Here is our quick and easy recipe for how to make paneer (Indian cottage cheese) at home. This is a fresh-milk cheese, very similar to queso fresco, that’s used extensively in Indian cooking and can be eaten fresh, or fried up for a quick snack or cooked in curries. It’s a staple protein for vegetarians on keto and it’s also really delicious.
You can make a variety of dishes with this – think saag paneer, paneer tikka masala, tawa paneer, malai paneer… the possibilities are endless.
I’m not sure why I’m saying Keto paneer because by it’s very creation, it’s Keto friendly. So many vegetarians are often confused about how they are going to get their protein in on Keto. Most vegetarians look towards lentils as their source of protein. However, lentils are a whole lot of carbs as well. Paneer is the answer. This dairy product is packed with protein and is full of good fats. Indeed, it’s the perfect solution for the protein problem.
I’ve made a wide variety of dishes using Paneer on the channel. From making Asian style dishes like chilly paneer to my famous Paneer Makhanwala. Of course, it’s awesome to use for Indian cooking (duh). It can even be used to make ‘western’ dishes like my lemon pepper paneer. For a lot of people making it at home can be a lot of work. If that’s the case, guy buy it on Amazon.
2tbsplime juice or white vinegar(not lemon, lemon is not acidic enough)
To the whole milk add 200 ml of heavy cream. This is to bump up the fat content of the milk.
Place the milk on the stove and bring to a boil, while stirring occasionally to ensure the milk doesn’t scorch on the bottom.
As soon as the milk starts boiling, turn it off and add the lime juice or vinegar to it. At this point, it should begin curdling. Stir gently, you don’t want the curds to break up too much.
Let the milk sit for about 15 minutes for the curds and whey to completely separate; you should see the yellowish whey separate from the cheese-like curds.
Meanwhile, lay a cheesecloth on a colander (I’m using a steamer) and place the colander in a deep-ish saucepan to catch the whey.
Pour your whey-curd mix into the cheesecloth, and let the whey drain away completely.
Now we have to wash the curds with some cold water to stop them from cooking further and to remove the residual lime/vinegar taste.
Once the water has drained, you’ll be left with crumbly cheese curds. You can use the paneer right away at this point, if your dish calls for crumbly paneer, like the paneer bhurji.
If you want solid cubes of paneer that you can use in gravies etc, fold the cheesecloth over the curds until you have a rectangular package, then place a heavy weight on top of the cheesecloth, like this saucepan, filled with water.
Weigh it down for about 45 minutes, then gently transfer the paneer to a cutting board and slice into cubes.
You can use this immediately, if you like a soft paneer, or you can leave them in the refrigerator for a few hours to let it firm up for frying or for use in gravies. If you plan to store it longer, store it submerged in water to retain its freshness and keep it from becoming too dry.
Sahil is the master chef behind Headbanger's Kitchen. He hates writing up recipes because he's a man of few (written) words, but when he's on camera, he's all about the jibber jabber. Somebody stop him.
TonyMarch 12, 2018 at 8:53 pm
Bomb. Easy. Unforgivable if you don’t learn it. I want to make this stuff simply to eat plain, salted, too. Will probably change your opinion of store bought “Cottage Cheese”.
MarkusMay 16, 2018 at 4:25 pm
I would really like to know how you calculated the macros for this dish. The 200 ml of heavy cream I used (32% fat content) by itself is about 630 calories and 6.6 grams of carbs. Where do the 100 calories and 3 grams of carbs come from? Also, this recipe made around 270 grams of paneer for me … do you consider that 1 serving? Seems quite a lot for me!
Thank you anyway, though. Had some fun trying this.
Sahil MakhijaMay 29, 2018 at 12:33 pm
Glad you enjoyed the recipe. I do not remember because it’s an old recipe. Also it might have to do with the brand(s) of product I used. I’m sorry I don’t really remember. The best way is to calculate your own macros based on what you used. Or use a generic paneer option on the app you use. Oh and that 270 grams is definitely not a full serving but you can call it that for ease of calculation or you can call it 3 servings or 4 even, really up to you.
SueJune 5, 2018 at 6:42 am
Many of the carbs would be lost in the discarded whey
kpazdetodoJune 29, 2018 at 9:51 am
AMAZING RECIPE, chef! Simple, kind of fun to make, and the result beats any paneer I’ve had in any restaurant anywhere. I’ve made this twice in the past week already! And the paneer dishes here on your site are just brilliant. Many, MANY thanks.
MadhviJuly 6, 2018 at 4:06 am
there seems to be something off about the calories here… 100 cals for 100 gms? it has 23g of fat which in itself will add up to 207 cals (23X9). can you double check? thanks
COctober 12, 2018 at 9:39 pm
Out of curiousity, what can we do with the leftover whey? I saw a Ricotta cheese recipe. Also, you can feed it to the dog or bathe in it!
CherMarch 14, 2019 at 8:02 am
Love the video and music but it was so loud I could hardly hear what you were saying…
Sahil MakhijaMarch 15, 2019 at 3:15 am
Well over the newer videos I’m made sure that the music volume is much lower. Anyway that’s why I have the written recipes here with any information you will need. 🙂
AartiApril 3, 2019 at 4:12 am
Can I use the normal amul paneer for keto diet ??
Sahil MakhijaApril 4, 2019 at 5:14 am
Yes you can. Just make sure it’s not got other rubbish in the ingredients. That’s all.
CharleneJune 14, 2019 at 2:43 am
Do you think that it would work to use Fairlife whole milk? It is filtered twice so it has less sugar and more protein.
Sahil MakhijaJune 15, 2019 at 6:19 am
If I am being honest I wouldn’t know because it’s not a product you get in India. At best you can give it a go and let us know if it works. Turns out it’s owned by Coca Cola so it’s not a brand I’d be giving my business to ever anyway 🙂
ChrisJuly 11, 2019 at 2:31 pm
Hi Sahil, is it possible to make that with just heavy cream?
Sahil MakhijaJuly 12, 2019 at 6:11 am
I think if you do that you’ll get mascarpone cheese.
RusskayaMelJanuary 4, 2020 at 9:57 pm
I love paneer, learned recipe from my darling Indian friend. Thank you for the reminder how to make it, now I no longer live near her.
Laura FaeltenMarch 29, 2020 at 7:30 pm
This recipe is freaking amazing and so easy. I have a paneer obsessed six year old. I had been buying my paneer at local Indian markets (just outside of Boston, MA USA). Never again! Making my own! Keto on my friend!
AngelaAugust 4, 2021 at 5:22 pm
I NEED HELP!!!! I’ve used this recipe several times and it has always come out perfectly until today. For some reason, the milk didn’t curdle as it usually does. I used the same brands of whole milk and 35% cream, a nice fresh lime, the same pot, and I followed the same steps as usual. The curdling was minimal. The curds were barely distinguishable and the whey didn’t separate. There was no golden yellow goodness to be seen. I then brought the milk back to the boil, turned it off, and added a bit more lime juice. The curds became a bit more defined and there was a small amount of pale yellow whey visible between them. I figured it was fine at that point and poured it into my cheesecloth lined strainer to be rinsed. I ended up with a wet, gloopy mess instead of the usual paneer. Any idea what went wrong or how to fix it if it happens again?
Sahil MakhijaAugust 5, 2021 at 3:06 am
Angela I’m not sure honestly it might just have been a bad day or something to do with the acidity of the lime itself. I will ask my wife who is the expert.