52 Projects is an adventure in discovery. Every week, for 52 weeks, do something. Something you’ve never done before. Something you’ve always wanted to do. Something that scares you. Something that inspires you. Something that inspires others. Something that tickles your fancy. Something that caught your eye. Something that just popped into your head. It can be big. It can be small. It can be whatever you want it to be. Find out how doing something can lead you to discover things about yourself, your world, your God. Then, come here on Sundays and share it with others. I'll write about mine here, you write about yours on your blog, then use the tool in my post to link to your something. Please feel free to jump in and participate anytime throughout the year!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Making Paneer

A thousand apologies...I skipped a week of projects here. Tis the holiday season and my head has been wrapped around all the preparations. But I think this week's project makes up for my absence last week.

I have long been a fan of Indian cuisine. On Friday night, Breen and I went for some Indian food. Usually I order the Dal Makhal but recently I've become absolutely smitten with Paneer in curry sauce. Paneer is a type of Indian cheese which is usually served up in main dishes in the form of dense little cheese cubes. So I had the bright idea right then and there in the restaurant to make Paneer myself the next day.

It starts off with a half gallon of milk (I used whole milk) in a heavy bottom saucepan heated until it boils. After the milk boils a half cup of hot water and a quarter cup of lemon juice is added. This addition causes the milk to separate and solid curds are formed.

After the curds are formed, they get rinsed in a cheesecloth lined strainer.

When you squeeze as much water out as you possibly can, the dense ball of curds gets pressed down with something heavy for 2 hours.

After 2 hours you have a nice block of Paneer which is ready to be cut in to cubes and added to a favorite curry sauce.

That's it. It really is easy and delicious! Try it with a can of coconut milk simmered with curry and a nice handful of toasted almonds on top of some Basmati rice.


* 8 cups (half gallon) milk
* 1/4 cup lemon Juice


1. Mix lemon juice in half cup of hot water and put aside.
2. Boil the milk in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, making sure not to burn milk.
3. As the milk comes to a boil, add the lemon juice gradually and stir the milk gently. The curd will start separating from the whey, turn off the heat.
4. Once the milk fat has separated from the whey, drain the whey using a strainer line with cheesecloth, or muslin cloth.
5. Wrap the curds in a muslin cloth, rinse under cold water, and squeeze well. This process takes out the sourness from the lemon.
6. To take out the excess water, press the wrapped paneer under a heavy pan for about 1 hour.


If paneer will be used to make any dessert dish:

1. The most important part of making paneer for dessert is how much water to take out from the paneer.
2. To check if right amount of water is out of the paneer, take a little piece of paneer on your palm and rub with your fingers. After rubbing the paneer for about 15-20 seconds, you should be able to make a firm but smooth ball.
3. For making sweets, paneer can be refrigerated for 1 to 2 days.
4. Paneer from half-gallon milk will make about 15 to 20 rasgullas.
5. I suggest 2% milk for rasgullas, rasmalai, chamcham or any other dish in that category.
6. For sandaish, burfee or any other such dish use regular milk.

If paneer will be used for making main dishes:

1. Before Pressing the paneer knead it enough so paneer is not crumbly.
2. Press the paneer instead one hour, two hours making firmer.
3. Cut the paneer to desired shape. Paneer can be refrigerated for a few days or kept frozen for months.


  1. I've not heard of Paneer before but will be trying it.

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  2. I love paneer. Hmmm. If I made some we wouldn't have to fight for the few cubes left in the dish.

  3. wait: where's the sign up for the week?

  4. ~ooohhh...i have always wanted to try making cheese and this looks quite easy for a first time attempt...thank you for sharing this and the steps to go along! warm holiday wishes and brightest blessings~

  5. as much as i love indian curry dishes, i have never tried paneer....it certainly sounds delicious. thanks for posting this easy-to-follow guide, jane!

  6. Leaving town in a few days, so double-posting this week's project.

  7. I've never eaten Indian Cuisine, because everyone says it is sooo spicy, and sometimes down right HOT! I do not do well with real spicy foods or hot stuff.

    But this looks YUMMY!


    PS> I'll be emailing you...loved my stuff!

  8. I know others doing a "52 project thing" but it is not food, is yours strictly food? I never thought of food as a project (though I know that it certainly can be)


  9. I love paneer. thank you for sharing this recipe and the steps to go along!

    Sherman Unkefer

  10. Jane, I tried to visit your new site, but got a message that it was for invited readers only..