thank you for this wonderful site, thank you for sharing with us how to make paneer, i hope to try it for my family soon!



  45. Namaste Aunty,

    What are some of the things we can do with the whey that we strained? It seems a shame to throw it away.

    Thank you.

    1. Fresh paneer does not have any preservatives and will spoil fairly quickly. Keep it covered in the fridge for only a few days. Try to use it within one to two days of making it so the flavor and freshness are at its best.

  46. Thankyou very much for this website . you have done a great work and my appreciation for your efforts.

  47. THANK YOUUUUU for showing a loserkid from the midwest how to make all the great food she enjoys but can NEVER find(without driving for an hour) I LOVE your site and have tried many of your recipes and have enjoyed them all! Ill be trying this paneer recipe for the first time tonight and im sure that it will be smashing! i very much enjoy that you have videos to accompany the recipes! very helpful to actually see it done! Thanks again!

  48. Your website is really precious!!!! I’m going to try palak paneer tomorrow but would appreciate your prompt on how to store the remaining paneer in the freezer? and do i thaw it before frying it or just leave it outside for a while? thank you so much.

  49. Hi. manjula.
    I have tried few recires, All turn out very tasty.
    I would prefer a written recipes .After watching vedeo.
    As i found for paneer. really is very helpful.
    I just print out and make or share with friends.

    1. Milk that has curdled from improper storage is spoiled and should be thrown out. It can make you sick, plus it will taste awful!

      Milk that has curdled just from boiling (without adding any lemon juice or vinegar) is not familiar to me. Why would it curdle just from boiling alone?

      ALWAYS use only fresh, properly stored milk for drinking and cooking.

  50. Thank you so much for putting together such a great website! I just finished making paneer–and it came out great! I look forward to turning it into palak paneer tomorrow after work. Anchorage, AK

  51. Hi Manjula,
    Today i tryed making paneer following ur recipe but my curds were not as big as your’s. I drained as much water as i could but its still prety wet and not able to cut it into squares. even though i pressed it under heavy pots. wat did i do wrong? please help.

    1. If you used lemon juice, it was not acidic enough to seperate the curds and whey. Also…make sure you have brought the milk to a boil before you add the lemon juice or vinegar. That may have been the problem too.

      I use white vinegar for paneer because lemon juice doesn’t always work unless you add a lot of it and vinegar doesn’t leave a flavor to the paneer.

  52. thank you so much for your delicious recipies, you share your artfulness and love of cooking,
    me and my family sincerely apreciate it
    from new caledonia

    1. Instead of lime t0 curdle milk to make paneer try diluted vinegar (50 percent water added to vinegar) no need to wash paneer then as it does not have bitter lime smell

  53. Manjula aunty!!! after 15 years of trying, i was able to make a decent paneer with your recipe! The flavour and consistency is much like the one from the local Indian restaurant!!! Thanks again for another wonderful ans easy recipe! <3

  54. Thankyou so much Manjula for showing me how to make Paneer. I had already been told how to do it but your video has given me more confidence to give it a go for myself… Wonderfully helpful! x

  55. I recently became vegetarian. I do realize the importance of protein in my diet, so I’ve opted for the high fibrous and rich in protein bean salads/soups and dishes. I decided to do research on tasty vegetarian recipes and I found that Indian recipes use a lot of spices and flavors to season their dishes. I also discovered that Manjula has the easiest and most delicious recipes. Thank you, Manjula!

  56. Thank-you for wonderful videos! I am learning to cook indian food-wish I had some classes near me in North Carolina. Where would I find the Steel tins to store my spices? I’m stocking my pantry now. Thank-you again!

  57. Hello Aunty,
    In the written version u mentioned to knead the paneer to use for main dishes.
    But in video u dont say that..Also in video u say 6 cups…But in the written version it says 8 cups..Can u plz let me know which one is correct ?
    Wanna try it soon..Eagerly waiting for ur reply..

    1. does not matter 6 cups or 8 cups it is up to u how much paneer u wanr and try using distilled vinegar diluted with water 50 50 say 2 table spoonfuls each

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