Paneer is the simplest cheese to make and the one I recommend starting with as it requires no rennet, no special equipment, and it can be made with almost any milk you have access too — except UHT-pasteurized.
Paneer cheese is equally delicious in savoury and sweet recipes, once pressed it can be fried, grilled, or even smoked, and it comes together quickly with almost no effort. It's a foolproof beginner's cheese.
Author:The Peasant's Daughter
Prep Time:1.5 hours
Cook Time:40 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 40 minutes
Yield:1.5 lbs 1x
4 litres of milk (I use raw whole milk, but any milk will do except for UHT-pasteurized)
1/2 cup of any vinegar or 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (no pulp) or 1 pint of yogurt or kefir
1 tablespoon of fine sea salt (make sure it's not iodized)
Fresh herbs and/or spices (completely optional)
A heavy-bottomed pot that can hold the milk
A wooden spoon or silicone spatula
Something to use as a make-shift cheese press (see recipe notes for ideas)
Pour your milk into the large pot and set it on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
Stir it constantly as it slowly comes to a boil, then remove it from the heat immediately.
Add your acid to the pot and slowly and carefully stir it once or twice, no more.
Allow the pot to rest for 5-10 minutes. The curds will separate from the liquid whey.
Carefully spoon out the curds with a slotted spoon/skimmer or small mesh colander into a larger colander suspended over a bowl.
Add your salt and stir.
If you're adding any herbs and/or spices, this is the time to do so before pressing.
Press the curd into fresh paneer as per the recipe notes, or skip the pressing and enjoy as-is.
If you are pressing, the paneer is finished once it has come to room temperature.
Store in the fridge up to a week, or freeze, and enjoy.