Why isn't my paneer soft

How do I make paneer firm and tough like in a restaurant?

I'll give you slightly contrary advice based on the typical Indian household recipe. A) If I understand correctly, your main problem is with the paneer crumbling in your curry. B) Unlike Indian restaurants in western countries, paneer which is tough and squeaks between your teeth is not considered right! Paneer should be soft but firm and hold together. Follow my sister's recipe below. I use it and it never failed. C) Aside from the ingredients, it is important to have the right tools. In this case, you will need a muslin cloth to hang your paneer.

Ingredients: use full fat / whole milk, slightly aged yoghurt whipped until smooth (not Greek yoghurt-danone yoghurt) and very little citric acid.

Preparation: Bring the milk to the boil and let the burner simmer. Add a pinch of salt to the milk. Stir the milk. Pour your whipped yogurt into the milk while stirring. The ratio of milk to yogurt is 4: 1, ie 250 ml of yogurt to one liter of milk. Add two teaspoons of citric acid. Your milk will begin to separate. Now place the muslin cloth in the bottom of a saucepan so that the sides hang out. Pour the separated mixture into the saucepan. Take the cloth from the sides and bring the edges together and hang like a backpack for 10-15 minutes to drain any excess water. DO NOT PRESSURE OR PRESSURE THE PANEERS. As contradicting as it sounds, little moisture is needed to maintain the softness and taste. After draining, loosen the muslin cloth and cut the paneer into cubes.

Another paneer should be added almost towards the end of the curry cooking and only flipped once. In our endeavor to coat all cubes evenly, we often turn them too often. Just let it sit, the sauce will make for an even coating. Another trick to ensure an even coating is to cover the curry pan after inserting the paneer and let it simmer for 5 minutes. The spicy steam that builds up inside coats the paneer cubes.

Remember, paneer is not a melting cheese. It is more like tofu than fresh mozzarella or cheddar cheese. Don't treat it like a European "cheese".

Good luck and let me know the results!