Type to search

Homemade Paneer

Makes about 2 pounds


  • 2 gallons milk
  • 16 ounces vinegar  

Optional Ingredients for Masala Paneer Cheese

  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • half sprig mint, chopped
  • small bunch cilantro, chopped


  1. Bring milk to a boil on a stove in a heavy bottom pot, stirring continuously so the milk does not caramelize and stick to the bottom of the pot.
  2. Add vinegar to the boiling milk. Turn off heat. (Note: For masala paneer, add the cumin seeds and the fresh herbs before adding vinegar.)
  3. Separate the milk curds and whey with a strainer or a colander.
  4. Place curds on top of a large piece of cheesecloth and tie it into a pouch.
  5. Let the pouch hang for 10 minutes until most of the water drains. (The soft cheese at this stage can be used in many dishes, like paneer bhurji—an Indian/Pakistani breakfast dish in which paneer is scrambled with savory vegetables and spices—as well as stuffed breads.)
  6. Flatten the pouch on a worktable and place a flat weight on top to extract excess moisture from the paneer cheese. Allow to sit for 6 hours.
  7. Peel off cheesecloth and remove cheese.

Keep paneer refrigerated for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen.

A crumbly South Asian cheese, paneer is often described as the Eastern equivalent of cottage cheese–a non-melting, un-aged varietal formed using acid rather than cultures or heat. Paneer is a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine (5 percent of India’s milk was used to make paneer in 2000). In this recipe, Chef Arora enhances the flavor with herbs and spices.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!