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4.25 from 4 votes
How to make paneer (Indian cottage cheese) in your Instant Pot
Instant Pot Paneer

A soft homemade Indian cheese, also referred to as "cottage cheese" although the curds are pressed until it forms a block, unlike British cottage cheese which comes in curd form. Delicious in all manner of wonderful curries! 

Yields about 330g paneer. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings
: 265 kcal
  • 2 litres full fat milk (UHT milk works a treat too)
  • 60 ml lemon or lime juice (or distilled white vinegar)
Equipment needed:
  • Your Instant Pot!
  • A slotted spoon
  • Cheesecloth or several layers of strong kitchen roll I much prefer cheesecloth as you can twist it up tightly to press the paneer
  • A small strainer* or if you're lucky, a paneer mould A diameter of about 6 inches is just about right for this amount of paneer
  • A small plate or saucer**
  • Heavy cans to weight the paneer with
  1. Unless you are planning to keep the whey, I start by giving the sink and draining board a really good scrub and clean so that I can strain my paneer straight into the sink. Move unnecessary items and cleaning products out the way too. 

  2. Pour the milk and lemon juice into the Instant Pot, pop the lid on and close the valve. Set to Manual and adjust to Low Pressure then set to 4 minutes. When finished, allow a NPR. 

  3. Line your strainer/tofu press with cheesecloth and pour the curds and whey through them. Go slowly as there will be a large volume of whey to strain. 

  4. Gather up the cheesecloth, squeeze and press the paneer flat. Sit the press's lid on top of the cheesecloth and weight it down with some heavy cans. Sit the press on a plate and chill overnight before slicing and using. 

  5. Paneer can be sealed in a tupperware box with or without water in (there are contrasting reports of whether storing underwater makes it more or less firm). It will keep unused for up to 3 days.