Cottage cheese known as “Paneer” in hindi is in many ways closer to the origins of cheese than most other types. In essence cottage cheese is cow’s milk that has been allowed to curdle. It is then drained and packed loosely. Curdling takes place when acids such as lemon or vinegar are added to the milk, here are Cottage cheese benefits and recipes.
Cottage cheese can be found in different styles and may differ slightly depending on the different types of milk that it may be prepared from, with different fat levels or there may also be some variation because of the method of preparation.
Cottage cheese is formed when casein, a milk protein, reacts with acid and coagulates. This is one of the favourite proteins for athletes, body builders, sprinters, and various sports enthusiasts because casein is a very slow-digesting protein and releases energy slowly. There is another protein, whey protein, which is a byproduct of cottage cheese preparation.
How to make Cottage Cheese (paneer)
1L whole or semi-skimmed milk
juice of 1 lemon
- Rinse a large non-reactive saucepan with cold water and then drain. The reason for this the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan quite as tightly and it is much easier to clean afterwards.
- Bring the milk to the boil in the saucepan. Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice. Stir well. Set aside.
- After about 5 minutes, the milk will begin to separate into curds and whey (a watery liquid), although it may take longer than 5 minutes.
- Once the curds have completely separated from the whey, strain through a sieve, reserving the whey.
- Don’t pour the acid whey down the drain. There are lots of things you can use it for, from making a tart and refreshing lemonade or adding it to your bread dough, to making ricotta cheese or using it in a marinade.
- Rinse under a cold tap to cool the curd. Push down to squeeze out as much water as possible. Cottage cheese is now ready to eat.
- Making paneer takes the cheese-making process one step further. Once you have squeezed out the excess water, put the curds in a clean cotton tea-towel or muslin cheesecloth. Twist and squeeze the cloth to remove excess liquid. Put the cloth over a sieve and leave for 3 to 4 hours to drain further.
- Put the cloth and paneer on a plate or chopping board. Top with another plate or board. Add heavy weights. The weights pressing down compress the cheese and squeeze out those final drops of liquid and will get a firm cream cheese.
Health Benefits of Cottage Cheese (paneer benefits)
Rich in Protein
Cottage cheese contain high amount of casein protein. It is believed that cow’s milk contains the highest amount of casein protein among various milks. The amount of protein contained in cottage cheese is ideal for vegetarians in supplying them with the required amount of daily protein. Cottage cheese does not require any amount of cooking and it can be consumed directly.
Teeth and Gum Health
Calcium is vital for the health of the teeth and gums. Cottage cheese is full of calcium to assist in bone development and prevent osteoporosis.
For Pregnant Women
Cottage cheese is recommended for pregnant women due to various essential nutrients found in it. For example, pregnant women need calcium and cottage cheese is a very good source for it. Cottage cheese also contains phosphorus, which is an important element found in bones that is also recommended during pregnancy.
Rich in Antioxidants
Selenium is an antioxidant that offers many things all at once – lowering the risk of prostate as well as colon cancer, protecting the cells and DNA from damage and many more. Cottage cheese is full of selenium that Cottage cheese benefits all age groups.
Cottage cheese contains phosphorous, which plays a major role in the formation of DNA and RNA. It is a major component in forming bones along with calcium. Phosphates in Cottage cheese benefits in digestion, excretion, and in the production and extraction of energy in the cells.
Muscle Development and Maintenance
The protein and calcium in cottage cheese play a major role in the development,repair and maintenance of the muscles.
Prevents Strokes and Controls Anxiety
Potassium acts as a fluid-balancing element in the body and is an important component in neural activities of the muscle and brain. Cottage cheese benefits to relieve muscle cramps. Intake of potassium on a regular basis prevents the risk of getting brain stroke, since it lowers blood pressure and the contraction of vessels. Cottage cheese benefits in decreasing stress levels and anxiety.
Cottage cheese is surprisingly low in calories. Cottage cheese, being a rich source of protein, acts like a rock star when it comes to cooking up a healthy breakfast. In this day and age where yogurt is still ruling the roost for being a healthy dessert after a meal, you can also incorporate cottage cheese benefits to churn out yummy desserts that can keep your weight in check.
Ways to have Cottage Cheese (paneer) in diet (Cottage cheese recipes,paneer recipes)
150 gm paneer (cottage cheese)
1/2 cup khoya – grated
4 green cardamom – crushed
Large pinch of kesar (saffron)
6 tbsp sugar
6 almonds – shredded thin lengthwise
- Blend the paneer, khoya and sugar/gur together till smooth. You can do this in a blender or use the back of a katori to mash them together.
- Mix in the elaichi(Cardamom) and set in a layer about 1/2″ thick.
- Refrigerate till set and cut into squares or diamonds and serve.
Paneer – 500 gms, chopped
Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 to 3 tsp
Onion – 1, chopped
Capsicum – 1, chopped
Green Chillies – 2, small, chopped
Tomato Ketchup – 3 tsp
Soy Sauce – 1 tsp
Vinegar – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Rice Flour – 3 tsp
Corn Flour – 3 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper Powder – 1/4 tsp
Garlic Paste – 1/2 tsp
Oil as required
Coriander Leaves – handful, chopped
Spring Onions – handful, chopped
Salt as per taste
- In a bowl mix the rice flour, corn flour, red chilli powder, pepper powder and garlic paste with little water.
- Mix well without any lumps.
- Add the paneer pieces and mix again.
- Keep aside for few minutes.
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium flame.
- Fry the marinated paneer pieces for 30 seconds or until golden brown.
- Remove and drain excess oil.
- Heat little oil in another pan. Add the ginger garlic paste, green chillies, onions and capsicums.
- Stir-fry for a minute or until onions turn light golden brown.
- Add the soy sauce, tomato sauce, vinegar and stir well. Add sugar and mix well.
- Add the fried paneer pieces and stir until evenly coated.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and spring onions. Remove from flame.