This paneer cheese recipe is easier than yogurt!

How to make Paneer recipe for Thermomix What is paneer? Traditionally made with buffalo milk in India, paneer is a perhaps the world’s most basic fresh cheese rendered simply by adding acid to unpasteurized milk so it coagulates, straining the curds from the whey, and pressing the curd. Ta da! To be a little more specific: whole cow’s, sheep or goat’s milk that has not been ultra pasteurized, plus lemon juice, lime juice or vinegar, a bit of cheese-bag or cloth, a stone, brick or heavy book… and just a few minutes. The result is much like tofu — a bland and slightly chewy semi-hard pressed cheese that takes on other flavours well. This paneer cheese recipe easily lends itself to experimenting with — just add seasonings to suit your tastes.

Read on to discover how easy it is to make three versions of paneer: plain, lemon, and spiced. (I loved all three paneer cheese recipes and couldn’t decide which to blog about, so take your pick. )

Inspiration: I started making paneer when organic spinach was on sale one day and I had become tired of salad, green smoothies, soup, and spanakopita. To try something different,  I decided to make Palak Paneer  — Indian style curried spinach tossed with fresh (sometimes fried) cheese cubes. A bit of research online revealed that paneer cheese is also known as Queso Blanco in Mexico. It is so simple to make at home that it begs to be made even simpler with Thermomix. Best of all, it’s even faster and easier than making yogurt!

spicy paneer recipe with ThermomixEasier than making yogurt, really??? Yes. There is absolutely nothing about making paneer that is difficult — unless you call one minute of gentle stirring a difficult thing. And this of course, Thermomix does well. Which leaves us free to focus on other things — like looking out the window to see what the children are up to, wiping down the counter, feeding the pet, or smiling at the one you love.

The other thing to note when making paneer is watching the milk to ‘catch’ it at the right time. In this way Thermomix is also most helpful. Even though it is not recommended to boil milk in the Thermomix, I have found that by heating it just to 100°C and immediately turning it off, causes no problem. With just a bit of awareness, milk will not boil over, nor will it stick to the bottom of the jug. A mere ‘skin’ of milk may form on the bottom, but it’s easily cleaned up.

All in all, it takes about 10 minutes to make paneer, and 1-3 hours to wait for it to compress if you so desire. It tastes healthy and fresh and home-made paneer rewards all who make it with a bright burst of self esteem. You can make on a whim it in the afternoon, for use in tonight’s dinner!

Three ways and more — basic paneer is plain. You may want to try it first, to set a baseline for further experimentation. Instructions are provided below for adding lemon zest, and for a spiced version made with chili and fresh coriander.  Here I find that the combination of the lemon juice (acid) combine with chili and cilantro for a most delightful and subtle chewy Thai-flavoured cheese. Sounds odd, tastes refreshing! (I’ve also made a smoked salt version, and many people like to add cumin seeds.) Like thermomix pizza crust, plain paneer is a clean canvas for culinary creativity. Are you having salad for dinner — consider tossing a handful of fresh herbs into a batch of paneer and using herbal paneer cubes in your salad. Unlike other cheeses, paneer does not melt. It lends itself well to frying or using in soups and stews. Baked on pizza, tossed into scrambled eggs, and especially yummy in Palak Panner, the popular Indian curry recipe I’ll be blogging about next!


