The best and most common cheese of India, paneer was first used in the Middle East. It was introduced in the Indian Cuisine by Persian and Afghan rulers in the 16th Century. A hundred years later, Portuguese processed paneer by breaking milk with acid.
Nowadays, paneer is the highest selling cheese in India. In fact, this easy-to-make cheese is made in countless households. Also, homemade paneer contains much more nutritional elements than the purchased ones. Moreover, the readymade paneer which is available in stores might contain additives and preservatives which are harmful to our body.
Always pick good quality milk to make paneer at home. Add powdered acid or simply lemon juice to the boiling hot milk. Separate the whey from the curd but don’t press it. Drain the rest of the water with the help of a muslin or velvet cloth. After that, place it under a heavy object to form the blocks. Dipping it into cool water for 2 to 3 hours improves its nutritional value and gives it an amazing consistency.
Health Benefits of Paneer
Paneer, especially the one which is made from pure cow milk is a storehouse of nutrients. It contains calcium, protein, vitamins, manganese, zinc and many other nutrients that make it a wholesome food.
- Rich source of Protein:
Paneer is an abundant source of protein which is beneficial for our health. It is also responsible for tissue growth and repair.
- High in Calcium:
Consuming one or two raw paneer cubes daily makes your bones and teeth strong as it completes your daily requirement of calcium.
- Protects the heart:
The right amount of potassium and sodium maintains stabilizes the blood pressure and keeps the heart healthy.
- More power to immunity:
The magnesium present in paneer boosts the immune system and prepares us to fight various diseases.
- Increase in RBC count:
One of the key nutritional factors is the Folate (a B-complex vitamin) that produces haemoglobin which is essential for maintaining the blood count.
- Helps in losing weight:
Yes, you read it right. The amount of saturated fat keeps you full for a long time and prevents you from consuming too many calories.
We certainly need to include Paneer in our daily diet if we consider all these benefits.