Mamta's Kitchen

Forum Thread - Paneer

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Guest, on 20/8/2010 11:13am

Can paneer be made from soya milk?

Winton, on 20/8/2010 11:42am

If you were making paneer with soya milk would that not become soya bean curd or effecively tofu?!!

Phil, on 20/8/2010 11:52am

Sounds about right, Winton. I've always thought that tofu was bland, but I guess paneer doesn't taste of much either. It's fun to make, though!


Guest, on 20/8/2010 11:58am

I asked as Mamta's recipe for paneer looks a lot easier than any recipe I have seen for making tofu.

Winton, on 20/8/2010 12:37pm

I'm not sure what readily available coagulant you would use for soya milk. Traditionally it seems to be nigari (magnesium chloride) or comercially gypsum (calcium sulphate.) Perhaps a chemist could help!

Mamta, on 20/8/2010 01:06pm

I once watched some Chinese chefs making tofu from soya milk in the kitchens of Wanglong reserve in China. It seemed like quite a complicated process to me. Mind you, they were making large amounts!

Guest, on 20/8/2010 01:42pm

Perhaps I could try Mamta's recipe for paneer but using soya milk instead. If it did not work then I would not have lost much more than a litre of soya milk and a bit of time.

If I do not try it I will never know, will I.

Winton, on 20/8/2010 02:17pm

Let us know too! A lot of the recipes look quite convoluted as they assume you want to make the soya milk itself first but if you skip that bit it should be more manageable.

Another coagulant for soya milk would appear to be Epsom Salts (magnesium suplahte) which you should be able to get from most pharmacacies.


Lapis, on 20/8/2010 05:59pm

please don't use Epsom salts, it will have dire consequences.........

Winton, on 20/8/2010 07:12pm

Thanks Lapis, yes I should have added it is used also for rapid bowel evacuation.

Winton, on 21/8/2010 07:31am

I thought I should put my money where my mouth was and try making soya tofu as per paneer. Armed with a litre of fresh soya milk and 2 kg of epsom salts (the minimum size!) I simmered the milk and added 2 tsps epsom salts dissolved in warm water. Nothing happened. I added another 2 tsps epsom salts, stirring gently anti-clockwise. (If you were in the southern hemisphere would you have to stir clockwise?)

I was now going out of my comfort zone in how much epsom salts I had added (not requiring a bowel evacuation) so added the juice of half a lemon. I was then left with a pan of marginally thicker soya milk but with absolutely no coagulation.

Trying to salvage something from the exercise I added a cup of washed uncooked rice and simmered for half an hour, stirring occasionally. The result? A pan of very good rice pudding (thick but not stodgey) and enough epsom salts to have foot baths all winter!


Guest, on 21/8/2010 10:07am

Mamta's instructions for making paneer with full fat milk use the following items to curdle the milk.

1-3 tbs lemon juice or vinegar. Natural yogurt or 1/2 tsp of citric acid in a little water.

Would this method not work also if using soya milk?

I do not understand why Epsom Salts were suggested to be used, especially now as you have shown it does not work, as my original question wondered if I could just substitute ordinary full fat milk with soya milk, but using the same ingredients/methods as described by Mamta.

I appreciate you taking the effort to attempt making paneer using soya milk with the Epsom Salts though. Thank you.

Rajneesh, on 21/8/2010 10:31am

Though paneer is relatively tasteless but it taste good in "matar paneer", "shahi paneer" and even so in "paneer tikka". Tofu is not bad in stir fry ...but I am not crazy about it.

Winton, on 21/8/2010 11:27am

Thanks 'Guest.' I enjoyed trying to satisfy my curiousity and at least got a bowl of good kheer out of it!

I'm guessing now but would have thought the krux of the matter is that milk is a dairy product and soya milk a vegetable one, so coagulation is a different chemical process. That is why I tried Epsom Salts (nigari & gypsum being the other methods.) Acidic lemon juice did nothing either though.

If vinegar did work I'd have thought you would be left with vinegary tofu (and surely the beauty of tofu is in the silken texture rather than the taste. If yoghurt worked you would just end up with lots more yoghurt?

If I'm near a Japanese shop I'll get some nigari and try that (the traditional Japanese method.)


Kavey, on 21/8/2010 12:18pm

Milk, a dairy product, consists of fat, protein and liquids.

The fat is suspended in the liquid in globules. The liquid consists of casein proteins and whey proteins and I think the rest is essentially water.

I'm not a scientist so this is my layman's understanding of it.

Adding acid or rennet causes coagulation and the fat and casein proteins separate out from the whey proteins and liquid.

The fat and casein proteins are the solids, which are pressed into cheese.

Cheeses like ricotta are made from whey but I think much of it is used as animal feed - certainly when we went to visit a cheese and bacon producer in Dorset a few months ago, they told us that whey is a common part of a domesticated pig's diet.


Soy milk is, of course, not a dairy product but a man-made emulsion of oil, water, and protein. It's made by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water.

All you'd get if you separated the liquid (water out) would be (presumably rather soggy) soy flour!

Winton, on 21/8/2010 12:54pm

Agree Kavey, you need an acidic coagulant(vinegar/lemon juice) for dairy products, but a salt coagulant for soya milk. With soy you should not be left with soy flour when pressed but get beautiful tofu. However it just didn't work for me, and I'm sure I'd got the temperatures right.

Lapis, please rescue me and tell me I'm not barking up completely the wrong tree!

Mannoo, on 19/2/2011 05:41am


I wanted to make Paneer at home, so I added one lemon to boiling milk, but nothing happened! Is it okay or milk was not pure? What may be mixed to milk? I bought milk direct from a home dairy.

sid, on 19/2/2011 06:25pm

hmmm... sounds like it requires attention...possibly medical :o)

Mamta, on 23/2/2011 11:53am

How much milk were you trying to curdle with 1 lemon?

Pawan Rajput, on 26/7/2020 04:27am

I have own soy products company . Like Tofu, yogurt, soy milk. It is tasty and healthy you can make many dishes from tofu like 49 dishes you can make from tofu.

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