5.0 from 2 reviews
Making PANEER CHEESE is easier than yogurt!
Cuisine: Thermomix
Recipe type: Indian, Vegetarian
  • MILK: 1.5 - 2 litres (52.9-70.5 oz) milk (full fat cow or goat milk is best)
  • ACID: 40 - 75 g (1.4-2.6 oz) lemon juice (start with about one lemon, or half the Thermomix measuring cap) (optionally, use lime juice or vinegar)
  • SPICED SEASONINGS OPTION: teaspoon chili flakes, handful chopped fresh coriander (or spices, cumin seeds, herbs etc.)
  • LEMON ZEST OPTION: lemon zest (use the zest of the lemon that you are juicing for acid.)
  1. Place milk in Thermomix bowl and heat to just boiling point >> 1.5 litres/52.9 oz of refrigerated milk takes about 14 minutes/100°C/212ºC/speed 2. Two litres/70.5 oz will need about 18 minutes/100°C/212ºF/speed 2. (For TM31 users: watch temperature lights and stop the Thermomix as soon as the 100°C stops blinking)
  2. If making spiced paneer: add spiced seasoning at this time, insert butterfly and stir without heat for 1 minute/speed 2, so flavours are infused. (If making plain paneer, or lemon paneer, skip to next step.)
  3. Program the machine to stir for 1 minute/with butterfly/speed 1 as you pour lemon juice through the hole in the lid. Peek in to see the milk solids separate from the whey. If separation does not occur, simply add a bit more lemon juice.
  4. If making lemon paneer: add lemon zest at this time and stir about 4 seconds/butterly/speed one, just to distribute. (If making plain paneer, skip to next step.)
  5. Pour contents of Thermomix through a cheese bag, nut-milk bag, (or sterilized nylon) and allow to hang for 10-15 minutes to strain the curds from the whey. Do this over a large pot if you are planning to retain the whey for later use (see note below). Squeeze out remaining liquid by hand. It is now a crumbly fresh cheese that can be used like cottage cheese or ricotta.
  6. To form the cheese, place in a flat bowl or plate with an edge and wrap it in a fresh cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel. Press with a heavy weight for 1-3 hours. Paneer becomes less crumbly from this weighting process, and by refrigeration. After about an hour, I usually transfer to the fridge while maintaining pressure for another hour or two. more tips: click on photos above for more detailed info.


Want more?

  • Use freshly made paneer in the traditional paneer recipe, Palak Paneer

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See 34 comments from people who cook with Thermomix:

  1. Tebasile March 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    What a wonderful idea to mix it with fresh herbs Helene! You can make fresh Ricotta with the leftover whey. Just warm it to 50 °C.

  2. ThermomixBlogger Helene March 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Hi Tebasile! I’ve read mixed reviews about making the ricotta this way (whey) and haven’t tried it yet. Do you do it? Have you blogged about it? I always enjoy reading your blog, but sadly, too little time to do much reading these days. It’s the busy season here ;-)

  3. Tebasile March 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    I know, you are always busy Helene! I haven’t blogged about it yet, no time and been lazy :-), but made it a couple times and have pics.

  4. ThermomixBlogger Helene March 22, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    I will be interested to try this Tebasile. My research tells me that paneer whey does not make ricotta, because the paneer is made from acidification (not rennet). Also, when I make paneer, the whey is very clear… it doesn’t seem like there would be enough milk solids for making anything else, but I will try it soon and report back with a more definitive answer for anyone else who might be curious. Cheers, H.

  5. Gretchen March 22, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Love paneer and always make it for my Hare Krishna rellies. Too easy with my Bimby. Your recipe is very good Helene. LIme and chili sounds good for me. It is a good way to use up old milk as well.

  6. Quirky Jo March 22, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    Love paneer but it doesn’t love me :( But yours looks so beautiful, I’m thinking I’ll have to try it just for the fun of it, even if I have to give it away afterwards!! :)

  7. ThermomixBlogger Helene March 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    Thanks Gretchen and Quirky Jo — sounds like you both have relatives who will enjoy your paneer efforts. Next time, I’m adding CREAM to the milk. (Just in case I start getting too weak and can’t find the strength to keep typing with these skinny little fingers…)

  8. A Canadian Foodie March 28, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Glad you do all the work for us, Helene! I have made paneer several times after my first adventure with it in November – returning from Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and spending a session or two with Bal Arneson. She is one inspirational gal with a story and a half. Her paneer was excellent – as was mine. To make it in the thermomix will even be better – I didn’t want to waste the product experimenting!
    Then, another gal wrote to me and told me you could make tofu exactly the same way, but using soy milk, so I did, and it worked, too. Have you tried that! I suggest you do that one for us all, next. It is on my site – but not in the Thermomix! YET!

  9. ThermomixBlogger Helene March 30, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    Hi Valerie – thanks for stopping by. Yes, experimenting with tofu was on the agenda after paneer, but I figured it would take a while to get around to it. If you have a recipe posted — great — that will be a help. Doing it ‘next’, however is more of a dream than a reality. (Do you dream about Thermomix too? I bet you do!) There are a few ahead of tofu on already-too-long ‘to do’ list. Not to mention it’s gardening season here and though the daylight hours are longer… they pass by so much more quickly (!)

