Paneer – Instant pot

Paneer – Instant pot

Paneer in Instant Pot is easy to make, just like making on stove top. It is the exact same process nothing different in Instant pot. Paneer in Instant Pot is easy to make and since Instant pot is big and deep in size, you can make more quantity of paneer.

Paneer is Indian Cottage cheese made from curdling the milk, separate the solids from whey and molded into hard cheese. It is not meltable like most cheeses but sure does taste yummy.

Paneer is also easily available in markets but I bet homemade paneer is so much better in taste and quality. Markets ones may have added preservative which is definitely no no for me.

Paneer dishes are most popular in India, vegetarians or non vegetarians most Indians love Paneer. Here are my Homemade Paneer dishes you may want to try 🙂 

Simple Paneer Curry

Paneer Pulao

Palak Paneer

People generally use cheesecloth or a thin cotton cloth to strain milk solids from whey to get paneer. But I find that it is a pain to wash cheesecloth, maybe I got the cheap one’s I don’t know but I didn’t like using cheese cloths. Also Cotton cloths are a good choice too but I don’t want to wash an extra cloth. 

So to make it easy I am using a Nut milk bag, yes the ones used in making nut milks like almond milk,cashew milk etc. It is so easy to use, you get the best out of everything and the best part is that the clean up of nut milk bag is too easy, just rinse it under the sink. No kidding, I love my nut milk bag and one of the best investment in the Kitchen.

So in order to get a block of paneer, people generally use a mold or something similar but I don’t have one. In markets or online shops like Amazon you can find tofu molds etc that can be used to mold paneer. Its good to have one on hand but I am happy with my irregular crumbly edged block of paneer. I trim the edges and use it in Paneer bhurji and can now cut the paneer into blocks. 

Homemade Paneer can be stored in fridge for upto 5 days to a week. For longer life store in the freezer in a ziplock bag. For any dishes you make, use room temperature paneer for soft paneer in the dish , otherwise paneer might end up getting rubbery to chewy. 

The simplest part in making paneer in instant pot is that we need only 2 ingredients. Milk and a curdling agent. Thats it. Its that stupid simple 🙂 Homemade Paneer is just life changing.!

I always recommend using full fat whole milk for getting best paneer in flavor and taste, because paneer is mostly fat ( & some protein). Many people make using 2% and 4% reduced fat milk but I bet the taste is also compromised. 

Many people have used manual mode in the Instant pot in making paneer but it takes almost same time to boil the milk in open pot or in manual mode. ( in order to seal up the instant pot, pressure has to build and building up pressure takes time too). The disadvantage of manual mode cooking is that we cannot do quick release with hot liquids. Also the longer the milk sits with vinegar or lime juice, the stronger the flavor of vinegar/lemon juice in paneer and paneer also might get hard and rubbery. So to avoid that I used open pot and let the milk come to boil. There is no right or wrong way but telling my inputs on each method. One disadvantage in open pot method is that you need to keep an eye so that milk doesn’t boil over and spill. 

Commonly Vinegar or lemon juice is used a curdling agent but you can also use very sour plain yogurt to curdle the milk. If using yogurt to curdle then there is no need to rinse the milk solids as it doesn’t leave acidic flavor. So if you have way too sour yogurt then instead of throwing it away you can use to make paneer. 

When it comes to the whey water leftover after making the paneer, it feels so bad to throw away nutrition and protein filled whey water. So check here on how many ways I use whey water. 

For Stove top : 

Follow the same instructions as below in a deep pot on stove top.

For Instant Pot : 

Tip : If sour yogurt is not curdling your milk then you may need to add a splash of vinegar or lime juice to curdle faster. ( usually this doesn’t happen but good to be prepared)


Homemade Paneer in Instant pot

  • Whole milk – 1 gallon
  • Sour plain yogurt – 1/3rd to 1/2 cup (or vinegar/lemon juice – 1/4 cup or as needed)
  1. Push the yogurt button and immediately press the adjust button to see “boil” on the display.
  2. Now the milk will be heated up to a boil.
  3. You can also use saute mode to boil the milk.
  4. once the milk comes to a boil, add in the yogurt and stir in well with a whisk.
  5. You will see milk curdling in 2 to 3 mins.
  6. Once the milk curdled, remove the stainless steel insert from heat.
  7. Strain immediately and let cool the milk solids. (If in a hurry rinse under cold water for 3 to 5 mins)
  8. I used a nut milk bag to strain and squeeze out as much as liquid you can.
  9. Now put the milk solids in a mold or under heavy weight to firm up.
  10. Depending on the moisture level in the milk solids, it will firm up anywhere between 45 mins to 1 hr or more.
  11. Once firmed up, gently cut into cubes and enjoy.!


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Full Video on How to make Paneer in Instant Pot.


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