I think you are closer than others are giving you credit for being. Paneer is compressed milk curd (i.e., the milk "protein"). The distinction is over how one curdles the milk–bacterial action (yogurt) or acid–the end result being pretty much the same thing if with a slightly different flavor. As in ceviche, acid can even "cook" foods. But I bet the yogurt method would produce a very acceptable substitute–probably better than what most people in the US might buy as "paneer" in a store.