  10. Naomi April 11, 2011 at 4:09 am #

    Hi Helene,
    I tried making this with goats milk, I only had 1Ltr to use and I put some salt in it with the flavours and it didn’t work! it didn’t curd up like yours no matter how much lemon juice and apple cider vinegar I added to it! Do you think the salt at the early stage might have done something? That’s the only thing I can think of…I’m so sad it didn’t work as I was looking forward to eating some tonight :(
    Any suggestions appreciated.
    :) ~ Naomi

  11. ThermomixBlogger Helene April 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    Hi Naomi – oh boy, how disappointing for you! The main thing that can make paneer fail is if the milk is overpasteurized. I’d look into the pasteurization practices of your goat milk supplier. Second, would be if the milk maybe didn’t quite come up to temperature (though I’ve heard from some people that they don’t even heat is as much as recommended and they still succeed. Third factor could be the acidity of lemons used, but since you added both lemon juice and vinegar that should have worked. As to your question about the early addition of salt, I have to say I don’t know enough about chemistry to answer properly. Maybe someone reading this will have more thoughts, but most of all, I hope you will try it again. I have had consistent success with this recipe, though yes, one time it didn’t work and I assumed it had to do with the fact that I was using a different brand of milk. Hmmm.

  12. Cookie1 April 13, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    I love Paneer Helene. I have made it before and loved it. I will now try making it with flavourings. Thank you.

  13. Cookie1 April 24, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    The paneer is now in the fridge. It looks lovely and I’m sure we’ll like it more than the plain version. I put a little garlic, fresh chilli and parsley in. If we have any left over I think I will try it in olive oil. Sort of like marinated feta.
    A very easy recipe. Thanks Helene.

  14. ThermomixBlogger Helene April 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    Hey there Cookie1 — I’m glad you tried it and wrote back. That’s sounds like a good combo to me — it’s hard to go back to plain paneer after trying this… Thanks and Bon Appetit to you!

  15. Your Cookery Book August 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    The picture of spinach paneer is inviting me to eat. I’ll definitely make soon. Thanks for the instructions.

  16. anitram November 6, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Hi Helene,
    thumbs up from Germany for this easy peasy pleaser. We can get an abundance of cheeses here, but paneer is not the easiest to find – and now Iwill never have to look for it, since all I need is always at hand.
    I tried it with a good pinch of simple italian herbs (such as used for making a good italian sauce). Yummy!!! Next will be the lemon version, since I love, love, love all citrus aromas.

  17. Chiara November 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    I am wondering if you can make a sweet version of this cheese? Cinnamon? Cardamom?

  18. ThermomixBlogger Helene November 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Have not tried it Chiara, but it sounds like a good idea to me! Let me know if you decide to play with the recipe this way. Would love to hear how it goes for you.

  19. Val C March 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

    Can the whey be used to make scones and cakes

  20. ThermomixBlogger Helene March 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    Hi Val; I am not an expert on cheesemaking but have read that this ‘whey’ from ‘fresh cheese’ such as we have here is not the same as other whey… That said, I’m confident you can use the whey, but I can not guarantee the results you’ll get.

  21. Nushi March 4, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    Hi, I might give this a go, but when is the spinach added? Is it added after the milk has heated when you add the spices? Or later after the lemon/vinegar is added? I’m confused, couldn’t see where that step was. Thanks.

  22. ThermomixBlogger Helene March 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Hi Nushi — you are right, the spinach doesn’t get added into the recipe on this page. The recipe above is for the cheese only. You can add flavourings, but I don’t add spinach in the cheese itself. Spinach is in the Palak Paneer recipe on this page.I hope you do try it, this is a very rewarding recipe and I think you’ll enjoy it :)

  23. Priscilla March 5, 2014 at 12:16 am #

    I’m very keen to try this, but…. How do you insert the butterfly when the temp is 100 degrees? What did I miss?!! Thanks heaps!

  24. ThermomixBlogger Helene March 10, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    Hi Priscilla — Sorry I missed your question last week! All you need to do is open the lid and put in the butterfly/wisk. Put the lid back on and keep going. Hope this helps!

  25. Carli August 11, 2014 at 4:13 am #

    Hi! I had great fun making this paneer and it turned out great, I was able to cut it into squares. When I went to fry it though to make your palak paneer, the paneer melted and turned into a mess! Any tips? Perhaps I didn’t refrigerate long enough?

  26. ThermomixBlogger Helene August 11, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    Hmmm… it could be that Carli, or perhaps you didn’t compress it enough? Sounds to me like there may have been too much moisture in your paneer? I’m sorry to hear this because the recipe is SO yummy when you get it right. I do hope you’ll try again :)

  27. Swagata May 25, 2016 at 2:15 am #

    so excited that you have this up – i love paneer so will be trying it soon – and love the use of whey for ricotta!


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