What Is The Difference Between Tofu And Paneer?
Vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise. India has a whopping 39% of vegetarians, the most in the world.
However, despite the rise in plant-based diets, there are still a number of people who are unaware of the differences between tofu and paneer, two of the most popular vegetarian/vegan foods.
Many Indians assume that Paneer is just the Indian or ‘desi’ name of Tofu.
Although Paneer and tofu look the same, they are vastly different from each other, including how they taste.
So, let’s learn the difference between them.
Differences between Tofu and Paneer
These are the major differences between Tofu and Paneer:
How are they made?
The prominent difference between Tofu and Paneer is how they are made.
Tofu is a bean curd that is made from Soybean milk. Soy milk is coagulated with the help of calcium or magnesium salt and is then pressed into blocks.
Tofu is a vegan food and is high in protein.
On the other hand, Paneer is a soft cheese made from curdled animal milk (cow, buffalo, or goat).
Paneer is a type of Indian cottage cheese, which comes from curds (a mixture of milk solids and water) separated from the whey (the liquid part). The curds are then pressed into blocks and dried. This makes paneer a solid block of curdled milk.
Tofu originated in China and is a staple food in Asian cuisine. Today, it is consumed as a part of a vegan diet all over the world.
Paneer originated in India. That is why it is also called Indian Cottage Cheese.
Vegan or Vegetarian
Tofu is made from soybean milk, a plant-based product, and is vegan.
On the other hand, paneer is made from the milk of animals like cows and buffalos. Paneer is vegetarian.
Tofu is rich in protein, iron, calcium, and fiber. 100 grams or 3.5 ounces of tofu contains 144 calories.
Paneer also has an abundance of calories, protein, carbs, calcium, and fat. 100 grams or 3.5 ounces of paneer contains 321 calories.
Tofu vs Paneer- Which is better?
Both Tofu and paneer are delicious sources of protein, iron, and calcium. However, it depends on your preferences on which of the two is better.
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If you are looking to lose weight, then tofu is the best choice for you as it has higher protein and fewer calories.
Whereas, if you are looking to improve your overall health, then paneer is better for you as it contains protein, calcium, iron, carbs, and calories.
The bottom line
Tofu is prepared from soy, a plant-based food, whereas paneer is a type of cheese made from animal milk.
Tofu can be incorporated into both vegan and vegetarian diets. On the other hand, paneer can only be used in vegetarian diets, not vegan as it is a dairy product.
We hope that this article was helpful to you in understanding the differences between tofu and paneer.