Homemade Paneer – The Daring Kitchen: Cook’s March Challenge 2013


March 14, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson


Hands up, who has always wanted to make their own cheese but “thought” they could never do?

Like the first time I rode my bicycle without training wheels, (and yes I know this is cheese making πŸ˜‰ ) it was a “tad” daunting (“difficult to deal with in anticipation) too!

What was “the worst” thing that could happen? With bicycle riding, a scraped knee? (have had MANY of those πŸ˜‰ ) A broken arm? (luckily missed that experience lol)

I “applied” the same “logic or reasoning” to making my spiced paneer for the very first time too! What was “the worst” thing that could happen? It didn’t work. (If at first you don’t succeed, TRY, TRY again! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Β Am sure we have all heard that before. πŸ˜‰

I am one of those who subscribes to “a frown is a smile upside down” And, “I’ll try ANYTHING once!” πŸ™‚ Maybe even twice! πŸ™‚

So off I went into internet land (sounds almost like Candy Land eh? lol) to see what type of cheese for The Daring Kitchen March Challenge 2013 Cheese Challenge I would make.

I looked in my What’s On The List? folder and “interestingly” I had feta, ricotta, mozzarella, burrata and paneer too! I must REALLY wanted to make cheese one day, TRUE!

I decided on paneer, BUT (like I do lol), I thought to myself, WHAT else can I add to it too?

I LOVE chilli, I LOVE coriander and one of my favorite spices is cumin. I “wondered” if I could combine all three! And THEN, I saw How to make spiced paneer on Creative Saga (found viaΒ  Marsala/Spiced Paneer (Cottage Cheese) and Paneer Bhurji at Pretti’s blog W ‘Rite’ Food “staring” back at me! πŸ™‚ At least it wasn’t “staring” at me like the ducks in Chinatown in New York in Lucky “Peeking” Peking Pork. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

Seeing I was making this for the first time, I made a “very slightly” adapted version of the original recipe. However, ONCE it was “successfully made” (“WHOO HOO! πŸ™‚ ), the spiced paneer was taken one step further by me! πŸ™‚

1 litre (.254 gallon) full cream milk
1/4 fresh lemon juice (per the original recipe, feel free to add more πŸ˜‰ )
2 teaspoons chilli flakes, crushed

I “burnt” out my spice grinder this week (probably from over use ;-); as I am in the market for a new one, can anyone recommend one that is available for use or trialling in Australia? πŸ˜‰

I placed the chilli flakes in a ziploc and pounded away with my meat thermometer until the desired result. πŸ˜‰

1/4 cup coriander, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt (I used pink Himalayan)
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a saucepan, boil the milk.

Hint and Tip
I “constantly” stirred mine as I “know” the results of boiled/burnt milk on pans! πŸ˜‰

Add coriander, cumin and chilli; then add lemon juice, stirring constantly.

Don’t panic! The milk WILL curdle! πŸ˜‰

With a fine strainer over a pot lined with cheesecloth , pour the curdled milk into the strainer.


As a “newbie” to cheese making, it was “very” helpful to know (per the original recipe) “The liquid portion which is collected below is called whey”
Before this explanation (and yes we can now all laugh together lol), the “only” whey I knew was from my Little Miss Muffet Nursery Rhymes when she was eating her “curds and whey.”

I believe the greatest ability in life is the ability to laugh at one’s self; BOY, do I keep myself entertained! lol πŸ˜‰

Tie a knot in the cheesecloth; squeezing out liquid. ( I used vegetable bag ties πŸ˜‰ )

Hint and Tip
Do not squeeze too hard or the cheesecloth will B-U-R-S-T! πŸ˜‰

Place a heavy weight on top; squeezing out excess liquid. Let water drain for about 2 hours.

