21 Easy Paneer Recipes
It’s easy to transform a block of paneer into a tasty, healthy and satisfying dinner! These recipes range from curry house favorites made easy, to fusion concepts you’ve never considered before. Paneer cheese makes it so easy to eat vegetarian… prepare to fall in love with it!
When you have a block of paneer to hand, you’re well on your way to a tasty meatless dinner. This versatile cheese is perfectly at home in the Indian cuisine it originates from, but is also happy to find its way into other genres.
Paneer stands in well for meat, providing not just a protein source but a luxurious texture to the meal that won’t let you feel like you’re missing out. It’s easy to cook, easy to love. I’ve rounded up several ideas – some more traditional, some not at all – for how you can enjoy this cheese on a busy evening!
What is Paneer?
Paneer is an Indian cheese which, like my beloved halloumi, doesn’t melt and can be grilled, fried and enjoyed as a substantial protein in a meal. Paneer is often found lightly fried and added to curries, or grilled on skewers, and it’s just a dream. It differs from halloumi in that it’s softer, less salty, and has a milkyness to it that contrasts perfectly with strong or spicy flavors. You can’t not like paneer, guys.
There are some differences across different brands. Fresh paneer can be crumbly and delicate – delicious but potentially be harder to cook. Firmer paneer is more robust with more bite – also delicious but can err towards rubbery if it’s not great quality. Try all that you can and find your favorite!
Where can I find it?
In the UK, it is generally available in supermarkets. Here are my thoughts:
- I personally enjoy Everest brand (firm and easy to work with, not at all rubbery) which is carried by Waitrose, Ocado and Marks & Spencer.
- I find the slightly softer, crumblier Apetina delicious for curries but it can be harder to work with – it’s stocked by Sainsbury’s and across Europe.
- I don’t recommend Tesco’s own brand which is bland and rubbery.
There are brands of paneer stocked in supermarkets all over Europe, the USA & Canada, Australia & New Zealand. While I can’t speak for the rest of the world’s supermarkets, I would always recommend trying an Indian market if you can’t find it in your usual stores. Failing that, you could even ask an Indian restaurant to sell you some. It’s really worth tracking down!