Homemade Paneer Cheese

How cool is it to make your own cheese? It’s worth the extra effort and you might just feel like a “mad scientist” watching the curds and whey separate. Use the resulting whey in any baked goods recipes calling for water or milk.  This recipe makes about 1/2 pound of paneer.

Enjoy it sliced on salads, toast, or in a traditional Indian recipe like Saag Paneer. Find the recipe here.


  • 5 cups whole milk, NOT ultra high-temp processed  
  • 3-5 tsp lemon juice or 5-7 Tbsp buttermilk 
  • Cheesecloth or nut milk bag


  1. Rinse a large pot with water and make sure it’s completely clean. Add milk to the pot and heat over medium-low flame. Stir occasionally so a skin doesn’t form on the top of the milk and the bottom doesn’t burn. 
  2. Place a strainer or colander over another pot, or a bowl. Line strainer with double-layer of cheesecloth or a nut milk bag turned inside out so seams are outside. 
  3. When milk starts boiling, add the lower quantity of lemon juice or buttermilk. Begin to stir. The milk will start to curdle; keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the base of the pot. You may see the milk has curdled part-way, but no watery whey is visible. Add 1-2 tsp more lemon juice, or 1-2 Tbsp buttermilk, and stir again. Then you should see the greenish colored whey in the milk. 
  4. After you see the milk has curdled completely and you see the watery, greenish whey, remove from heat and immediately pour entire mixture into the cheesecloth-lined strainer/colander. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth carefully, as the milk mixture is very hot. Run some water over the gathered bundle to rinse. Squeeze very gently to remove excess moisture. 
  5. Put the cheesecloth bundle onto one plate and under another, weighing the top plate with a heavy object (about a pound). Let sit for 30-40 minutes. Or, hang the bundle from your kitchen faucet for one hour so it can drain into the sink. Let sit in refrigerator about 20 minutes, and can then be used immediately or refrigerated 2-3 days.