Paneer or cottage cheese is one of the most widely consumed proteins in India. The vegetarian protein-rich food is made after milk is curdled using a fruit or vegetable-derived acid. Paneer is the desi cheese that we just can't get enough of. The creamy, fresh cheese is super easy-to-make and is also incredibly healthy. It is the choice of protein of scores of body-builders and gym freaks, looking to load up on lean protein. Paneer can add flavour and texture to almost any dish, from curries to rice dishes and can even be added to junk foods like pizzas. It can also be crumbled and added to numerous stuffings like sandwich fillings, samosa filling etc. Paneer is also added to parathas and flatbreads to add creaminess and richness to them.
Store-bought paneer is convenient and although it may taste the same as homemade paneer, the latter is definitely creamier and has a better quality and a more superior texture. But why buy paneer from the store when you can very easily make it at home? Before we look into how paneer is made, let's look at its nutritional facts and values.
Paneer Or Cottage Cheese Nutritional Facts and Values
Cottage cheese or paneer is the preferred protein-rich food of the health freaks due to its high protein quality and low calorie count. A 100 grams of fresh creamed cottage cheese contains 11 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, along with good amounts of calcium and all this comes in under 100 calories (as per data by United States Department of Agriculture). Cottage cheese can be added to salads and eaten raw as well, and that may perhaps be the healthiest way to consume paneer.
Coming to the preparation of paneer at home, it's a very simple process and can very easily be accomplished at home with the help of very few ingredients. All you need is full-fat milk, some water and fresh lemon juice. You need to bring the milk to a boil in a deep-bottomed pan and then mix the water with lemon juice and add it to the milk. The milk solids will start separating after some time and once it's cooled down, you can strain the cheese using a muslin or a cheesecloth and squeeze all the water out.
Watch YouTube chef Manjula Jain of the channel Manjula's Kitchen demonstrate how to make paneer at home: