Paneer is one of those meals attached to countries like India, Bangladesh, Southern Asia, and Afghan countries.
Why isn’t Paneer Vegan
To start with, paneer is white cheese and to the vegan, the mention of cheese is already a non-vegan signal. For any vegan, paneer is out of the question.
This is because its processing involves adding food acid to warm dairy milk to separate the curd from the whey. After that, the curd is placed in muslin to drain off excess liquid after which it is dipped in or run under water to give it a solid texture. This makes it cheese that doesn’t melt.
As many old traditional meals, paneer has other variations as well. Here is an illustration on how it can be made:
How Paneer can be Vegan
Vegans have options, and for paneer, there are companies that have come up with vegan cheese options that are milk free but taste equally great.
The process of making vegan paneer is a little different. Different types of protein masses are combined with lactic bacteria, oils, emulsifiers, and thickeners to form vegan cheese. If you are used to the traditional paneer, you may notice a significant difference in terms of taste.
However, other companies that have achieved an almost similar taste to that of ordinary cheese by employing different processing techniques. With this in mind, though, a little caution will go a long way to guide you during purchase. Take note of filler ingredients in over processed paneer in the name of a cheese-like taste. They may not bear the originality you are looking for.
Vegans successfully prepare traditional paneer dishes using tofu. Check out this recipe by Vegan Zombie: