How to Make Paneer

Indian Basics book cover
Courtesy of Firefly Books.

This recipe comes from the introductory chapter, “Indian Essentials” from Indian Basics: 85 Recipes Illustrated Step by Step. If you love Indian food, but are intimidated by the idea of cooking it, this book is a great place to start.

The book begins unassumingly with an introduction to Indian spices and dals. Simple recipes like this paneer follow, and will lead you to discover just how easy Indian cooking can be.

How to Make Paneer


How to make paneer recipe photos from Indian Basics.
©2011 Firefly Books. Written by Jody Vassallo. Photos by James Lindsay.


  1. Put the milk into a heavy-bottomed pan and bring it to a boil. Add the lemon juice and stir slowly until it curdles and forms curds and whey.
  2. Line a colander with cheesecloth and pour the curds and whey through the colander.
  3. Tie the top of the cheesecloth and weigh the mixture down with a can for 30 minutes, or until it is firm. (The longer it’s pressed, the firmer it will be.)
  4. Remove the mixture from the cheesecloth and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container until you are ready to use it.

To find traditional Indian recipes that will feature your homemade paneer, check out Indian Basics: 85 Recipes Illustrated Step by Step by Jody Vassallo, photographs by James Lindsay, Firefly Books 2011, $24.95 paperback.