Collection of paneer recipes.
About paneer and its origin
Paneer is a fresh Indian cheese made from curdled milk. Being a fresh cheese, it can be eaten straight away, which means no aging or culturing. Paneer is prepared by adding food acid like lemon juice or vinegar to boiling milk, separating the whey from the curdled milk, and pressing out the curdled milk to remove excess water content.
Paneer has a very mild taste. It is quite milky and as such, has a bland taste. It is very similar to ricotta cheese. The texture of paneer is comparable with firm tofu as it is pressed firmly to remove any water content.
There are several theories about the origin of paneer. The origin of paneer traces back to the Indus Valley civilization where milk was curdled using certain berries or leaves. It is believed that Aryans later stopped the practice as it was considered "spoilt milk" which is unauspicious as the cow is considered sacred. It is believed that paneer was later introduced in North India by Persian and Turkish rulers. Paneer is named after the Turkish word "peynir" which means cheese. Paneer is also believed to trace back to Portuguese-Bengali origin. Using curdled milk to make sweets is a common practice in Bengal. The curdled milk is called "channa" in Bengali and "chenna" in Hindi. This is the most common and widely used method to make paneer.
Benefits of paneer
Paneer is considered a good source of protein for vegetarians. It is also low in GI and is also considered a good source of calcium, iron, and magnesium. It is also known to help with weight loss and promote bone health. It is easily digestible and also helps boost the immune system. Use delicious paneer in my recipes I have listed below.
How to make and store paneer at home
Making paneer at home is really simple. Bring milk to a rolling boil, reduce the flame and add lime/lemon juice or vinegar. Turn off the heat and mix well. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, place a muslin cloth or cheesecloth on a colander. Pour the curdled milk onto the muslin cloth and let the whey drain. Bring all the ends of the muslin cloth together and squeeze out as much whey as you can. Then, place a heavy item on top of it so that it is pressed firm. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then cut it into cubes and use. Make fresh paneer and use it to make these delicious recipes.
Paneer must be stored in the refrigerator. Wrap the paneer in a damp muslin cloth and place it in an air-tight container before placing it in the refrigerator. It can be stored for three to four days. Paneer can also be frozen for up to three months. You can freeze a block of paneer or cut it into cubes and then freeze. If you want to freeze paneer cubes, first place them on a tray and freeze them. Then, place the frozen paneer cubes in a freezer-safe container. This way, you can take as much or as little as needed without having to defrost all of it.[easy-image-collage id=38517]
My collection of paneer recipes
Paneer is used in almost all courses of Indian cooking - curries, snacks, appetizers, desserts. It is very popular among vegetarians. Paneer is also used to make kebabs, Indo-Chinese, and much more. Browse through some delicious paneer recipes here.
Kadai Paneer: Kadai paneer is cottage cheese cooked in a kadai with tomatoes, onions, capsicum, and a blend of Indian spices. The main flavour of this dish comes from freshly pound spices.
Palak Paneer: Palak paneer is a famous Punjabi dish in which paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is cooked in spinach and spices masala base. Soft cottage cheese cubes cooked in silky, mildly spicy spinach gravy is a definite winner.
Matar Paneer: Matar paneer (also known as muttar paneer or mattar paneer) is a very famous Punjabi dish. Cottage cheese (paneer) and green peas cooked in a rich creamy onion-tomato gravy.
Navratan Korma: Navratan means nine gems - in this dish, it's nine vegetables and fruits. A combination of nuts, paneer (cottage cheese), and your favourite vegetables in a mild creamy gravy is a match made in heaven. This mildly spicy medley of vegetables and paneer is very flavourful and aromatic.
Paneer Tamatar Bhurji: Paneer tamatar bhurji literally translates to scrambled cottage cheese and tomatoes. Paneer that has two textures, one crumbled and the other diced in silky tangy tomato gravy is so so wonderful.
Achari Paneer: Achari paneer is a cottage cheese curry flavoured with pickling spices. It has a very unique flavour and tastes very different from the regular onion-tomato base curries.
Paneer Kofta: Paneer kofta is a classic Punjabi dish where bite-sized cottage cheese and potato balls are simmered in a silky smooth gravy. They are also called malai kofta.
Paneer Paratha: Whole wheat flatbread stuffed with grated Indian cottage cheese and spices – a delight for paratha lovers. Paneer is fresh cottage cheese and paratha is an unleavened flatbread made with atta (also known as chapati flour or Indian whole wheat flour).
Paneer Puff: Paneer puffs are crispy, flaky, savoury puff pastries with a flavourful cottage cheese filling. A perfect tea-time snack.
Oats and Paneer Tikki: A tikki is shallow-fried, unlike fritters which are deep-fried. In this recipe, I am using paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and oats along with potatoes and spices. They have a slight crunch on the outside with a soft center.
Paneer Bread Rolls: Paneer bread rolls are tasty spicy tea-time snacks made with cottage cheese and bread. Easy and quick to make, they can be customised as per your preference. They are great for kids' lunchboxes too, as they stay fresh for a few hours.
Paneer Tikka: Paneer tikka is without a doubt the most popular vegetarian tandoori dish. Paneer is Indian cottage cheese. Traditionally, this dish was made in a tandoor or clay oven but you can also make this in a regular oven.
Kadai Paneer Pizza: The flavours and aroma of freshly ground Indian spices paired with paneer and cheese – food heaven!
Chilli Paneer: Hot and spicy chilli paneer is my absolute favourite when it comes to Indo-Chinese dishes. Pieces of paneer marinated and shallow fried, and finished in a chilli-capsicum stir fry is a sure winner for me.
Sweet and Sour Paneer: Sweet, tangy, hot, and most importantly super-delicious – this dish ticks all the flavour boxes. This scrumptious dish can be prepared in no time and is perfect for starters and pairs very well with noodles or ramen.
Kalakand: Kalakand aka cottage cheese milk fudge is a sweet treat that tastes so good and at the same time has so many textures – soft, chewy, crumbly, nutty.
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