Difference Between Paneer and Mozzarella Cheese

Difference between edible items are mostly governed by their taste and texture. The dairy products are even more difficult to differentiate between because of the unanimity in colors. In the same context, mozzarella cheese and paneer are confused in some cuisines.

Paneer vs Mozzarella Cheese

The main difference between Paneer and Mozzarella Cheese is that paneer is mostly used as the main ingredient in savory dishes while mozzarella cheese is used as a topping, like other types of cheese variants. The existing differences can can be linked to their origin, preparation method, and shelf life. Both are made up of milk only.

Paneer vs Mozzarella Cheese

Paneer is also confused with tofu at times. Indian cottage cheese would be a better way to describe the composition of paneer. It can be cubed, sliced, or grated for using in a variety of dishes. Paneer is a rich source of protein and is highly recommended for growing kids and lean adults.

Mozzarella Cheese is a type of cheese, just like feta cheese, etc. It is most commonly used as a topping on pizza. It is much heavy and has a lot of fat-increasing ingredients. Cheesy dishes are much used as appetizers. The fast food industry is driven by cheese to a large extent.

Comparison Table Between Paneer and Mozzarella Cheese

Parameters of ComparisonPaneerMozzarella Cheese
Common DishesPaneer is more common in Indian cuisine. Mozzarella Cheese is used in Italian cuisines widely.
Method of CookingIt can be prepared dry as well as in gravy. It has no unique preparation.
LongevityPaneer lasts maximum for a week. Mozzarella Cheese has a long life because of added preservatives.
ConsistencyThe consistency of paneer remains unchanged even on heating. This types of cheese converts into semi-liquid flowy form on heating.
Method of PreparationPaneer has a simple method of preparation, that is, addition of tartaric acid or lemon to boiling milk. Mozzarella Cheese is prepared using spun paste cheese making process.

What is Paneer?

Paneer is a household dish in India. Though it has spread its branches to other countries as well, the popularity is quite high in Indian dishes. It can act as a dosa filling, pizza topping, and can be consumed in the roasted form as well (commonly referred to as paneer tikka). It is believed that growing toddlers should consume good amounts of paneer as it enhances development. The attributes of semi-solid cheese can be connected with the texture of paneer.

Paneer is highly nutritious and less fatty in comparison to any kind of cheese. It might turn hard if stored in the refrigerator for long. A common method of preparation is soaking it in warm water before adding it to the final dish. This ensures that the tenderness is retained. The spongy nature is higher than that of mozzarella cheese. Paneer can easily be consumed raw. Some households also prepare numerous fried delicacies using the same.

Paneer also comes in different forms. Vegan paneer is also available these days. For health conscious people, paneer can be prepared using toned milk. The calorie content is higher than the fat content in all the preparations. Due to the addition of different veggies, the overall nutritional content might increase considerably.

What is Mozzarella Cheese?

Mozzarella Cheese is one of the favorite toppings used in the Italian cuisine. It is best known for the pulling nature while separating two slices of pizza or while serving a dish. Though some people consume it in the raw form, it is best consumed after heating for a few seconds. The best way to enhance the cheesy nature is to cover a lid over the dish after spreading grated or chopped mozzarella cheese. After a minute or so, the taste and looks are enhanced to a considerable extent.

Rennet is also an important ingredient used in the process of conversion of milk to cheese (of any type, including mozzarella). Mozzarella Cheese is a coagulated form of milk. Even on heating, it does not become as flowy as milk because the intermolecular spaces have changed because of the action of bacteria. The amount of lactose is quite high. The quantity of milk is reduced and thus, the fatty nature is enhanced. Mozzarella cheese cannot be consumed in large quantities, unlike paneer and tofu.

Mozzarella Cheese has a quite complicated process of preparation. Bacteria is added to milk and then it is left for sometime. In the meanwhile, these bacteria multiple and give rise to the formation of cheese. Many chefs have linked this process to the fermentation process used while curdling of milk, though the type of bacteria differ.

Main Differences Between Paneer and Mozzarella Cheese

  1. Paneer is more related to the Indian cuisine while mozzarella cheese has roots in Italy.
  2. Preparing paneer offers varieties like dry and gravy but mozzarella cheese has no preparation method like complete dishes.
  3. The shelf life of paneer is lesser than that of mozzarella cheese.
  4. Paneer remains solid even after heating. Mozzarella cheese, on heating for a few seconds, changes into a flowy state.
  5. For making paneer from milk, lemon or citric acid is added. Mozzarella cheese has a complex method of preparation, known as the spun paste cheese preparation method.

Conclusion

While storage instructions vary from item to item, the basic guidelines are more or less similar for all dairy products. Paneer is not as prone to molding as mozzarella cheese. A lot of Indian households believe in preparing the former dairy product at home. The same is not that easily possible with cheese and its counterparts.

The importance of usage differs based on the dish’s expected taste. If paneer is used in place of mozzarella cheese or vice versa, the preparation might go in vain. Thus, it is essential to store edibles in such a manner that they can be chosen easily while adding either as toppings or while preparing a dish from scratch.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1471-0307.2010.00653.x
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13197-018-3408-3
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