Persian cheese (Panir)

October 11, 2011  •  Category:


If you are going through the trouble of making your own yogurt at home, why not take it one step further and make your own cheese?

This cheese does not require rennet tablets, only milk, yogurt and some fresh lime or lemon juice; a dash of nigella seeds or herbs if you have some.

Time required to prepare this cheese: 30 minutes

The result is a very delicate, mild-tasting cheese, delicious on crackers or toasted bread  garnished with a fresh basil leaf. Delightful as an appetizer.

Plus you get to decide how much salt will go in it.


  • 1/2 gallon whole milk (1.9 liter)
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of nigella seeds or powdered mint


  1. Pour the milk in a pot and bring to a boil over low heat; add the yogurt, salt and lemon juice and whisk. Simmer the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes or until the milk turns yellowish in color and the mixture seems to separate into curds and whey. (if not, it will be fine anyway)
  2. Transfer into a colander lined with a large piece of muslin or several pieces of cheesecloth. When the mixture has drained, add the nigella seeds or herbs. Tie the ends of the muslin and place a heavy weight on the formed bundle (or press on it with the palms of your hands) and let it drain for at least a couple of hours. Refrigerate the cheese for one hour or longer to allow it to set further.
  3. Serve with fresh herbs such as basil and mint and toasts or crackers.




































17 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Peter says:

    Sounds similar to paneer (India) and the recipe comes close. I think this is the next big thing – people will be making lots of cheese at home.

  2. Dana says:

    Looks perfect for spreading on a cracker while drinking tea with friends. I wonder what it would be like on pizza?

  3. Chiara says:

    What a tasty appetizer! I’ll try to make it, have a good day…

  4. Hélène (Cannes) says:

    Voilà de quoi m’occuper le weekend prochain. Tu sais celui que je voudrais savoir faire, moi, de fromage ? C’est le Halloumi. J’adore l’utiliser en cuisine mais ici, il est introuvable sauf parfois chez les libanais … chez qui il coûte un bras ! ;o)))
    Bon, je m’attlerai déjà à ton panir !

  5. Hélène (Cannes) says:

    je m’attellerai .. en fait ! ;o))

  6. Rosa says:

    Mmmhhh, I have to make that cheese!



  7. Jamie says:

    Homemade cheese sounds so simple and so many bloggers seem to be doing it but I still haven’t gotten up the nerve. But this scrumptious looking persian paneer….

  8. Bobbi says:

    This delicate appetizer looks both delicious and healthy. I have just stumbled upon your yummy website and there are so many new things I want to try! Take care, Bobbi

  9. Joanne says:

    I can think of so many things I want to smear this cheese on! I love that it doesn’t require any weird ingredients…in fact, I think I have all of these on hand!

  10. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Oh I love this! I could just eat this up. You’re right – I need to try to make my own cheese!

  11. Priya says:

    Wat a flavourful and wonderful looking persian cheese..

  12. Banana Wonder says:

    What a great recipe – I love how there is yogurt in here too. I will try this one – I was just talking to my friend about making cheese – will send her this link.

  13. Sandhya says:

    The name and method is identical to what we make in India, except we don’t flavor the cheese. How interesting, I am assuming it was brought to India from Persia.

  14. domi says:

    Miam, miam, miam….quel délice

  15. Persian says:

    I love to make this cheese at home. The Persian panir has a great amount of yogurt added with lemon juice that just makes the experience so much more pleasurable. I usually boil some water and add some salt to it and let the blocks of cheese sit in it (like you would with feta!) and this will result in a cheese that tastes somewhere between cottage and feta and I think it is absolutely amazing.

  16. packaging says:

    Helpful info. Lucky me I found your site unintentionally,
    and I’m shocked why this twist of fate did not took place earlier!
    I bookmarked it.

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