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Jan 10, 2006 10:13 AM

paneer to mozarella

  • h

as a naive indian eating his first proper mozarella in new york, i remember saying it tasted eerily remniscent of paneer.

much laughter.

but now i find in an article on wikipedia (see the link below) that the buffala are indian water buffalos.

i feel vindicated.


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  1. Howler-

    Good for you and your palate! Good fresh cheese be it from the US, Europe, Asia, or anywhere on this planet is so redolent with the character of the milk it comes from that you have every right to delight in your discriminating taste buds!

    That said, I've forgotten what causes the curds and whey to separate in paneer... it hought it was a citrus acid- a little lemon juice would certainly change the flavor of the cheese!

    Mmmm... fresh paneer... Mmmm.... Fresh bufalo Mozz!

    1. Mozzarella in the US is made from cow's milk. I had the mozzarella de bufalo many years ago in Naples and it was INCREDIBLE! I believe you can buy it flown in from Italy and there may even be a few herds of buffalo in California. But mozarella is made exactly the same way as paneer. (Heat milk, add acid to form curd, etc) And it DOES taste like paneer.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Brian S

        Not quite, you're omitting an important step. Mozzarella is a pasta filata, meaning it's stretched to attain it's unique texture and that makes it taste different too.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Very much so. You can radically improve the flavor of mozzarella simply by pulling it off in strands and then eating it, even the mass-market cow's milk stuff. I do that a lot, partly because I can't get my head around what a difference it makes, mostly because it just tastes so damn good...

          1. re: Will Owen

            I think they do knead the paneer in Calcutta... but then they use it for sweets like sondesh! Go figure.

        2. re: Brian S

          Buffalo mozzarella is also produced in Vermont.

          1. re: Brian S

            Bufala is widely available in the US (Italian shops, Whole Foods, etc).

          2. Thanks howler. Wondered about this topic previously...


            1. I would have sworn that on the Food Network or maybe a PBS Cooking Show they made Paneer by draining unflavored whole milk Yogurt through a double cheese cloth lined strainer overnight. I always thought that Paneer and Ricotta tasted similar but with different textures.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Just Larry

                I know that straining yogurt is how you make Labneh - the middle eastern yogurt cheese often served with olive oil and herbs. Good stuff! I've made it myself - it's really easy. You just put the yogurt into cheescloth or a clean towel, then tie it up to hang and strain for 6 hours or so.

                My understanding is also that paneer is made by "breaking" milk using an acid like citric acid. This separates the solids from the whey. You then strain the solids, the same way as for labneh.

                Anyone have any experience making paneer?

              2. Funny, my indian cookbooks recommend using ricotta to make fried paneer. But here's further confirmation from wikipedia (see below link) that Howler is correct.


                1 Reply
                1. re: a&w

                  using ricotta is a short cut. i've known people to do it, but you can DEFINITELY taste the difference. ew.

                  steve t's method linked to below sounds right.