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Instant pot paneer is easy, quick and yields super-soft, moist homemade paneer perfect for Indian cooking. And the entire cooking process requires no babysitting. Here is my version of homemade paneer made in the pressure cooker.

Paneer is an Indian version of curdled milk cheese often used in making curries, desserts and much more. It’s protein-rich, has good fats and delicious. Many westerners think that paneer and tofu have kind of a similar taste. But that’s not true. Paneer has a distinctive sweeter taste than tofu. Also, it has a firmer yet softer texture than the wiggly texture of tofu. Even though I am a tofu lover, I really like the taste and texture of paneer more. 

Making paneer at home is easier than anyone thinks. All you need to do is curdle milk with some acid, strain the curds and press it to the desired shape. While the process is easy, you need to stand for quite some time and stir the milk to avoid the burn at the bottom of the pan. 

Instant pot paneer is:

  • Easy to make
  • No babysitting
  • Milk boils under pressure and curd separates easily
  • Still soft and sweet

How To Make Instant Pot Paneer?

How to make paneer in the instant pot
Pinit

I have tried several methods to make instant pot paneer and these two are by far the best methods to make paneer. I prefer any of these two methods to make paneer.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Paneer:

1/2 gallon full-fat milk at room temperature, 1 cup acidic agent (lime juice + hot water 1/2 cup each), muslin cloth

Method – 1 – Pressure Cook:

  • Add 1/2 cup water to the inner pot of the instant pot and bring it to a boil using the saute mode. This water helps preventing milk sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Now add 1/2 gallon milk (preferably at the room temperature) and switch the mode to pressure cook and set the timer for 0 minutes.
  • Yes, you need to select the pressure cooking time for zero minutes. Close the lid and seal the vent. Meanwhile, prepare a large dish for the straining of the paneer.
  • Add a muslin cloth on a large strainer and place it on a large stockpot. After pressure cooking, wait for 15 minutes of NPR and then, slowly release pressure by moving the vent really slow. Do not hasten here as the hot liquid may spurt through the vent.
  • After the pressure release, open the lid and add half the acids – lemon or lime juice, mixed with hot water or vinegar and lime juice mixed with hot water to make 1 cup. (You will need a cup of acidic liquid diluted with water for 1/2 gallon of milk.)
  • Now give a gentle stir and close the lid and do not seal the vent. The milk will be really hot and there is a chance that the pressure will build up and raise the valve.
  • If it happens, wait for five minutes and open the lid, and give a light stir and add remaining acids. At this point, you will see milk curdling and a light green colored separated whey. Cover and keep the milk for some more time.
  • Now strain the milk and collect the paneer.
  • Rinse the paneer in cold water and squeeze out the excess liquid.
  • Now place some weights on paneer and keep it for 1-2 hours till all liquid drain.
  • After an hour or two, take the paneer and cut it into pieces. Store in an airtight container for three days and in a clean freezer bag for up to a month. Enjoy in different recipes.

Method – 2 – Yogurt Boil:

  • To make instant pot paneer, you will need 1/2 gallon milk, 1 cup acid (white distilled vinegar or lime juice mixed with 1/2 cup boiling water) a strainer and Muslin cloth, tofu press or a few heavy cans for pressing 
  • In the instant pot, add 1/2 cup of filtered water to bring the water to a boil in the sauté mode. Now add milk, and press the yogurt button twice till you get the boil sign.
  • Close the lid or just use a frying pan lid to cover the milk. The milk will begin to boil in no time and as soon as it happens, the IP will beep.
  • Now open the lid and add half the lemon juice+vinegar and give a light stir. Close the lid and seal the vent while keeping the instant pot off. Don’t saute or pressure cook after adding the acidic agent.
  • The pressure valve may rise and if it does, I strongly suggest not to do a QPR as it may forcibly spurt the hot liquid through the vent. After the NPR, open the lid and stir the milk really well and add the remaining lemon juice with vinegar. At this point, you should see only clear whey and soft paneer separating.
  • Separate the paneer using the strainer and squeeze out excess liquid. Rinse the paneer in cold, running water so that it doesn’t get a vinegar smell. Now use the tofu press and use some weight to release all liquid from the curds.
  • After an hour or two, take the paneer and cut it into pieces. Store in an airtight container for three days and in a clean freezer bag for up to a month. 
  • Enjoy in different recipes.

