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How to Keep Paneer Soft while Cooking

How to Keep Paneer Soft while Cooking

Paneer, a fresh, curd-based cheese originating from the Indian subcontinent, is a popular protein option in vegetarian cuisine. Its mild flavor and ability to absorb spices make it a versatile ingredient in numerous curries, stir-fries, and fritters. However, achieving the ideal texture for paneer can be challenging for home cooks. Overcooking can lead to a rubbery and unpleasant texture, detracting from the dish.

In this oneHOWTO guide, we will explore how to keep panner soft while cooking through easy and effective hacks.

You may also be interested in: When to Add Paneer to Curry

Steps to follow:


Paneer boasts numerous health benefits, and to enjoy its soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture, it's best to incorporate it towards the end of cooking. Once your recipe's base is ready, gently fold in cubed or crumbled paneer. Let it simmer for 1-2 minutes, just enough to heat through.

Overcooking will make the paneer tough and chewy, so it is important to be careful.

Did you know paneer offers a surprising range of health benefits? In the following article, we'll discuss how paneer can contribute to a healthy diet.

How to Keep Paneer Soft while Cooking - Step 1

Take your refrigerated paneer out of the fridge a few minutes before cooking. This allows it to come to room temperature and prevents it from becoming tough when added to hot dishes.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. You want it hot enough for sizzling, but not smoking. Carefully add the paneer cubes and fry them on both sides until they're light golden brown.


Both frying and boiling are effective ways to soften paneer for your dishes. For a slightly crispier texture, you can pan-fry the paneer cubes in moderately hot oil until golden brown. Be mindful not to overcook, as this can make the paneer tough.

You can also skip the oil and opt for boiling. Simply immerse the paneer cubes in boiling water for a few minutes. This method yields a soft and spongy texture while saving you calories.

How to Keep Paneer Soft while Cooking - Step 3

Ever wonder how to prevent paneer from turning rubbery in your dishes? Here's a simple trick: soak it in plain water for 10 minutes before adding it to your recipe.

Cooking tends to dry out paneer, resulting in a tough and unpleasant texture. Soaking replenishes the paneer's moisture content, acting like a buffer. Even if some moisture evaporates during cooking, the soaked paneer has a reserve to stay soft and supple. Soaking significantly reduces the chances of your paneer becoming hard and chewy. The extra moisture translates to a smoother and more enjoyable eating experience.

To do it, simply take your paneer out of the fridge and cut it into desired cubes or slices. Submerge the paneer in a bowl of cool water for 10 minutes. Drain the water and proceed with adding the paneer to your recipe.

For those curious about making paneer at home, check out this other article on how to make paneer with vinegar.


For the most delightful texture in your dishes, it's best to avoid freezing paneer, whether homemade or store-bought. Freezing can alter the texture, making it crumbly or rubbery.

How to Keep Paneer Soft while Cooking - Step 5

Here's a bonus tip for ensuring your paneer stays delightfully soft, after pan-frying the cubes, immediately give them a quick bath in a bowl of warm water. This sudden temperature change helps stop the cooking process and prevents the paneer from drying out and becoming rubbery.

High heat can continue to cook paneer even after removing it from the pan. Soaking in warm water halts this residual cooking, preserving the desired texture.

Want to ensure your paneer stays soft and delicious? Check out this other article for tips on how to soften refrigerated paneer.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Keep Paneer Soft while Cooking, we recommend you visit our Food & drink category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
Boiling panner in hot water reduces it fat content
Is paneer fattening? And can I freeze it?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Nita,

For cheese, paneer is relatively fat-free since it uses the protein part of the milk and not the fat. Of course, if you fry it in fat or there are unhealthy ingredients in a recipe, the paneer will soak some of this up.
When I make a dry dish of paneer , like chilli paneer it requires to fry paneer with the masala paste, wat can be done in such cases where I can't soak in water?
thanks for sharing . i tried paneer with boiling water and i was so happy , my dish become so delicious . i really thank you for dis..
Thanks for sharing. Dropping off fried paneer into boiling water made my day with mutter paneer. I used store bought paneer. This technique not only kept the paneer soft, but also gave freshness to it.
Michael Riley (oneHOWTO editor)
Hi Suruchi, thanks for commenting! I'm glad the article helped you make the best of your Paneer - why not follow us on Facebook for more cooking tips?
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How to Keep Paneer Soft while Cooking