How to Make Your Own Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1/2 pound
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
74 Calories
4g Fat
6g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 74
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 53mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 138mg 11%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 161mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Paneer, a semisolid, cubed form of cottage cheese, is favored in the north and east India. "Paneer"—literally "cheese" in Hindi—readily takes on the flavor of the spices in which it cooks. Paneer adds a rich and creamy flavor to Indian desserts, such as Sandesh, rasgulla, and rasmalai. It is also used in curries like mutter paneer and palak paneer, Indian kababs and parathas, a pan-fried Indian flatbread.

While you can find cottage cheese in curd form in most supermarkets, you can usually only buy cubed or block varieties in Indian food stores. Instead, make paneer at home in half an hour with the following recipe. Once you've made paneer, freeze it to use later. 


  • 1 quart whole milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon citric acid, lime juice, or lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup warm water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Boil the milk in a medium-sized pot.

  3. As the milk boils, dissolve the citric acid/lime juice/lemon juice in 1/2 cup of warm water.

  4. When the milk comes to a boil, pour the acid-water/lemon or lime juice-water mix into it.

  5. Reduce the heat and stir continuously until the milk is completely curdled.

  6. Remove the mixture from the heat when the separation of the curds and whey is complete.

  7. Strain the mixture through a clean muslin cloth.

  8. Hold it under running water for a minute and then press out the excess water.

  9. Hang the muslin for 15 to 20 minutes so that all of the whey is drained.

  10. To make the paneer into a block, tie the muslin and place it under something heavy.

  11. Cut the paneer into cubes.

  12. Use the paneer cubes immediately or freeze them for later.


  • Use skim or low-fat milk for the paneer.
  • Don't discard the whey. Use it to make dough for chapatis or parathas, which will turn out softer than if you made the dough with water.
  • Mix the whey with Bengal Gram Flour and make a thick paste. Use this paste as a body lotion for softer skin.