What is a Difference Between Paneer and Tofu?

Paneer and tofu are a favorite amongst vegetarians and are also their good source of protein.

Both paneer and tofu are soft, white, and mild, and provide various nutrients in different amounts.

What is Paneer?

Paneer is a fresh cheese made from cow’s or buffalo’s milk by curdling it with lemon juice or any other acid. It is also commonly known as Indian cottage cheese.

Depending on how long it has been pressed, the texture of the paneer ranges from soft to spongy to slightly firm. Also, like cheese, paneer does not melt on cooking.

It is cut into cubes and added to curries and is used as an additive ingredient in many Indian, Pakistani, Afghani, and South Asian dishes.

100 grams of paneer contains 321 calories, 25 grams of protein, 25 grams of fat. 3.57 grams carbohydrates, 31% of the daily value of calcium, and 2% of the daily value of potassium.(1)

What is Tofu?

Tofu is made by curdling soy milk and is then pressed to get it into a compact form.

It looks just like paneer by the ingredients are different. And it is not a dairy product like paneer, as soy contains no dairy.

Tofu originated in China and today is used all over the world. Tofu is mainly used in soups and stir-fries.

A 100 grams of tofu contains 144 calories, 17.3 grams of protein, 8.72 grams of fat, 2.78 grams of carbohydrates, 2.3 grams of fiber, 53% daily value of calcium, 15 % daily value of iron, and 5% daily value of potassium.(2)

Comparatively, tofu contains more calcium, fiber, iron, potassium, and calcium than paneer. It also contains beneficial plant compounds known as isoflavones that are not present in paneer.(3,4)

Similarities Between Paneer and Tofu

Paneer and tofu both are foods that are available in white blocks and both are parts of many dishes. Both are produced by curdling and pressing and have a mild taste.

Both are excellent sources of protein and calcium for vegetarians. This means both paneer and tofu contain all the amino acids required in the diet.(5)

Protein is essential for maintaining health and muscle mass and eating both paneer and tofu can help meet the protein requirement of the body.(6)

Differences Between Paneer and Tofu

Paneer and tofu are not similar in all spheres.

Tofu contains isoflavones that are not present in paneer. Isoflavones play a role in the prevention of certain diseases.(4)

Isoflavones-rich soy foods are linked with lowering the risk of osteoporosis, heart diseases, and some cancers.(7,8,9)

Also, tofu is completely plant-based food and can fit into vegan diets that exclude animal products. Paneer is made from dairy, therefore, cannot be included in a vegan diet but can be a part of the vegetarian diet.

Also, tofu needs to be drained before using it in any recipe. People prefer putting it into tofu drains to drain out any additional liquid.

Panner and tofu can be incorporated in dishes and are used all over the world and are a wonderful addition to stir-fries, curries, and soups. It easily fits in any type of cuisine be it Indian, Chinese, Mexican, or Italian.

They might look similar but paneer is cheese and tofu are made from soy. But, both are good protein and calcium sources. Choose any according to your diet type.