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Facts You Didn’t Know About Paneer Vs Mozzarella

It’s hard to resist or say no when someone says cheese! Cheese is one of the most popular ingredients used in fast foods all over the world. 

Although there are several kinds of cheese available in the market, two of the most commonly used are mozzarella and cottage cheese (which is also known as paneer). 

In this paneer vs mozzarella showdown, we will tell you how both differ in taste, origin, uses, and much more. So let’s get started. 

Mozzarella cheese vs paneer: Is paneer cheese similar to mozzarella?

There is no doubt in the fact that Mozzarella and Paneer are not the same! First and foremost, mozzarella is a classic Italian cheese, whereas paneer is an Indian cheese. 

Furthermore, paneer is a type of cheese that is acid-set in nature. It is a variant of cheese that is prepared from milk that has been torn. 

For paneer production, milk is cooked, and then a sour material such as curd, lemon juice, vinegar, or food acid is added to it, causing the curd to separate from the milk. 

The extra water is then drained from the curd after it has been cooked. The curd that is left is what subsequently solidifies to produce paneer, which is also known as cottage cheese.

In mozzarella, on the other hand, thermophilic bacteria are involved during the production process. Afterward, the ‘pasta filata‘ process is employed in order to produce the well-known final result. 

That sums up the fact that both paneer and mozzarella have completely different methods of production. 

What is the difference between paneer and mozzarella?

The basic distinctions in Paneer vs Mozzarella, as discussed above, causes them to differ in a wide range of characteristics. The fact that paneer is a semi-solid cheese that is not very juicy, but mozzarella is soft and moist, might serve as a good starting point. 

It’s also worth noting that paneer is frequently served in little cubes, whilst mozzarella is often sold in the form of small balls.

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Une publication partagée par Viander Foods (@vianderfoods)

Uses

Paneer vs mozzarella sees a different use case too!  

Where mozzarella is used for the preparation of pizzas or cheesesteaks, paneer, on the other hand, brings out the best of Indian cuisine, which includes mouthwatering curries made using paneer.

Taste and texture 

Even though Mozzarella and Paneer come from quite different backgrounds, their tastes aren’t that dissimilar. Both of these types of cheese have a light, milky flavour to them. 

However, when we talk about mozzarella, it has a little bit more rich taste than paneer. Many paneer eaters consider paneer’s taste as bland when eaten as it is. On the other hand, mozzarella is considered more creamy and with better texture.

Cost

Both of these types of cheese are surprisingly cheap, with mozzarella being the even more affordable option.

Melting

One of the biggest differences between paneer and mozzarella is how they behave when heated. Mozzarella cheese has an excellent melting ability, making it one of the most used cheeses for pizza besides goat cheese. On the other hand, paneer has little to no melting capacity and is usually fried or cooked along with curry-based dishes. 

Fat Content

Another significant distinction between paneer and mozzarella that many health-conscious readers must be curious about is the amount of fat each contains. 

Not only does mozzarella cheese have less fat as compared to paneer, it also has about 40% less fat, 10% more protein, and 15% more carbohydrates, giving it the edge when it comes to nutritional value. 

Is mozzarella cheese the same as paneer?

Compared to other forms of fresh cheese, paneer has a mild and milky aftertaste. Furthermore, since it is prepared using boiling milk, unlike mozzarella, it slightly differs in taste. If we talk about mozzarella’s flavor individually, then it’s more creamy and less bland than paneer.

All in all, they have some clear aspects in almost every area that even a novice can recognize. So regardless of what you choose between paneer vs mozzarella, you will always get a protein-rich scrumptious meal. 

Can fresh mozzarella be used instead of paneer? 

No, you can’t use Mozzarella instead of Paneer. These two types of cheese are very different in how they are used in cooking. Mozzarella is a cheese that easily melts, which makes it a great choice for pizza and other dishes. 

On the other hand, paneer is a type of cheese that doesn’t melt at all. And thus, it’s either grilled, fried, or added to curries. However, you can garnish small cubes of cottage cheese with peri-peri sauce, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and some black pepper to get a similar taste.

Some other viable alternatives though are halloumi, panela and queso fresco. Get to know more about their differences here: 

How to use fresh mozzarella balls?

Fresh mozzarella balls can be marinated and then grilled later to be eaten individually. Furthermore, you can also use them for myriads of recipes like fresh mozzarella salad, mozzarella caprese, mozzarella panini, etc. 

