Perfect paneer 7 ways: The recipes you'd never think to try, but 100% should
Thought this popular Indian cheese only goes in curry? Think again
We can't get enough of paneer. This shouldn't be news to you really. We have been banging on about how healthy and ever so very tasty this wonderful Indian cheese is for a little while now. And you guessed it, we've got a bit more to say.
You may remember we told you FoodTribe founder James May loves paneer. He'd eat it at every meal, every day of the week if he could (we reckon anyway, we're not just, y'know, wildly speculating...). And when we carried out a recent poll — asking whether you have tried paneer or not — 36% of you said you have not tried paneer, but you'd really like to.
Poll: We know James May loves it, but have you ever tried paneer?
We're bringing five brand spanking new and shiny paneer recipes to FoodTribe, the ones that you may not have thought to try had it not been for our open-minded friends at Apetina Paneer and their talented chefs.
Is paneer still new to you? That's perfectly ok...
Paneer, meet reader. Reader, meet paneer. Awkward intros done and out the way.
Apetina Paneer bowl
What exactly is paneer?
Paneer is a mild and soft Indian style cooking cheese that has been enjoyed in India for centuries and is traditionally made with citrus juice and milk. Its porous texture gives it an exceptional ability to soak up flavours, and you can also marinate it, grill it, fry it, or pop it into soups or stews. Basically, you can do anything and everything to it.
It’s the perfect ingredient to create some mind-blowing and surprisingly low-calorie dishes. That's right kids... it's healthy too: it actually aids digestion and contains just 8% fat. And it will be a hit with meat eaters and flexitarians: it adds so much "bite" to veggie dishes and always keeps its shape when cooking. No mushy meals around here, thank you very much!
Apetina Paneer butter chicken style
How can I use paneer in my cooking?
The beauty of adding paneer to well-known international dishes such as spaghetti with pesto or the Chinese classic blend of sweet and sour, is that you can give old favourites a new spin while reaping the benefits of it being healthy, chewy (and absorbent), and also really good value for money. Of course paneer still has a starring role in lots of popular Indian dishes, and it's widely used in north India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. But increasingly, it's being used all over the world, in all kinds of dishes.
Speaking of 'all kinds of dishes', on with the recipes...
Sweet and sour paneer noodles
The word 'fusion' might be a little unpopular with some of the pro chefs out there. But as we're not pro chefs, let's get on with the cooking. This recipe fuses a classic sweet and sour Chinese dish with a traditional Indian cheese: paneer. Dial up the flavour in the kitchen with this blend of cultures on a plate. It's made using Apetina Paneer, which not only adds bite, but its porous texture soaks up the flavours, so you get the zing, the sweetness, and the bite. We love it when a plan comes together.
Artisan paneer burger, aka the fanciest cheese sandwich you'll ever have
Craving cheese on toast, but just need to take it to the next level? Welllllll have we got the recipe for you. Perhaps you love a cheeseburger... but you love your burger to be made out of cheese? We've also totally got you people as well.
Ok fine, we'll get to it. Artisan. Paneer. Burger. Recipe. This is the holy grail of cheese sandwiches, and, it's also healthy. We think – no, we know! – you're going to love it. Why? For starters, because it's made using a whopping great slab of Apetina Paneer, which not only adds bite, but its porous texture soaks up the flavours: in this case butter and tandoori powder. Mmm. Who doesn't love their food to come in whopping great slab form, especially when you're talking about CHEESE?!
So much more than a cheese sandwich
A little trip to Italy with toasted paneer pesto spaghetti – yes, really..
Now we fleetingly mentioned a spaghetti and pesto with paneer combination earlier, just as a little teaser of what's to come. But we don't want to leave you hanging any longer... You love pasta, we love pasta, who doesn't love pasta? But sometimes, you might think, 'I have eaten every single Italian pasta dish out there. I want more. I want new. I want... different'. As ever on FoodTribe, we have got you covered. That's right, we are sharing with you an Indian twist on an Italian classic: pesto spaghetti, but with paneer.
An Italian classic with a new twist
Paneer fritters with a tomato and cucumber salad and tangy dip – delish
In our humble opinion, anything that's made of batter, or covered in batter, is delicious. We have a lot of time for a fritter for this very reason. Plus they're super quick, easy and require minimal effort to make, as well as being EXTRA tasty, of course. Fritters come in many forms and usually consist of a batter filled with different vegetables or meat. Here is a super tasty vegetarian version with plenty of flavour and protein that comes from Apetina Paneer.
Fritters come in many forms, but you batter try these
A tasty paneer stir fry to shake up your weeknights...
Are you someone who gets stuck in a bit of a stir fry rut? We are definitely a bit guilty of that sometimes. Chicken, veggies, an easy sauce made of various bits from the cupboard? Yup. We knowwww there are a million and one amazing stir fry recipes out there, but it can just be easier to stick with what we know. That was, until we were introduced to the concept of... paneer stir fry.
Oh yeh. Time to put down that chicken and step away from the sweet chilli. We are bringing you a game-changing sticky soy and hoisin paneer stir-fry recipe. It's made using Apetina Paneer, which not only adds bite to this vibrant, nutritious and blimmin' DELICIOUS dish, but its porous texture soaks and draws all of the flavours together in perfect harmony: the broccoli, mushrooms and zingy chilli are all sounding and tasting ON POINT.
Another day, another stir fry? Well this one's a little bit different...
Paneer fajitas... stick with us. The Tex-Mex/Indian fusion is a great combo
If you thought it was only grated cheese that goes into fajitas, you need to do only one thing: think again! Here we have a delicious Indian spin on the Tex-Mex classic that we guarantee will rock your world. We just guaranteed it, so it must be true. And yes, there's still a fair amount of cheese involved – just not quite as you know it. Thanks to its texture, Apetina Paneer not only adds extra bite to your fajitas but also draws in the smoky and spicy flavours that make Tex-Mex so moreish. This dish is also perfect for vegetarians or flexitarians planning for their weekly #MeatFreeMonday.
A smoky Tex-Mex spin that will have your favourite dish for 2021 wrapped
Last but very much not least... Korean paneer rice bowl recipe
Now it's time to hear from incredible cook and official Apetina Paneer blogger Nanna Rintala, who is quite the globetrotter. Growing up, Nanna lived in such diverse places as Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, the US and Germany. This, together with many years of working as a waitress at sea, has given her the chance to experience a vast array of different world cuisines first-hand and really shape her passion for food.
At the moment, Nanna is very excited about Korean food (keep scrolling) and has a real affinity for Mexican food. Our final recipe will prove paneer can blend seamlessly with so many world cuisines. We love how Korean culture has taken on the west and won recently. Feature film, Parasite won the Oscar for Best Picture, Kpop groups have stormed the music world and Korean food remains high on our radar as well.
But what happens when you take a classic Korean rice bowl, and add paneer? This delicious recipe. You only have to marinate the paneer for up to 30 minutes max and the whole dish takes less than an hour (way less). Don't for get to let us know if you try to create this dish at home and how it went down.
Take Korean food and Indian food and get something delicious
Please help, I can't decide which delicious recipe to start with...
If all that is proving too much/you're as indecisive about cooking as we are, why not just find out (with 100% accuracy we might add) which paneer dish you should try next? Answer a few simple questions and you'll be cooking up a storm in no time...
You've tasted paneer, maybe you've not tasted paneer, but now it's time to taste some more...!
FoodTribe paneer challenge
Why not make all seven recipes at home for your family and create a fun taste test to see which you like best. Or let us know which is your favourite out of this dishes if you've already got one.