|April 13, 2023


Paneer is a delicious staple food item in South Asian cuisine. It's often used to balance the heat of spicy stews. It also adds healthy protein to vegetarian dishes.

What is Paneer?

People who regularly eat at Indian restaurants know paneer by heart. It is made by curdling pure milk with either lemon juice or vinegar. You then soak the resultant solid milky mass in a cheesecloth. Paneer is commonly known as cottage cheese.

Paneer is a variant of cheese. It's primarily made in India. It's usually made from curdled milk and some kind of fruit or vegetable acid like say, vinegar or lemon juice. 

There are a few unique qualities that make paneer the type of cheese that it is:

  • It's an unaged cheese.
  • It's a soft cheese, and
  • It doesn't melt.

How to make paneer?

How to make paneer

The best thing about paneer is that you can make it home. The best part about making paneer at home is that the ingredients and items required to make it are readily available everywhere. You need some whole milk, a cheesecloth, and lemon juice — that's it! You'll have your paneer ready in under an hour. 

This is how you make paneer at home:

  1. Take a large double layer of cheesecloth. Line your colander with it. Set it in the sink.
  2. Gently boil 8 cups of whole milk on medium heat. Keep stirring.
  3. Add a few drops of lemon juice. Turn the heat to low.
  4. When stirring, you'll see that the milk has started curdling. Now, remove this curdled milk from the heat. Pour it into the lined colander. Rinse with cold water. 
  5. Squeeze out the excess liquid with the cheesecloth. 
  6. Tie it to your faucet to drain out the remaining liquid. 
  7. Twist the ball tightly. Weigh it down with something heavy to ensure even cottage cheese.
  8. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, and then enjoy!

Iconic Paneer dishes

Let's now take a look at some legendary paneer dishes from India.

Paneer Butter Masala

paneer butter masala

Paneer Butter Masala is a luxurious, rich curry that's mild and flavorful. It's a thick, creamy swirl of:

Add large cubes of juicy, tender paneer. That's it! You'll have a vegetarian curry to die for!

Kadai Paneer

Kadhai paneer

Kadai paneer is a popular chunky paneer-based stew. It's flavored with ground coriander and red chilies.

The secret to a good kadai paneer is roasting the spices before making the dish. This deepens their beautiful aromatic flavors. If you really want to wake up your tastebuds, add more chilies. You can also add an extra teaspoon of garam masala. 

If you're hard-pressed and can't spend extra time grinding and roasting spices, you can just use Alco Paneer Masala. It adds more flavor and kick without needing extra effort!

Malai Kofta

malai kofta

In Indian cuisine, kofta usually means meatballs. But there are many vegetarian versions of the traditional dish, like potato paneer koftas. These doughy balls are made from:

  • Mashed potato
  • Paneer, and
  • Alco Paneer Masala

Koftas are deep-fried. This gives them a gorgeously crisp outer shell. They're served in a thick tomato gravy.

Palak Paneer

Palak paneer

Palak paneer is a delicious and healthy dish. It's loaded with spiced spinach. Here, Paneer cubes are simmered in a thick spinach puree to get this mild and creamy dish. 

You can make Palak Paneer a main meal by serving it in a big bowl. You can have sides of:

  • Buttery naan
  • Kulcha
  • Butter Roti and/or
  • Basmati rice

Chilli Paneer

Chili paneer

Chilli Paneer is a restaurant-style recipe. It's a delicious fusion of Indian and Chinese cuisines. Here, Paneer cubes are fried in a sweet, spicy chili sauce until perfectly browned and fragrant.

There are three different variants of chilli paneer offered in restaurants:

  • Dry
  • Semi-dry, and
  • Gravy

Paneer Masala

Paneer masala

Paneer Masala is an extremely popular and tasty way to prepare a rich and creamy paneer recipe with Alco Paneer Masala and yogurt. This paneer-based curry has a cult following across India. The Dhaba style of cooking Paneer Masala is a new and exciting way to prepare it.

The Dhaba style of preparing Paneer Masala is extremely popular due to its rich and creamy taste. Dhaba-style does not offer fancy curries. A simple paneer masala curry is prepared in a thick creamy curd. This makes it very tasty and mouth-watering.

Paneer Tikka

Paneer tikka

The term 'tikka' appears in a lot of Indian recipes. It refers to the technique of cooking in a tandoori oven. Most of us don't have access to a traditional tandoor today. Even then, you can make a deliciously grilled paneer in your oven.

Just marinate your paneer and skewer it with some fresh vegetables. Bake the combination. That's all! Delicious, lip-smacking Paneer Tikkas are ready!

Paneer Manchurian

Paneer Manchurian

Paneer Manchurian is an Indo-Chinese paneer dish. It's flavored with a dash of soy sauce and aromatic spices, including garlic and ginger. You'll get a distinct Chinese vibe from this dish. Paneer Manchurian is fusion food at its most delicious.

Shahi Paneer

Shahi Paneer

Shahi Paneer is also known as Mughlai Paneer. This is a succulent Indian dish of soft, juicy paneer chunks floating in creamy gravy. Shahi Paneer is made with paneer cubes simmered in an onion-nut paste. It's then enriched with yogurt and spices like Alco Paneer Masala. 

This royal dish is a throwback to the era of Mughal Emperors and royal kitchens. Serve Shahi Paneer with:

  • Butter Naan
  • Plain Basmati rice
  • Jeera Rice
  • Roti, or 
  • Plain Paratha

To conclude…

Paneer or Cottage cheese is a fantastic ingredient. Every vegetarian looks forward to paneer dishes when deciding on their food menu. It has become an integral part of Indian cuisine. It is used in preparing a variety of dishes like curries, desserts, soups etc. 

The versatility and taste of paneer are why paneer dishes are so craved after. And with masala powders like Alco's Paneer Masala powder, making any Indian paneer dish was never this easy!


What do you eat paneer with?
What is paneer famous for?
Can I eat paneer daily?
How much protein in 100gm paneer?
What is the healthiest way to eat paneer?

Related Products