Paneer: India’s Good Cheese

Vegetarian Delight: Combination Tasty and Healthy

India’s equivalent to cottage cheese is the well-loved paneer. It is an important part of Indian cuisine and Indian culture. It literally means ‘cheese’ in Hindi. The semisolid, cubed form of cottage cheese, the paneer, is popular in north and east India. It takes on the flavor of the spices in which it cooks and adds a rich and creamy flavor to Indian desserts, and also used in curries, Indian kababs and pan-fried Indian flatbread.

Made from milk, paneer is enjoyed in its several forms – as chunks, bhurji (small bits), fried, sautéed, barbecued, grilled, and more. It is an all-around dish that vegetarians love. Its popularity stems from its incredible combination of taste and health.

And what are paneer’s health benefits that even non-vegetarians love? Firstly, paneer is protein-rich. What vegetarians are missing from not eating meat products, they can get from paneer. 100 gm of paneer yields about 18 gm of protein needed for muscle-building and repair. Since paneer is also high in calcium content, it can help build teeth and bones to some extent.

Paneer can bridge those hunger pains being able to provide longer hours of satiety because it is protein. It releases energy slowly, not an instant boost that wanes easily, and not causing blood sugar level spikes.

It is a great source of conjugated linoleic acid – a fatty acid which helps lose weight by enhancing the body’s fat burning process. This is an ideal food choice for those who wish to lose weight.

Paneer is said to have some cancer-fighting capabilities by preventing the growth of cancer-causing cells in the body. It also protects against heart disease by lowering the fat deposition in the arteries.

A few controversial issues surround India’s favorite cheese though. Many believe that paneer is fattening, being high on the calorie meter. Each 100 gm of the cheese is equal to 293 calories. However, paneer is really ideal for people with an active lifestyle, or have an exercise regimen. They tend to burn their calories easily and yet gain the nutrients in their food choices. Nonetheless, moderation is key when enjoying paneer. Additionally, for health reasons, it is better not to fry paneer; best to keep its nutrients intact.

Enjoying Vegetarian in Bellevue

Love our soft and light paneer when you dine at Spice Route Indian Restaurant. We offer quality of dining options via only the freshest, healthy and sustainable ingredients that characterize our menu.