As a top vegan restaurant in Vancouver, Curry and Roti Vancouver Kitchen has been a pioneer in serving authentic Indian cuisine in the Lower Mainland, with a wide variety of choices for all dietary preferences. We asked ourselves how to reproduce the indulgence of creamy, melt-in-your-mouth paneer for our vegan friends and family. We hope you enjoy our flavour-packed journey to find the ultimate dish of plant-based Indian food!

The Paneer Predicament

Paneer, the fresh white cheese found in so many Indian dishes, was for us the great white whale of vegan Indian cooking: widely used and very versatile, but an ingredient that plant-based eaters have long missed out on. It was time to bring paneer into the plant kingdom.

Tofu Trials and Tribulations

Any stop on the vegan paneer express will begin, of course, with the most obvious of vegan cheeses: extra-firm tofu. This had the right texture but was, frankly, missing the je ne sais quoi. We marinated it, we pressed it, and we whispered encouraging words about it. The result was not the most “marvellous” of tofu paneers, but the most “meh.”

Nut Cheese Nuances

Next, with our collective experience of being a leading vegan restaurant in Vancouver since inception, we embarked on a quest for nut cheeses: cashews and almonds blended, cultured, and pressed into paneer-like rectangles. The taste was intriguing—no doubt—though the texture was strange. The dishes came out tasting more like a curdled pesto than a creamy curry.

The Chickpea Cheese Chance

On a whimsical impulse one night, we tried chickpea flour. We beat, we kneaded, we shaped, and we prayed. The texture is intact, but the taste is way too bland. We knew we were making progress, but we still had more experimenting to do. However, before we tried again, we ate it all because, you know, we do not waste.

Soy Milk Sorcery

And just as we were about to reach for the proverbial kitchen towel, we did what many before us had done: we reconstructed the “curd” in soy milk. All that was needed was a tad of acidification and the tiniest sprinkle of nutritional yeast. The texture was spot-on, and the flavour was not so overpowering that it would dominate any savoury additions. It had just enough flavour to complement the spices in our culinary preparations without overwhelming them.

The Perfect Plant-Based Paneer

So after a few months of experiments, dozens of taste tests, and more than a few food disasters, we finally succeeded. Allow us to present the vegan paneer substitute that you have always fantasized about:

  1. Creamy and tender, just like traditional paneer.
  2. Can absorb flavours beautifully.
  3. Rich in protein and completely plant-based.
  4. Free from common allergens like nuts.

Join the Vegan Paneer Revolution

If you happen to be an ardent vegan or are simply curious about plant-based delicacies, then we cordially invite you to try our non-dairy paneer. At Curry and Roti Vancouver Kitchen, we guarantee that you will ask for more. Call us now to learn why we remain one of the most preferred and trusted vegan restaurants in Vancouver!

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