Uses for whey after making paneer

Updated April 17, 2017

Paneer is a soft cheese of Indian origin, popular in South Asian cuisine. As the milk is fermented, the curds are gathered to form the cheese, leaving the whey unused. Dubbed "healing water" by the ancient Greeks, whey is full of protein, calcium and digestive aids. When making paneer, keep the unused whey to be used further in cooking or for other purposes around the home and garden.


Ricotta, meaning "twice cooked," can be made by repeating the cheese-making process using the leftover whey instead of milk. Soaking or cooking beans and legumes in whey adds flavour and aids digestion. Adding whey to the water when boiling grains and pastas is a great way to add nutritional value.


Whey contains most of the nutrients from milk but contains no lactose. Whey can be used as a milk replacement in smoothies and hot beverages. Combine with milk and add it to cereals or oats for a nutritious breakfast. Whey can also be consumed on its own and sweetened with sugar or honey.

Plant Feed

Create nourishing plant food for your houseplants or garden by mixing one part whey with five parts water. Vinegar is often used as a curdling agent when making paneer, so only use this plant feed for acid-loving plants.

Animal Feed

Whey can also be added to animal feed to provide additional vitamins and minerals. Just take note that whey is known to occasionally increase flatulence.

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About the Author

Joe Faulkner-Edwards has been a freelancer for the BBC since 2008. He writes and researches innovative new factual entertainment formats and output-related material for BBC Online. Faulkner-Edwards is also a health and fitness expert. His health and lifestyle articles have been featured in "The Leeds Student" newspaper. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in broadcasting from the University of Leeds.