Also Known as
Cottage cheese, chenna
All Indians swear by it! No party or family dinner is complete without Paneer delicacy. You have eaten it in shahi, kadhai and tawa forms. Besides Indian cuisine, Oriental and Continental cuisines too serve several paneer dishes. Paneer is a type of soft, crumbly cheese with a simple, fresh, versatile flavor which makes it highly useful in an assortment of recipes.
It is also very easy to make paneer at home. Paneer is usually made by boiling the whole milk. Acid is added to coagulate milk. The whey water is either discarded or used in various preparations and the cheese is harvested. This cheese is called Chenna. The Chenna is pressed to form a block of cheese. This cheese block is called Paneer.
Paneer is also considered to be a fresh cheese, and it is never aged. In addition, since paneer has no rennet, it is safe for vegetarians to eat. Since it is made with whole milk, it is also very high in protein, making it a sound addition to a vegetarian diet.
Most varieties of paneer are simply pressed into a cube and then sliced or chopped or grated. It is available in two forms, namely Soft paneer and hard paneer.
Paneer can be chopped with a sharp knife. Cut it into half and then chop the half portion into another half. Chop ingredients by cutting them in small pieces approximately ¼ inch in diameter, although the chopped food doesn't need to be exactly the same size. If the recipe calls for the ingredients to be "coarsely chopped," make the pieces slightly larger
Crumble the paneer with your hands. You can disintegrate them into big or small pieces as desired. Often used in stuffing parathas or to make Paneer Bhurji.
Paneer can be grated thinly or thickly using a grater as required by the recipe. Used in Parathas, Tikkis, Kheer etc.
Mash paneer with fingers to attain a rough, uneven texture. Mashed Paneer can be used to make soft balls either added to savoury or sweet preparation.
Dice or cube ingredients by cutting them into uniform strips. Line up the strips with your non-working hand and cut them into square pieces. Cube them as per the recipe's need regarding the size of the cubes, (for example, "cut into ½-inch cubes"). Small Cubes are wonderful addition to salads whereas large ones are used for veggies.
Cut down the paneer in half lengthwise. Place the flat side of one half paneer on the cutting board, using the knife make vertical cuts, at a right angle to the cutting board. Cut down through the rest of the paneer in similar manner of the desired thickness.
How to Select
Slice using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly as the recipe requirement, can used for making pakodas or sweet dishes.
Paneer is readily available in the grocery stores in small and large packets, in cube form. Confirm on the manufacturing date for maximum softness and freshness. It is also available at the Dairy shops, where it is freshly made everyday and sold as required. This is often bought for its freshness, verify on the hygienic conditions and the milk used and then purchase.Culinary Uses
" Paneer is a great option for vegetarians, as it adds more of a variety to the otherwise green and leafy palates of the veggies.
" The best thing about paneer is that it can be molded according to tastes to create exotic dishes.
" Paneer is a versatile dairy product, it is used desserts, snacks or for main course cooking.
" Teaches simple touches with everyday vegetables to make them special
Amazing variety - Chilli Paneer, Paneer Makhani, Paneer Pasanda, Shahi Paneer or Paneer Bhurji
" It is commonly used in curried dishes
" Paneer Pakora is a great way to start a meal.
" Paneer kneaded in dough or Paneer paratha is a very health breakfast for all age groups.
" Preparations those are delicious and nutritious too! New exotic and mouth watering paneer Dishes for all occasions
" Paneer Sandwich
" One of the most famous dishes with paneer is palak paneer; a curry made with spinach and fried paneer.
" The cheese is often used in curries since it absorbs flavors very readily.
" When sliced into cubes and deep fried, the cheese tends to hold its shape very well. It can also be crumbled into a curry, taking advantage of the cheese's naturally crumbly nature.
" The non-melting cheese appears in desserts and as a filling for stuffed foods and breads as well.
" Paneer-based desserts offer an interesting alternative to chocolate-smothered goodies
" Your kitchen will smell divine Paneer BarfiHow to Store
Keep in the coldest part of the refrigerator up to 10 days past the stamped sell by date.Health Benefits
" Easy to make and easy to digest, it is a rich storehouse of nutrients and is a popular item on the menu of private dinners and public celebrations
" Paneer is a high-protein food, and if you are a vegetarian you must include it in your meal.
" Paneer not just offers taste but health benefits as well.
" Paneer is a good source of calcium, which helps build strong bones and teeth, and also prevents osteoporosis.
" Paneer in moderation is associated with lower body weight as well as reduced risk of developing insulin resistance syndrome.
" Paneer is a good source of protein and it reduces cancer risk.
" It also helps in lower, back and joint pain.
" The advantage lies in the fact that it doesn't require too much oil, and if cooked right with herbs and minimal spices it is not heavy on the digestive system either.
" Elaborating on the other benefits paneer has no salt, it is really beneficial for people with high blood pressure or hyper tension, and being a low fat milk product, it is an extremely good.