January 22, 2023

Cottage cheese isn’t paneer

Paneer, a favourite Indian cheese, is quite different from cottage cheese. Cottage cheese, popularised in America, has a very crumbly texture as opposed to the firm texture of paneer. The macros are entirely different. Cottage cheese might be for vegetarians what chicken breast is for non vegetarians.

The common ground is the absence of carbs and the fact that both cottage cheese and paneer are consumed fresh unlike aged cheeses such as cheddar. Almost all cheeses start with curdled milk which separates protein and fat from carbs. How much fat the cheese contains is determined by how much fat is in the milk it is made from.

Paneer is 80 percent fat and around 20 percent protein. Cottage cheese flips this around and is found in different ratios ranging from 50% fat - 50% protein all the way till 80% protein- 20% fat. Cottage cheese cannot be used in tikkas or subjis. It works better as a dip or sauce base for pastas and in desserts, sandwiches, quesadillas etc.

Cottage cheese is commonly made using skim milk containing almost no fat and cream is added to improve the texture of the cheese. Cottage cheese is also processed with rennet and rather than pressing it into a firm texture a’la paneer. It is served like curd is in Indian cuisine.

Cottage cheese can be a terrific addition to your daily diet for one big reason: there are almost no other vegetarian foods outside of protein isolates, gluten isolate and soybean flour which contain more than 40% protein. For this reason alone, it is worth the effort to seek out and include cottage cheese in your daily eating. Cottage cheese is not commonly found on Indian store shelves. Here is one brand we have tried and tested:

About Adarsh

- I run a strength and conditioning facility in Chennai, India
- I work with my clients to make training and eating for better body composition a part of everyday life
- I coach online and in-person
- I design and manufacture strength training equipment for use in our strength training facility