Ever wondered what is that soft white cheese looking the thing is served in Indian cuisine mostly?
If you are a cheese lover, then you will like the Indian cheese know famously as Paneer.
Paneer has its lineage from the Middle Eastern countries, particularly Persian; its style of cooking and taste has changed throughout history.
You must be wondering, what exactly is Paneer? Is it cheese?
What does Paneer taste like? What are the recipes to cook Paneer? What is the nutrition value of Paneer?
Hold on; we will make sure to cover everything you need to know about Paneer from the explanation below.
What is Paneer?
Paneer is fresh, unsalted creamy cheese.
The formulation of cheese occurs by coagulating milk with an acidic set, citric acid like lemon juice, vinegar, yogurt, etc.
It can blend from both cow and buffalo milk.
The fresh cheese is squeaky, versatile, and tasty. It is primarily used in North India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal and is one of the key ingredients in many Dishes.
The olive magazine describes Paneer as a mild Indian cheese that holds spices.
The Paneer is a fluffy, soft cheese that is firm and made into blocks.
The texture is similar to Tofu. It can stay in its shape even on high heat.
What Does Paneer Taste Like? Does Paneer Taste Good?
Paneer taste is milky, fresh, and very mild. The taste is similar to other fresh cheese like Italian Ricotta and cottage cheese.
Because of no salt content, the cheese is considered bland by some people.
The famous British chef Jamie Oliver says in his blog on “how to make and use Paneer” says that the cheese has a dense, crumbly texture that works well with spicy solid flavors.
He also mentions that using Paneer is an excellent choice for a meat-free diet.
HuffPost India describes Paneer as one of the seven easy-to-cook recipes for people who are not best at cooking. It is a favorite substitute for meat.
Paneer compared to different types of cheese like unsalted feta, Queso Fresco, Halloumi, or fresh Mozzarella is also somewhat similar.
Tofu found in East Asian cuisines, and Almond cheese is also an excellent substitute for Paneer.
One of the most similar cheeses to Paneer is the Cyprus Anari and Feta cheese.
The texture and taste are tough to distinguish between the two.
The word Paneer comes from the Turkish or Persian language called “peynir”, meaning cheese.
It is also known as cottage cheese, cheese curd, farmer cheese, and fresh cheese.
Paneer cheese is super healthy and nutritious.
For one cup of low-fat cottage cheese, it contains 163 calories which is much higher than Tofu.
It also has 28g of carbs, 2.3g of fat, 30% sodium, and 28g of protein.
The cheese also has vitamin B6, zinc, copper, and an obscene choline amount.
The nutrients depend on the level of milk fat and sodium.
How to Cook/ Use Paneer in Recipes
Making Paneer at home is not difficult as the tutorial is flooded in the internet and cookbooks to make your own Paneer at home.
One can also mix spices such as cumin or mustard seeds to the milk. It gets firmer if the cheese is marinated longer.
The best way to avoid melting like other cheese is to add Curries to Paneer since it transforms into curdled with the help of lemon juice.
There is a taste difference between fresh Paneer and supermarket-bought Paneer; Fresh Paneer tastes better if refrigerated for a couple of days to prevent crumbling, supermarket Paneer should be cook within few days, considerably three days after package opening.
Popular magazines like Vogue also featured Paneer recipes. Total preparation of the Paneer does take around 2 hours and just 15 minutes to cook on the pan.
Ingredients to make an addictive appetizer, we need three teaspoons, ½ teaspoon turmeric, ½ teaspoon coriander, ½ ground cumin, ½ teaspoon paprika, three tablespoons olive oil, 8 ounces Paneer.
One can use flaky sea salt and chopped chives for alternate toppings.
Keeping the fresh Paneer in the refrigerator for so long can be a sure sign of dumping it into the garbage bin.
Please avoid frying Paneer in a sticky pan.
Paneer is becoming popular among the vegetarian because of its high percentage of proteins and taste similar to meat.
Lybrate, a healthcare company, says that Paneer is healthy for bones and teeth because of its derivation from the red meat animals.
Paneer’s popularity is expanding across India and around the world.
It is the reason one can quickly grab Paneer in the supermarket.