Is there any use for the whey left over from making paneer?

I made paneer with a gallon of milk today, and now I have over a half gallon of lemony whey as a byproduct. Can I make anything else with it, or do I just toss it?

For the moment, I’ve found one use for it: It’s in a big bowl weighting down the top of the paneer in the cheesecloth, to help drain it.

Edit: Maybe use it as stock for avgolemono soup?

You can let it ripen into yummy yummy buttermilk, then make ranch dressing, or pancakes.

We have friends who are professional cheesemakers and they sometimes use some of their whey to make ricotta.

Here’s a link that tells how:

The recipe I usually use for mattar paneer calls for whey as part of the sauce. I believe some of the other dishes in our Indian cookbook call for it as well. You might do a search for it on an Indian recipe site or try experimenting with it in other sauces.

Mmmmm. Homemade paneer.

Good, mattar paneer is the recipe I’m going to make.

Can you post your paneer recipe?

I started with a gallon of whole milk. I actually had more like 7/8 gallon, because some had already been poured out for other purposes by the time I started to make the paneer.

I squeezed the juice out of three lemons and strained out the pulp. Actually, I used a little less than that much.

I brought the milk to a foaming boil over high heat, stirring it constantly to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan and scorching. When it foamed up, I reduced the heat to low-- actually I have an electric range, so I simply shut it off and it was still hot-- and stirred the milk slowly and gently in a single direction while I drizzled in the lemon juice. I left it cooking slowly as I stirred it for about 15 seconds, then removed it from the heat.

I got large soft clumps of curds to form. (The cookbook said if the curds don’t form to add more lemon juice and return it to the heat.)

Then I arranged 3 layers of cheesecloth in a large oblong colander with cloth hanging over the sides. I spooned out the big clumps of curds into the cheesecloth, then poured the whey with the remaining little bits of curds through a strainer, and added the remaining curds to the cheesecloth.

I twisted up the edges of the cheesecloth above the mass of paneer and rinsed it in lukewarm water to remove the traces of lemon juice. Then I left it in the colander to drain, with a weight on top of it. I’m leaving it like that for at least 3 or 4 hours, so that it should be firm enough to slice when I unwrap it.

I followed the instructions in Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi, p. 313-315. She writes a whole essay on the many subtleties of the art of paneer making, but I’ve written the gist of what worked for me.