Tips for the Best Instant Pot Paneer:

  • Never use UHT milk for this process. The result is very different when you will use UHT milk. Even 2% or skim milk is not very ideal for this recipe. You may get very less paneer if using the skim milk variety for this recipe.
  • Sometimes you may notice paneer has not separated from the milk after you open the instant pot. In that case, add few more drops of lime juice and mix well. As long as the milk is hot, the paneer will separate.
  • DO NOT saute or pressure cook hot milk with acidic agents. It will splutter and will make a mess in the kitchen. I really cannot emphasize this enough. Please NEVER pressure cook or saute after you add the acidic agent to the milk. 
  • Old vinegar may discolor your paneer and give it a brownish hue. But it’s still edible and has the same nutritional value as the white paneer.
  • Washing the paneer after collecting it in a strainer and cloth is an essential step. It helps to remove the vinegar or lemon/lime smell from the paneer.
  • I almost always throw the whey. You can collect and use it in making roti dough and other recipes if you have any. The whey will have a slight vinegar smell. 
How to make paneer in the instant pot

Instant Pot Paneer

Instant pot paneer is easy, quick and yields super-soft, moist homemade paneer perfect for Indian cooking. And the entire process takes just four minutes. 
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Homemade paneer, How to make paneer, Indian Paneer, Instant pot paneer, Keto paneer
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 1 minute
2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 2 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 207kcal
Author: Sophie
Cost: $4

Equipment

  • Instant pot

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Gallon Full-fat milk At room temperature
  • 1 Cup 1/2 cup of Lime or Lemon Juice mixed with 1/2 cup boiling water to make 1 cup Or use distilled white vinegar
  • Muslin cloth, Mesh stainer

Instructions

How to make instant pot paneer?

  • Method – 1 – Pressure Cook:
    Add 1/2 cup water to the inner pot of the instant pot and bring it to a boil using the saute mode.
  • Now add 1/2 gallon full-fat milk (preferably at the room temperature) and switch the mode to pressure cook and set the timer for 0 minutes. Yes, you need to select the pressure cooking time for zero minutes.
  • Close the lid and seal the vent. Meanwhile, prepare a large dish for the straining of the paneer. Add a muslin cloth on a large strainer and place it on a large stockpot.
  • After pressure cooking, wait for 15 minutes of NPR and slowly release pressure by moving the vent really slow. Do not hasten here as the hot liquid may spurt through the vent.
  • After the pressure release, open the lid and add the acids – lemon or lime juice, mixed with hot water or vinegar and lime juice mixed with hot water to make 1 cup. (You will need a cup of acidic liquid diluted with water for 1/2 gallon of milk.) Now give a gentle stir and close the lid and do not seal the vent.
  • The milk will be really hot and there is a chance that the pressure will build up and raise the valve. If it happens, wait for five minutes and open the lid, and give a light stir. At this point, you will see milk curdling and a light green colored separated whey. Cover and keep the milk for some more time till you see clear whey and floating paneer.
  • Now strain the milk and collect the paneer. Rinse the paneer in cold water and squeeze out the excess liquid. Now place some weights on paneer and keep it for 1-2 hours till all liquid drain.
  • After an hour or two, take the paneer and cut it into pieces. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for three days or store in a clean freezer bag for up to a month. 
    Enjoy in different recipes.
  • Method – 2 – Yogurt Boil:

    To make instant pot paneer, you will need 1/2 gallon full-fat milk, 1 cup acid (1/2 cup white distilled vinegar or lime juice mixed with 1/2 cup boiling water) a strainer and Muslin cloth, tofu press or a few heavy cans for pressing.
  •  In the instant pot, add 1/2 cup of filtered water to bring the water to a boil in the sauté mode. Now add milk, and press the yogurt button till you get the boil sign. Close the lid or just use a frying pan lid to cover the milk.
  • The milk will begin to boil in no time and as soon as it happens, the IP will beep. Now open the lid and add half the lemon juice+vinegar and give a light stir. Close the lid and seal the vent while keeping the instant pot off.
  • Don’t saute or pressure cook after adding the acidic agent. After a few minutes, open the lid and stir the milk really well and add the remaining lemon juice with vinegar.
  • At this point, you should see only clear whey and soft paneer separating. Separate the curd using the strainer and squeeze out excess liquid. Rinse the paneer in cold, running water so that it doesn’t get a vinegar smell.
  • Now use the tofu press and use some weight to release all liquid from the curds. After an hour or two, take the paneer and cut it into pieces.
  • Store in an airtight container for three days and in a clean freezer bag for up to a month. Enjoy in different recipes.

