Paneer is a delicious Indian cottage cheese that is simply delicious for soaking up the tasty flavours of curries, as well as being an ideal vegetarian alternative.
What is Paneer?
Paneer is a fresh cheese that can be found throughout India. It is un-aged and soft, but doesn’t melt. It is made simply by curdling milk with an acid from fruit or vegetables, such as lemon juice. The origin of paneer is often disputed between Ancient Indian, Afghan Iranian, and Portuguese-Bengali creations. However, it is mentioned in Vedic Literature as far back as 6000 BC.
Variations of Paneer
In the Indian subcontinent, there are a few variations of paneer cheese. In Bangladesh and the Bengal and Orissa regions of India, it is known as Chhena. This variation is very moist yet crumbly. Chhena is very similar to paneer but not pressed for as long. It is also quite similar to ricotta and can be kneaded until it becomes smooth and used in a dessert.
How To Enjoy Paneer
Paneer is a delicious and versatile ingredient. In North Indian cuisine, the curds are wrapped in cloth and pressed with weights for a few hours to be then be cut into cubes ready for curries. The less time paneer is pressed, the fluffier the cheese is. In Bengali and east Indian regions, chhena is harded and typically eaten in slices at teatime with biscuits or bread.
Our Hariyali Methi Cooking Sauce and Chilli Paneer Cooking Sauces are a great way to try this tasty cheese, wether you prefer a milder aromatic sauce of a fiery one!