Paneer is one of the most widely used ingredients in Indian cuisine. It is also one of the healthiest and most accessible foods that you will find in practically every Indian kitchen. Paneer is very versatile and can be used in a number of dishes across cuisines. It can also be made at home in a quick and easy way. However, even with so many
Tofu is the most common substitute for paneer all over the world. Tofu and paneer look the same and have many similar features too. Tofu is nothing but paneer made from soya milk. It has a similar neutral taste, offers a lot of nutrition and is much lower in its fat and calorie counts, which makes it a healthier choice. Tofu has a lot of variations too and you can get silken tofu, tough tofu and soft tofu, among others.
- Coconut milk
Coconut milk is a very good paneer substitute. If you want a rich and tasty gravy, you can add some coconut milk to the dish and see it get a wonderful makeover. Coconut milk is loaded with antioxidants, so you get a lot of benefits when you consume it. It also protects your heart and aids in weight loss, so you get many advantages when you choose coconut milk over paneer. You can use coconut milk in sweet as well as savoury items, so variety is never an issue.
- Peanut paneer
Peanut milk paneer is very popular these days. It is made from peanut milk and is a protein-rich superfood. It has a very nutty and delicious taste and is loaded with benefits, so it automatically acts as a great substitute for paneer. You can use it as a substitute for paneer in any recipe that you like and enhance the taste too.
- Lentin (calcium)
Vegetarians rely on paneer and other milk products for calcium. Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth. However, people who don’t consume dairy products always look for other sources of calcium. Lentil, mainly moong dal, has a very high calcium content. It offers almost 60 mg of calcium per serving, in addition to being a protein-rich food too.
- Kaju Katli
A vast majority of Indian sweets are made out of chhena, or paneer. But for those who are lactose intolerant or vegans are deprived of these delicious sweets. Thankfully, there are many substitutes available that satiate the taste buds, leaving you very happy and satisfied. One of them is Kaju Katli, which is a sweetmeat made out of cashew nuts. Just ensure there is no milk or ghee used in the preparation of the dairy-free Katli and you will have a great paneer-free Indian sweet to relish!
The final word
As you can see, it is easy to substitute paneer in Indian kitchens. If you are vegan or are on a non-dairy diet currently, try out the above-mentioned paneer substitutes and you will surely enjoy the same richness and taste while getting all the nutrition as well.