Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Paneer Cheese


I decided to have another go making paneer (Indian Cheese). My previous attempt a few years back resulted in a soggy mass of curdy curds which did nothing to impress Stu with my asian culinary skills. My recent batch being was much more succesful, I realised what I should have done before, was to pressed the cheese and leave it in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours before cooking. I did. Bingo. Tasty, cuttable and fryable cheese especially if it's coated in a flavourful chilli sauce (recipe below).

For those of you you familiar with baby sick, you will feel quite at home making this. I made it with Evie by my side who thought it was the most disgusting thing ever. I didn't remind her of the time she projectile vomited down Stu's back and no, she didn't try the fried cubes either. However, good friend Imogen was chief taste sampler and enjoyed the chilli cheese, but I doubt she would have tried it either if she had expereincd the baby sick stage - but don't let that put you off making it!

Here's how to make Paneer.

I used a litre of full fat milk and it yielded enough for two greedy eaters. You'll be surprised at how much whey you yield and how few curds, so if you want to make a larger batch, be generous with the amount of milk you use.

  • 1 litre full fat milk

  • 1/2 juice of lemon

  1. Handy tip - Swish some water around a large pan and tip it out, this almost stops the milk protein sticking to the base of the pan.

  2. Heat milk to just boiling then take off heat before it covers your hob.

  3. Add the lemon juice and return to heat and simmer, and stir until it's very curdy. Add more lemon juice if it's not looking curdy enough. Take off heat and leave it for 10-25 minutes.

  4. Place a small piece of muslin (I used one from Liz Earle's perfectly sized muslin's from her Cleanse and Polish range) into a sieve and if you wish to use whey for bread making, place the sieve over a bowl, if not, just hold the sieve over the sink.


  5. Pick up the edges of the muslin and squeeze as much of the whey out as possible. Keep squeezing the curds too, to encourage the liquid to drip out.

  6. Then, try and shape the curds into a rectangle and wrap tightly in the muslin.


  7. Place the wrapped curds on a plate, then place another plate on top of the curds and thenplace something heavy on top and store int he fridge for 3 hours.

  8. Once the cheese is chilled and pressed, it will be easy to cut into cubes ready for frying or i you'd rather, eat cold drizzled with honey and almonds.


Chilli Sauce for Paneer adapted from 'India with Passion'

  • 1 tsp cornflour

  • 1 tsp flour

  • pinch of salt

  • vegetable oil for frying

  • 1 onion finely sliced

  • 1/2 chilli, deseeded and chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 1 tbsp vinegar

  • 1 tbsp ketchup

  • 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp hot chilli sauce or sambal

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds + nigella seeds

  • 2cm fresh ginger, grated or finely sliced

  1. Mix together the cornflour, salt, flour and 1 tbsp cold water to make a thin paste.

  2. Coat the cubed cheese with the paste.

  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the paneer, browning each side of the cubes. Remove from pan.

  4. Add onions, garlic, seeds and chillies and fry for a dew minutes.

  5. Add the sugar, vinegar, ketchup, chilli and soy sauce and reduce for a minute. Add ginger.

  6. Add cheese and season to taste.



  1. I have just completed a batch of the cheese and it is sitting in my fridge looking almost as beautiful as yours did in your fab photos. I intend to try the sauce tomorrow, if I can resist nibbling. Thank you for the inspiration, I had good fun making it and the results are so satisfying.

  2. I'm so pleased you are trying the paneer and the sauce is great, it really is quite delicious. The panner would be lovely with toasted almonds and honey for a pudding too....
    Seeing your comment has reminded me that I've not blogged for ages - this lack of writing is usually a reflection of lack of time and state of mind. It's also a reflection of my bad cooking at the moment! I'm just cooking banana butter-scothch cake - it smells good and is rising so perhaps my ability to cook is returning!

  3. This the most delicious recipe I ever eat really.