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Ricotta/Paneer: The Easiest Cheese You Can Make at Home

    Homemade ricotta cheese.

    Fresh warm ricotta is a great homey and impressive thing to present unexpected guests with, especially with freshly baked biscuits. The acid in the whey will react with the soda in biscuits or cake to make them extra fluffy. You could easily start the process while making tea, and then complete it while talking with your guests during a 30 second departure from the table. 🙂

    We use an induction burner, which helps regulate the heat precisely, but a careful watch and a thermometer works too. While you don’t want to overboil the milk, you do need to bring it to a full froth. Do not allow yourself to be distracted at this point….milk is highly volatile when being heated and can boil over before you know what’s happening if you wander off.

    For the souring agent I use citric acid, but you can also use lemon juice, or any kind of vinegar you wish to. Each will affect the flavor differently however, so use something that makes sense for your purpose. Be sure to use a pot that has a much greater capacity than the liquid you will use. Milk can froth up and boil over at a moment’s notice. Best to avoid a messy cleanup that will get in the way of how much fun this recipe is.

    Homemade ricotta cheese.

    Ricotta or Paneer: The easiest cheese you can make at home

    Season the milk, add the acid, heat, add rennet, heat, let settle, and strain. There are subtleties of technique that can affect your results, but it's easy to make and impressive to serve fresh and hot
    Servings: 8


    • 1 Litre Milk 3%, there is no point using low fat milk to make this cheese.
    • 1 tsp Salt
    • 1 tsp Citric Acid Or a tablespoon of lemon juice
    • 1/4 tablet Rennet crushed and dissolved in warm water


    • Salt the milk, bring to 180º
    • Add the citric acid, or the juice of one lemon.
    • Reduce the heat, as you want the temperature to reduce to at least 140º before adding the rennet
    • When the temperature of the milk is below 140º, but above 105º add the rennet
    • Once the rennet has been added, stir it for 5 minutes to fully incorporate it into the milk, and then let it rest with a cover on, for 30 minutes.
    • Line a colander or strainer with 4 layers of cheesecloth and place over a bowl or saucepan big enough to hold the contents of the cheese mixture.
    • Use a soup ladle to spoon the curds and whey over the cheesecloth (if you pour, you’ll ruin the cheesecloth and the cheese).
    • When this is fully drained, you can serve it immediately as ricotta cheese. When fresh and warm like this, it's lovely with biscuits and jam or crusty bread and tapenade.


    • Making the cheese into paneer is as simple as pressing out the excess liquid to make it into a firmer, cuttable cheese that will hold its shape in a sauce. To do this, first wrap the cheesecloth fully around the cheese.
    • Then, put a small plate or other food-safe flat object over the cheesecloth and weigh it down while the excess liquid drains from the cheese.

    Having your whey and eating it too!

    • You can use the whey to make bread, or if you prefer, add sugar and cook it down to caramel.


    PLEASE NOTE; You will need cheesecloth for this recipe. You can buy this at a food store, hardware, or fabric shop (although if from a fabric shop, it will have ‘sizing’ and must be washed first).
    The whey can be stored for up to ten days and used in power drinks, soups, or in many recipes that call for milk, I use it to make biscuits, bread, or caramel.
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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