Indian Panir or Curds and Whey

For equipment you'll need:

For the ingredients, you'll need:

You must use whole milk because the fat and solids in the milk are what you'ree trying to collect.


  1. Heat the half gallon of milk to a full rolling boil. Stir frequently, scraping the bottom with the wooden spoon to prevent burning or sticking. The milk must separate into the milk solids (curds) and the remaining liquid ( whey). Once the milk expands in volume...
  2. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the lemon juice. Stir for about 15-20 seonds always in the same direction (clockwise or counterclockwise). The curds should start separating from the whey.
  3. Take the pot off the heat, cover tightly, and let it sit for ten minutes.
  4. Cover a colander with 3-4 layers of cheesecloth or muslin (folded so there is plenty extra on each side to make a sack around the cheese-to-be). Place the colander in a larger bowl to catch the liquid to be strained.
  5. Spoon the biggest solids out of the stockpot with a slotted spoon into the cheesecloth covered colander, then slowly pour the remaining liquid whey through the colander and cheesecloth.
  6.  Let the curds cool, then gather the cheesecloth together to form a sack for the curds; tie the curds off with a short piece of twine.
  7. Rinse the bundle in warm water once to get rid of the residual lemon juice.
  8. Suspend the paneer in the cheesecloth from the knob over a bowl to catch the whey that will slowly drain; twist the cloth gently to press some whey out.
  9. The cheese should be ready for use after 3 hours.


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