Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)

Serves 4-6

You can use any type of milk that you like, but keep in mind that the more fat in the milk, the softer and more delicate your Paneer will be.


  • ½ gallon milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon (or 1 cup plain yogurt)

Special Equipment

  • Strainer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Kitchen twine



  1. Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy-bottomed pan, stirring often to keep the bottom from burning or sticking
  2. Once the milk starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the lemon juice
  3. Stir gently until white curds begin to form
  4. Continue to stir very slowly and gently until you end up with a mass of white curds and the yellowish green liquid that is the whey
  5. If it remains murky, add a little more lemon juice or yogurt. Once all curds are formed, take off the heat
  6. Line a large strainer with cheesecloth and pour the curds into it
  7. Let sit in the strainer over a bowl or pan for 10 minutes
  8. Gather up the edges of the cheesecloth and gently squeeze out as much of the water as you can
  9. Tie the edges together to form a loose bundle and hang the cheese to drain over the sink for about 1 hour
  10. Shape the cheese into a flat square (still wrapped in the cheesecloth), set it on a flat surface and place a weight on it for 1/2 hour. You can use a stock pot 3/4 full of water
  11. Take the paneer out of the cheesecloth and slice into bite-size pieces with a sharp knife


Paneer can be stored in the refrigerator covered in water or whey for up to 4 days, or frozen in an airtight container. Defrost thoroughly before use.