Paneer is a type of cottage cheese, it is one of the most popular Indian snacks and also a staple in many cuisines. It can be made at home, but when you crave some paneer, you may not easily find it.
Fortunately, there are paneer substitutes that will satisfy your cravings without compromising on the authenticity and taste of the dish that you are craving. Check out these top 11 paneer substitutes that will satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank!
- Top 11 Paneer Substitutes That Will Satisfy Your Cravings
- 1. Instant Paneer Powder
- 2. Tofu Paneer
- 3. Ricotta Cheese
- 4. Mature Cheese (Paneer)
- 5. Corn-based Substitute
- 6. Besan (gram flour) Paneer
- 7. Egg-based Substitutes
- 8. Coconut Yogurt
- 9. Almond Milk
- 10. Mozzarella cheese
- 11. Halloumi Cheese
Top 11 Paneer Substitutes That Will Satisfy Your Cravings
Paneer is a fresh cheese that is an integral part of Indian cuisine. It can be eaten as a snack or as a part of a complete meal. You can also make curries and dishes with paneer as an ingredient.
Paneer is usually made from the milk of the Indian Buffalo, but you can also make it from other kinds of milk. You can also make paneer from tofu, cashew, soy, or almond. Making paneer at home might sound complicated, but it’s not. In this article, we are going to cover the best paneer substitutes that you can buy from the market.
1. Instant Paneer Powder
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to make paneer at home, a no-fuss instant paneer powder is just what you need. These powders can be easily stored in an airtight container, so you can make paneer at any given time of the day.
The most convenient thing about these powders is that they are preservative-free, so they don’t spoil quickly. Another added advantage of instant paneer powders is that they are cost-effective and are much cheaper than buying paneer curd.
2. Tofu Paneer
Tofu is another popular Indian ingredient that can be used to make paneer at home. You can also buy tofu patties, but they are comparatively more expensive. You can use tofu as a paneer substitute. When tofu is mashed and combined with other ingredients, it becomes similar to paneer.
It is high in proteins, calcium, and amino acids, which makes it one of the best paneer substitutes. So, if you are looking for a protein-rich option, tofu is the best paneer substitute available in the market.
You can prepare tofu patties by combining boiled and mashed tofu with spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cashews. You can also add vegetables like carrots, beans, capsicums, beetroots, onions, or mushrooms to make tofu patties or samosas.
You can also make tofu pulao, tofu biryani, tofu curries, tofu omelets, and tofu stir-fries.
3. Ricotta Cheese
There are many cheese substitutes on the market, but one of the most popular is ricotta cheese. Ricotta cheese is made from the milk of sheep or goats and has a delicate, creamy texture. It can be used in place of regular cheese in recipes, or as an ingredient in its own right.
Ricotta is perfect for making pasta dishes because it has a high moisture content. It's also versatile, so you can use it in lasagna, carbonara, and other classic Italian dishes. If you're looking to make a richer dish, try incorporating ricotta into risotto or rice pilaf.
If you're vegan or dairy-free, ricotta is a great option for replacing cheese in recipes. Not only does it have the same texture and flavor as regular cheese, but it also contains no lactose. If you're looking for a vegan substitute for cream cheese or sour cream, ricotta is a great option because it doesn't contain any animal products.
4. Mature Cheese (Paneer)
Mature cheese is also a popular Indian ingredient that can be used to make paneer at home. You can also buy mature cheese, but it is comparatively more expensive. You can buy a grater to grate mature cheese and then use it to make paneer at home.
Mature cheese is softer in consistency and has a smooth, tangy flavor. It does not have the stringy consistency of other cheeses, so it is suitable for grating. You can prepare many delicious dishes with paneer and serve them with different accompaniments.
You can make baingan bharta, aloo matar, pav Bhaji, pani puri, kheer, and many more. You can also make pav Bhaji with paneer to enjoy it as a snack. You can also add some spices to the paneer to increase its flavor and make it more delicious.
5. Corn-based Substitute
Corn is yet another popular ingredient used to make paneer at home. It can be easily bought from the market. You can also make cornstarch and then use it to make paneer at home.
Adding corn starch to curd gives it a nice yellow color and a smooth, soft texture. You can prepare pav Bhaji and pav Bhaji masala with corn starch to make them more delicious. You can prepare different dishes with cornstarch-based paneer and serve them with pickle, tamarind pulp, pudina chutney, and many more accompaniments. You can also prepare a simple kulcha or paratha for dinner and enjoy it as a snack.
6. Besan (gram flour) Paneer
Besan or gram flour is yet another popular Indian ingredient that can be used to make paneer at home. You can make gram flour by grinding rice and wheat together in a grinder.
You can prepare different dishes with besan-based paneer and enjoy them with pickles, pudina chutney, bhujia, and many more accompaniments.
Besan-based paneer is very nutritious and rich in proteins. It is free from gluten and gluten-free, so it is suitable for people with celiac disease, who cannot eat gluten.
7. Egg-based Substitutes
Egg-based paneer is yet another popular ingredient that can be used to make paneer at home. You can buy beaten eggs from the market and then use them to make paneer at home.
Egg-based paneer is rich in proteins and is free from lactose, so it is suitable for people with different dietary requirements. It is also low in fat and high in vitamins, so it is the best option for a healthy and protein-rich snack.
You can prepare a number of dishes with egg-based paneer, like aloo matar, baingan bharta, sambar, pav bhaji, kheer, and many more.
8. Coconut Yogurt
Looking for a dairy-free yogurt alternative? Try coconut yogurt! Coconut yogurt is made from coconut milk, which gives it a creamy texture and a sweet flavor.
You can also add different flavors to it, such as vanilla or mango, to make it your own. Coconut yogurt is great to use in smoothies or as a snack.
9. Almond Milk
If you're looking for a healthful, plant-based dairy substitute, almond milk is a great option. Made from almonds, this milk has low calories and fat and is packed with nutrients such as vitamin E and fiber. You can find almond milk in most grocery stores and health food stores.
Almond milk is also easy to make at home. Simply blend soaked almonds with water until smooth, then strain the mixture through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth. If you don't have time to soak your almonds, you can use pre-soaked almond milk bags that you can find online.
Some people prefer to heat their almond milk before drinking it due to its high content of unsaturated fats. You can also add sweetener, spices, or vanilla extract to customize the flavor.
10. Mozzarella cheese
Mozzarella cheese is a great substitute for paneer cheese in Indian food dishes. It is a type of soft cheese that is made from milk and has a creamy texture.
Mozzarella cheese can be found in most grocery stores and can be used in a variety of dishes. It is often used as a cheese replacement in Indian food because it has a similar texture and flavor. It can be added to curry dishes, samosas, and other types of Indian foods.
Mozzarella cheese is a great option for people who are looking for a cheese that is similar to paneer but is easier to find and cheaper to buy.
11. Halloumi Cheese
Halloumi is a type of cheese that originated in the Middle East. The cheese is made from a combination of sheep's and goat's milk and is a rich source of protein and calcium.
Halloumi is a soft cheese that is often served as an appetizer or main course. The cheese can be grilled or baked and is often combined with other spices to create unique flavors.
Paneer is one of the most popular Indian snacks and a staple in many cuisines. The traditional method of making paneer involves coagulating the buffalo’s milk and curd-making, which takes time.
Luckily, there are many paneer substitutes available in the market that can be easily made at home and are cheaper. These substitutes can be easily bought from the market and are very convenient.
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