Can You Freeze Paneer? Steps for Freezing Paneer
Paneer often regarded as cottage cheese in the US and other countries is a high protein-rich food. Indians love cooking different types of curries with paneer and each curry has a distinct flavor. Do you wish to know how to freeze paneer? This blog will help you to do so.
Before we jump into the process of freezing paneer let’s talk about it a bit. Paneer is made by churning full-fat milk with an acidic liquid like vinegar or citric acid. In case you are making paneer at home you can do so by curdling milk with lemon juice.
Store-bought paneer is usually sold in cuboids that are wrapped in plastic bags. There might be some difference in texture between store-bought and homemade paneer. Despite that, if you can cook the gravy of paneer appropriately you can mask the texture issues easily.
Does Frozen Paneer taste good?
Yes, you won’t find any significant difference in the taste. Paneer frozen in the freezer will retain its flavors intact and show minimal changes in texture. Thus, if you have any queries can you freeze paneer? Then, this blog will guide you through it.
Nutritional Information On Paneer
Paneer does a lot to your body on the microscopic level. It has got a surplus source of protein in it that compliments the overall development of your physique. Especially if you are a vegetarian and don’t know how to maintain your muscle growth then eating paneer regularly will surely help.
Here’s what 100g of paneer looks like:
- Carbs 22.5 g
- Protein 16 g
- Fat 15.5 g
- Energy 299 kcal
- Water 41.5 g
- Calcium 597 mg
Paneer helps in the complete physical and mental development of the body. Therefore, it is advised for kids to start eating paneer at an early age. Eating paneer regularly helps your bones and teeth to be stronger. It is because it contains a sufficient amount of calcium and vitamin D in it to support bone development.
Apart from bone development paneer also aids in maintaining good gut health and supporting immune development. The presence of microelements like magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins, etc. increases the nutritional benefits of paneer.
How to Freeze Paneer?
Now that you know the importance of paneer you might want to know how to freeze the same. Here’s a quick guide on how to do so for two types of paneer- fried/cooked paneer and uncooked paneer.
Steps to Freeze Uncooked Paneer:
So, if you have bought an extra ounce of paneer or made a huge amount of it at home. Follow these steps to store your extra uncooked paneer for up to 6 months. (Remember these steps are for fresh paneer that isn’t mixed with fried ones.)
- The first thing you can do is make small cubes of paneer by chopping it roughly. It is okay if you don’t get equal sizes and shapes of the cubes. Take a clean knife and chop your lump of paneer into medium size cubes.
- Next line a baking tray with baking paper. Place these cubes on the lined tray and keep the tray in the freezer. Allow the paneer cubes to freeze for more than 2 hours. This way the paneer will start to freeze from the outer region. It is okay if your paneer remains a little bit soft from the core.
- Now take out the baking tray from the freezer and add the frozen paneer cubes into air-tight bags/ziplock bags. Immediately remove any excess air in the bag by gently pressing it down.
- Add stickers or homemade labels to these bags. Labels should contain the date you are freezing paneer and whether it is cooked or not.
- Viola! You are done. Now toss these bags back in the freezer and use them anywhere for 6 months.
Steps to Freeze Fried Paneer
Believe it or not, the best way to freeze paneer is to fry them before freezing. Why? Because if you freeze any type of paneer it has a change in its physical texture which makes it softer after freezing. To avoid this from happening it is advised to fry paneer cubes beforehand. Here’s how to do that:
- Similar to the steps mentioned above, cut the paneer cube into small cubes so that they can be easily stored. Cubes should be sufficiently large enough so that they don’t break while cooking.
- Add any oil into a frying pan that has the least to no aroma. Once the oil is sufficiently hot start adding paneer cubes to it. Fry them for a couple of minutes or till the edges of the paneer turn crisp golden brown. Do not forget to cook all sides of the paneer cubes evenly.
- Then turn off the flame and add the paneer cubes to a large bowl or plate so that they can cool down. You can rub them with paper tissues at this stage to remove excess oil from them.
- Once the paneer cubes are back to room temperature, freeze them as you did in the previous steps by placing them on a baking tray.
- After your paneer cubes are frozen for a couple of hours you can toss them in plastic bags in an air-tight environment. Label them and store them in the fridge. This is just what it takes!
How to Freeze Paneer Dishes?
Can you freeze different recipes made from paneer? You can freeze paneer dishes by following an easy method. Take appropriate containers and fill them with your recipe. Seal them tight and add labels to the containers. Then, shift them to the freezer and freeze them.
Ways to Freeze Paneer Curry
Cooking meals daily can be a cumbersome task for working individuals. Therefore, it can be helpful if you can store your cooked meal for an entire week. Luckily, you can store paneer gravies for a week without any change in taste!
- Cook your curry as per your taste and then transfer it to a large bowl to cool down.
- Once the gravy is at room temperature shift it to an air-tight box. Air-tight containers are a must when storing cooked gravies.
- Tap the box two times so that any traces of air bubbles can rise up and burst. Close the lid of the box. Move the box to the refrigerator.
- Now you can use this cooked curry for a week and you won’t feel any change in the taste of the curry.
How long can you freeze cooked paneer?
You can freeze cooked paneer for 1 month. To preserve your recipes, you can put them in suitable freezer-safe materials. Make use of a freezer-safe container or bag and put them in the fridge for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for a month.
Tips for Freezing Paneer Curry
You might have heard steps to freeze pasta salad or other recipes, but, freezing paneer curry is slightly different. One can freeze paneer curry effectively by following these tips. However, if you wish you can also freeze uncooked paneer and use it later in your recipe. Many people will suggest that you do not need to freeze them through, but, it is advisable to do so for better results in the long run.
- You can freeze paneer for 6 months but try to eat it within 4 months. It is better to abstain from eating paneer stored in the fridge for longer durations.
- Freezing cooked paneer is better than freezing raw or fresh paneer. Therefore, even if takes a bit longer it is advisable to store fried paneer in the freezer.
- Cut paneer into medium size cubes. This aids in even coating gravy/curry on paneer cubes.
- Remove the amount of paneer you’ll need for a recipe and keep the others in the freezer again immediately. It is better to not refreeze paneer as this alters the texture of the same.
Paneer is a staple food for many Indians. Many times people confuse it with tofu but there’s a slight difference in the tastes of the two. Follow the steps given above and the paneer can freeze for 6 months. You can try recipes like palak paneer, masala paneer, etc.