Video

Notes

  • Never use UHT milk for this process. The result is very different when you will use UHT milk. Even 2% or skim milk is not very ideal for this recipe. You may get very less paneer if using the skim milk variety for this recipe.
  • Sometimes you may notice paneer has not separated from the milk after you open the instant pot. In that case, add few more drops of lime juice and mix well. As long as the milk is hot, the paneer will separate.
  • DO NOT saute or pressure cook hot milk with acidic agents. It will splutter and will make a mess in the kitchen. I really cannot emphasize this enough. Please NEVER pressure cook or saute after you add the acidic agent to the milk. 
  • Old vinegar may discolor your paneer and give it a brownish hue. But it’s still edible and has the same nutritional value as the white paneer.
  • Washing the paneer after collecting it in a strainer and cloth is an essential step. It helps to remove the vinegar or lemon/lime smell from the paneer.
  • I almost always throw the whey. You can collect and use it in making the dough and other recipes if you have any. The whey will have a slight vinegar smell. 

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Potassium: 205mg | Sugar: 1g

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Is Instant Pot Paneer Keto?

Paneer is a good vegetarian source of protein, which also offers calcium and fat. Since it’s low in carb and high in fat, it can be used in a vegetarian keto diet. Here is a great article with seven health benefits of paneer.

Is it good to eat paneer every day?

Paneer is a good source of protein and fat, which is why you can add it to your everyday diet. Eat it raw or cooked, but adding 1/2 cup of paneer to your diet is a good option for healthy eaters.

How much paneer should be eaten in a day?

Ideally, you can include 100 grams of paneer or half a cup of paneer to your major meals. A single serving of 100 grams of paneer gives you 18 grams of complete protein and conjugated linoleic acid.

What do you use paneer cheese for?

Paneer is highly used in Indian cooking to make curries, Indian desserts, and savory dishes. Here is a vegan Paneer Masala where you can use paneer instead of tofu.

How do you defrost paneer quickly?

You can defrost frozen paneer in two ways – first by adding it to boiling hot water and keeping it for a few minutes. Second, you can microwave the paneer for a minute and change sides after 30 seconds. This will defrost the paneer really quick.

Why is my paneer crumbly?

Crumbly paneer is a result of adding acidic agents before the milk boils. This always results in a crumbly paneer that doesn’t hold together. You may also see crumbly paneer if the excess water is not squeezed out or drained out properly.

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9 comments

Bernice Hill October 21, 2019 - 4:36 pm

5 stars
This is amazing. I didn’t know you could make cheese in the instant pot. I bet home made paneer is much more delicious that when you buy it. I’m going to try and make some so I can make my own Palak Paneer!!

Reply
Sharon October 22, 2019 - 8:52 am

5 stars
I love Instant Pot recipes like this paneer. It takes the guesswork out of recipes that can be a little more complicated but now they can be made in no time and all in one pot.

Reply
Elena October 23, 2019 - 11:10 am

5 stars
This is totally a hit. One more recipe added to my multifunctional Instantpot device ,Thank you for sharing!

Reply
Kushigalu October 23, 2019 - 2:03 pm

5 stars
These paneer look so perfect. Thanka for sharing. I will try it on Instant pot soon.

Reply
Amanda October 23, 2019 - 6:29 pm

5 stars
I never thought to make paneer in the Instant Pot, but what a great idea! Thanks so much for all the tips. They’re definitely handy.

Reply
Gail October 24, 2019 - 3:26 pm

5 stars
Everytime I see these recipes, I’m reminded that I need to get an Instant Pot! This paneer looks delish and so easy!

Reply
Jenni LeBaron October 26, 2019 - 9:09 pm

5 stars
What a brilliant way to make paneer! I’ve never tried making it before but this recipe looks so easy that I really want to give it a try!

Reply
Loreto and Nicoletta Nardelli October 27, 2019 - 6:28 pm

5 stars
Wow, who knew that making paneer at home was that easy! The result is incredible, We already envision our favorite paneer recipe, which is palak paneer! Thank you!

Reply
Aline October 28, 2019 - 12:46 pm

5 stars
Oohhh! I had no idea I could make cheese in the IP, and who knew it’s be so easy!!

Reply

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