Hint and Tip
I used four bricks. I covered the first brick that was going to come in contact with the (future lol) paneer in cheese cloth in al foil. The rest didn’t matter as was not going to come in contact with MY (getting territorial now aren’t I lol) spice paneer! πŸ˜‰

I then “continued on” in finding a recipe I had in my What’s On The List? folder. I MUST have been “pretty keen” on making cheese of ALL kinds one day, don’t you think? πŸ˜‰


I did not take note (per the original recipe) to add salt or garam malsala when frying it for my next “created” recipe too! πŸ˜‰

Β WHO could not be “inspired” by this Spiced Paneer recipe on the BBC*? Here is my “adapted” version as “created” by me! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚



400 grams (~14.1 ounces) of homemade paneer πŸ˜‰ )
1 inch of ginger, peeled, minced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
4 tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons finely grated carrot
2 tablespoons beetroot, cut into matchsticks
1/4 red capsicum (pepper), cut into matchsticks
1/4 yellow capsicum, cut into matchsticks
1/4 green capsicum, cut into matchsticks
1 red chilli, sliced
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon baby corn (I like to use up whatΒ  have πŸ˜‰ )
1 teaspoon garam marsala
1 tablespoon organic virgin “raw” clear honey
oil for frying

Heat pan, add about 1 tablespoon oil; fry paneer until golden brown.

Paneer cooks “VERY” quickly in hot oil and you need to watch it carefully. πŸ˜‰
I used 2 tablespoons to move it from one side to another; drain “WELL” on paper towel; set aside.

Be forewarned, the paneer could “spit” back at you! πŸ˜‰

In a separate fry pan, heat pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil; fry coriander seeds, ginger, chilli and red onion until onion is soft. (about 5 minutes)

Add tomatoes, capsicum (peppers); cook for an addition 2 minutes or until tomatoes “start” to soften and capsicum are cooked; personal taste.
I like my vegetables “crispy” πŸ˜‰

Add other spices and honey, simmer for 2 minutes.

Add paneer into the sauce and stir until heated through.

Add coriander; sprinkle with spring onions. ENJOY!

Are YOU now “curious” to MAKE your own cheese now too!? If so, what kind?

Now that my spiced paneer and spiced paneer salad was “on the list” for the The Daring Kitchen: Cook’s March Challenge 2013 and now is “off the list“, will you DARE to challenge yourself too? πŸ˜‰

If so, I WANT to hear back from YOU! (via comments on my blog πŸ˜‰ )

Original Spiced Paneer salad recipe from Good Food magazine

21 thoughts on “Homemade Paneer – The Daring Kitchen: Cook’s March Challenge 2013

  1. […] I have made paneer beforeΒ (thanks to a Daring Kitchen challenge) andΒ Quark/Quag/Goat Curd and Feta before, I have […]

  2. […] accepted the challenge by the The Daring Kitchen in March to make […]

  3. makeycakey says:

    The colours and flavours are fantastic – great challenge!

  4. andy says:

    sounds great! I’ve never heard of spiced paneer… I’ll have to try that next.

  5. I always want to make cheese myself. It’s fun reading your experience and wow your first Paneer looks amazingly beautiful!

  6. Sarah G says:

    Great cheese, Mickey! I love all the colours and the flavour must be amazing. I am going to go back and read your recipe again.

  7. Great job Joanne! I love making my own cheese and this is a good one-its tasty and straightforward πŸ˜€

  8. Pamela says:

    I’ve had my Moulinex coffee/spice grinder for *shock* 33 years and it is a handy tool, for sure! I’ll make this cheese, too, thanks:)

  9. Hello Joanne
    I was really looking forward to your paneer salad reciep and it did not disappoint!
    great job on this challenge and thank you so much for coming on this cheese making adventure with me

  10. terry1954 says:

    so how did it taste???? I Love the colors of it. I would love to sample this definitely

    • Thank you terry1954 I LOVED the flavor combination and I really enjoyed the flavor too!
      It has the taste of a fresh ricotta, but harder texture; something like firm tofu, but didn’t taste anything like tofu…
      Was SO happy with the outcome and glad I chose to make paneer as my very first cheese at home too!

  11. leggypeggy says:

    Hi Joanne, over the years I’ve had lots of coffee and spice grinders. Current ones are Sunbeam and Russell Hobbs. Have had both at least 10 years.

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Joanne T. Ferguson

Passionate Home Cook who tries to inspire one recipe and one event at time!


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