Comments: Curds and Whey - Indian Panir/Paneer - Easy Cheesy


COOL! I have always wanted to try this but assumed (wrongly I guess) that you needed special milk - unpasteurized or fresher than you can get in the supermarket. Also, I once tried an "easy" make at home cheese following the frugal gourmet's advice and ended up with milky mess. This looks simple and fun though!

It is kind of magic and really simple. Maybe I'll make butter someday soon.

I made butter once! When I was about seven, we spent one Easter on a farm owned by a good friend of the family and I got to milk a cow and make butter. I think you'll need the full cream unpasteurised milk for that though...unless it's possible with cream?

Yes, you can make butter from cream.

However, I am not sure how ultrapasteurized cream will act when it comes to making butter.

That was really cool, I've been wanting to try making cheese for a long time now but have always been intimidated. I'm so glad you included pictures, I can see that this is something I can do. Thank you for the great post and the inspiration!

Who took the pictures? They came out much better than the usual Barrett offerings.

Would cream be better than whole milk here with the additional fats? Or would that be irrelevant?

You know, I don't know about using cream. After I use the second half gallon of whole milk I'll try a batch with cream.

I'm guessing the yield will be higher.

Cream by itself probably will not work. Cheese is a mixture of coagulated fat and protein. I would stick with whole milk, but with added cream, rather than straight cream.

In making cheeses that are higher in fat than protein, you usually need a stronger coagulant than an acid--you need rennet.

Sorry for the culinary nerd moment there. I've been thinking of taking up cheese making and so have been reading up on it off and on in the past year or so.

Barbara you've just demonstrated the benefit of interactive communities. Thanks for the great info.

Thanks! Woohoo for cooking chemists and the people who love them.

NO.... Cream does not make cheese. It's nearly all fat, no protein. The protein makes the cheese. The curdling (with acid either from calf stomach - rennet - or lemon juice) is what separates the proteins out. And by the same token, you can't make butter out of milk, even very rich milk. Butter is all fat... so if you have a bunch of protein (milk) in it, it's never going to churn up. Yes, ultrapasteurized is fine. Even tho the food snobs won't use it... ultrapas is great stuff, and despite all the talk about how it doesn't whip and all... bull! Besides, I don't live in NYC where they can get it every day at Whole Foods.

Ultrapasturized works great for whipping, you are so right--I don't mind the stuff at all. I just had never used it in cheesemaking, so I wasn't so sure.

A friend of mine was telling me that she tried to make paneer cheese from a recipe, I believe it was from Jamie Oliver, which directed her to use only cream--and she couldn't figure out why it wouldn't coagulate. So, I told her that it was because there was no protien in there to coagulate it. I directed her to use whole milk, and it worked like a charm.

There are cheeses that use cream--but they always also have milk in them, as you say, so that there is protein to coagulate in it.

Hi, great recipe and comments.
We made butter at the preschool with 3-5 year olds so I guess this would work for anyone. We put two or three tablespoons of cream in a small jar, like a babyfood jar. Then just shake and shake and shake . . . till it goes solid - and you have your own pat of butter.

Hey, great recipe. I've had some success with this one before. I've found that using a few spoons of natural yoghurt instead of lemon juice works really well. I find it tastes a bit better too. Also, if you like things spicey, try adding some powdered spices like cumin, chili or corriander and ever ginger to the milk. It may not be authentic, but tastes great.

I am in possession of beautiful raw organic milk from Somerset. I am trying to make curds and whey by simply letting it sit out, as instructed in one book I read. (I need the whey for some lacto-fermented veggies I want to try).
After about 48 hours, it has simply formed a solid white mass.
Hellpp...I don't want to ruin 2 qts. of beautiful milk ..what is happening here??

Great recipe for palak paneer. Just returned from a visit to Moshi, Tanzania where we ate in an Indian restaurant and had THE BEST indian food ever! I have been trying ever since to approximate the palak paneer. Garlic naan is a great side with it. Naan can be grilled or cooked on a hot griddle and is almost as good as a brick oven.

you can't make cheese using ultra pasteurized milk; it will not 'set up' as the protein has been changed during the "ultra" processing.

Excellent instructions! The best I've seen, and I've been searching for years (and had many disasters)...the photos make it just perfect. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now I can make my favourite dish at home.

We make butter very often -- just put some regular old whipping cream into a jar, shake like mad until it separates. Pour off the liquid, mix in some salt to taste (you can "press" out the excess liquid if you like too). A little garlic is also nice.

My 3 year old son has a severe, life-threatening dairy allergy and a nurse suggested making him paneer out of breastmilk so he could try it (he really wants to try cheese).
Do you know of anyone who has tried this or tried making real cheese - he's wanting so badly to have a slice of pizza with cheese on it too?
Does it work?
Thank you so much for your time and advice!

Sonia, I wouldn't presume to give advice to you if your son has a serious allergy to dairy protein. And I don't think I'd take advice even from a nurse on an issue this critical.

Go talk to a doctor who is an allergist, and see what they think. I have a violent reaction to shrimp, crab, and lobster, and I can tell you anaphylaxis is an ugly, ugly thing and can be fatal.

I would certainly not take advice from a semi-anonymous blogger on the Internet. Sorry I can't be more help.

How would one go about adding color, for example, to make cheddar cheese?

Fred, you don't make cheddar that way. Cheddaring is actually a process. I suggest checking out Fankhauser's Cheese Page (linked at right) for details on how to make other cheeses.


start with heavy (whipping) cream very well chilled--not frozen but close to it.
pour cream into a chilled bowl use the whisk attachment (also chilled) on your electric mixer (you can also do it by hand with a whisk but it requires more work). start whipping the cream at a low speed setting and gradually take it up to a hi speed setting until the cream forms stiff peaks (i. e. whipped cream) BUT DON'T STOP THERE! If continue whipping the cream will begin change composition and within about 1 to 3 minutes the water will separate from the fat. simply pour out the water (or drink it-- i think it is essentially a non-fat milk byproduct) what you will have left is a glob of fresh unsalted butter--made easy!

Here is a tip - there is no need to boil the milk, and risk overflowing your pot.
As long as you bring the milk to about 80 degrees Celsius for around 10min, this will be enough.
By heating the milk to >67 degrees Celsius you will start to denature the whey protein in the milk. This will increase the yield of your cheese. And because whey protein holds moisture well, it will give you a nice tender cheese.
The hotter the milk, the faster the whey denatures, but 80 degrees for 10min is enough to get the job done.
In industrial manufacture 90 degrees for 5min, of 95 for 3min does the trick.

Below is a link to someone who tried to make breast milk paneer

My six year son was very recently cured of his life threatening milk allergy.
He was cured by Ayurveda.

Reach out to me at
prachi dot solomon at gmail dot com

I was given some lactobacillus bulgaricus several years ago. They look like little pearls. I keep them, in two batches, on top of the fridge in pint-sized ceramic pots mixed with milk. I strain out yoghurt every three or four days. I let it sit in the strainer until the whey drips out, and then I gently run my hand around the stainless steel strainer and push the yoghurt out, then I give my little "bulgaros" a rinse, and then it's back on top of the fridge with more milk.

I bake two loaves every 10-12 days and I use the whey instead of water. I believe it makes better bread; it tastes better and it's a bit more moist.

Dont give whey to dogs is a laxitive used to make cheese as a kid with parents and can remember having given whey to dogs and having a big mess

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