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Paneer – An Evergreen Ingredient

Dr. Shweta U. Shah

Dr. Shweta U. Shah
30 March 2020

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

cottage cheese

Internationally, cottage cheese is a rather uncelebrated hero amongst the cheeses. Paneer or cottage cheese has a charming, mild flavour and a soft texture that makes it very easy to include into most recipes. There’s lots that you can do with paneer – it is super adaptable and nutrient-dense, making it a very healthy addition to the everyday diet.

Paneer gives you a good dose of protein, vitamin B-12, calcium and selenium. A versatile ingredient, it can be integrated in practically all recipes - from our heavy-duty Punjabi dishes to Italian lasagnas and even desserts.

Paneer is a low-calorie cheese with a gentle flavour profile. With its mild flavour and pillowy texture, it makes its presence in a multitude of cuisines. Cottage cheese finds its way into starters, mains, sides, salads, granola bars, gravies and baked goods.

Packed with protein, it also provides a host of vital nutrients – calcium, selenium, phosphorus and vitamin B-complex. Athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts include generous amounts of paneer in their diet, given its high protein content. It helps build muscle mass as well as inhibits the breakdown of muscle because of its slower absorption rate.

The cottage cheese holds a strong position in weight loss plans! Good quality protein helps increase a feeling of fullness and ensures that you do not reach out for starchy, sugary, high-calorie foods. Paneer is also a good source of phosphorus, which along with calcium helps improve bone strength. One cup (200 grams) of paneer will provide:

  • 163 Calories
  • 28 grams Protein
  • 11 % Calcium
  • 24 % Phosphorus
  • 30 % Sodium
  • 37 % Selenium
  • 59 % Vitamin B12
Classic Paneer Recipes

Classic Paneer Recipes

  • Palak Paneer: A beautiful marriage of spinach and cottage cheese, this recipe is warming and comforting and you just cannot go wrong with it. The fresh paalak adds nutrition and the spices add subtle flavour. This cottage cheese classic, paalak paneer is exceedingly popular in vegetarian restaurants.
  • Tawa paneer: A stand-out dish, Tawa Paneer is tangy, zesty and hearty! The spices and the tomatoes give the recipe an acidic complement, while onions and delicious herbs harmonize well with each other. Tata Sampann’s range of Spices adds vibrancy to your dish and liven up this delicacy of yours.
  • Shahi paneer: Wonderfully succulent and creamy, this recipe carries the nutty and delectable flavour of the cashews superbly. The yogurt, cream and spices bring the whole dish alive! It is suitable as an appetizer as well as main dish. Truly shahi!
  • Strawberry cottage cheese cheesecake: A gorgeous batter of cottage cheese, sugar and milk is dotted with strawberries. It gets a fabulously creamy texture from the cottage cheese and the tart flavor of the strawberries, enhanced with honey or stevia (instead of sugar), this is a hit dessert!
  • Power salad: An explosion of paalak, carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, nuts, and paneer! Paneer radically amps up the protein count in the salad and gives it a soft texture. Give your salad an extra boost of flavour from the herbs. It’s refreshing, flavoursome and satisfying!

Paneer isn’t exactly a stranger to Indians; however, its versatility is greatly underrated, typically, because people don’t really experiment with it. It could be a quick lunch tossed with some vegetables and masalas or an essential ingredient in an elaborate meal or a secret element in a dessert! It provides loads of protein and calcium and being so versatile and adaptable, it is very easy to work with. The cottage cheese is definitely more awesome than you might have thought!

Sources:

  • Dairy Foods and Bon Health, American Journal and Clinical Nutrition, 2000


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