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Ricotta curds

This is really easy to make and only one step separates the ricotta from being paneer…pressing out the excess moisture and compacting the cheese into a more solid mass. This recipe is also in our cookbook Easy Date Oven (available as a free download for signing up for our mailing list).

Use the paneer in Palak Paneer.

Fresh warm ricotta is a great homey thing to present unexpected guests with, especially if you have fresh bread on  hand, or make biscuits as well.

You could easily start the process while making tea, and then complete it while drinking it with your guests during a 30 second departure from the table. 🙂

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.

Do not skimp on the souring agent (we use lemon juice, but you can also use any kind of vinegar you wish to. Each will affect the flavour differently however, so use something that makes sense for your purpose.

Ricotta curds



  • 1 Litre Milk 3%, there is no point using low fat milk to make this cheese.
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Citric Acid Or the juice of one lemon
  • 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 or in any recipe that calls for milk, I use it to make biscuits or bread.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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