For all the pizza fanatics out there, yes you can use mozzarella balls as pizza toppings too. Simply bake them along with other toppings for 10-12 minutes at around 500 F. 

How to identify fake paneer by fingers?

Nowadays, many brands also sell counterfeit paneer which is made using synthetic ingredients. To ensure that the paneer you have bought is real, simply touch it and see how it feels from the surface. When you apply some pressure, real paneer will seem quite firm, whereas synthetic paneer will have a rubber-like texture. 

Another way of knowing is to add a drop of iodine solution to your paneer. Adulterated paneer will always turn blue-black, whereas pure raw paneer will not show any such change. 

How much sodium is in paneer cheese?

Contrary to most hard cheeses, paneer is known to be low in sodium, fat, cholesterol, and saturated fats. As a matter of fact, 100 grams of paneer just has about 22mg of sodium. 

Therefore, those who are on a low sodium diet or want to cut on fat can eat paneer without any worries. 

Did you know? Paneer is also a source of ‘selenium’ which is said to help with infertility issues and memory. You may also wonder: is paneer pasteurized?

Quick paneer recipes you can try

Paneer butter masala 

Take a pan and pour some clarified butter into it. Once it starts to melt, add ginger garlic paste and cumin seeds. Saute for a minute, followed by adding some tomato puree to the mixture. This is the base of your gravy. 

Stir it well and pour some cashew nut paste for extra thickness and the signature ‘butter masala’ taste. Then, add some water, red chili powder, salt, garam masala powder and mix well. 

Cook for about 5 minutes, and then add paneer cubes. Stir gently and cook your curry until you see a light orange color. Once your dish is ready, garnish it with fresh cream and some chat masala (optional). 

Serve with tandoori roti or basmati rice. 

Malai kofta 

First and foremost, prepare paneer koftas using a mixture of potatoes (mashed), salt, herbs & spices. Then sprinkle some cornstarch on top as it helps absorb the moisture. Next, bind the mixture in the shape of a ball and deep fry the koftas until they become crisp. 

Use a tomato base coupled with a sauteed mixture of cashew paste, water, red chili powder, and garam masala for your gravy. Simmer this over medium heat until the consistency becomes thick and creamy. 

Add the koftas and cook for another 5 minutes. 

Chilli paneer 

A similar recipe to malai kofta, Chilli paneer’s taste is on the spicier side. Take some cornstarch and all-purpose flour in a bowl. Add some ginger garlic paste, garlic paste, Kashmiri red chili powder, black pepper and salt in it. 

Then add half a cup of water, followed by stirring to make a paste. Whisk the batter until it attains medium consistency. Add paneer cubes and coat them with the batter you have prepared, followed by pan-frying. 

Then in the same pan, take some chopped garlic & ginger along with sliced green chilies and fry on a medium flame for 15 seconds. Then add spring onions, sliced capsicum, and red chili powder. Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and some red chili sauce. 

Mix well and add paneer cubes. Add water in accordance with the amount of gravy that you like. Let the mixture cook for 10 minutes. 

What to do with extra shredded mozzarella cheese? 

Cheese and fresh herb quiche 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and unroll one sheet of pie crust onto a 9 inch pie plate. Sprinkle plenty of mozzarella cheese on the crust. Take a bowl on the side and whisk some egg whites and cream in it together. Add some herbs and pour it over on the pie. 

Bake this on the lower rack of your oven for about 25 minutes. Then, using a knife, cut the pie into square pieces and serve. 

Cherry tomato mozzarella sauté 

For this recipe, you will need some olive oil, shallots (chopped), thyme, garlic, tomatoes, pepper, mozzarella, and salt. Start by heating the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the pan becomes hot, add the chopped shallots with thyme until they become slightly soft. 

Stir thoroughly after adding tomatoes and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir the dish with some cheese on top. 

Quesadillas 

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and heat it to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a small bowl, combine some butter and parmigiano. Then take a tortilla and spread a thin layer of butter on one side. 

Lay it on a flat surface and fill half of the tortillas with mozzarella, leaving a one-inch gap at the edge. Sprinkle some salt, seasonings of your choice, tomato, and basil. Then fold the tortillas in half and close the flaps at the end to give them the signature shape. 

When the first side is golden brown, flip the quesadilla and cook for another 3 minutes on the other side. Then, remove the quesadillas from the pan and set them on a plate. 

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