Tofu is a food product made using the coagulation of the soy milk( extract of the soy grinded with water), just like how paneer is made by coagulating milk using citrus acids ( fruit acids) like vinegar. Tofu is made using other coagulant material.
How Tofu Is Different From Paneer
Tofu looks similar to paneer, but the main difference lies in the nutrition provided by these 2 food items. Comparing with paneer, tofu packs more vitamins and minerals; less sodium, fat, and contains no lactose and starch.
The absence of lactose and starch makes it an ideal food for lactose intolerants and diabetic patients. Tofu is also seen as a alternative to meat products as it provides good amount of protein.
Why Tofu Is Consumed Less In India
Despite having a great nutrition profile as compared to paneer, tofu is consumed less in India as compared with the paneer. In spite of being a big population, tofu is not widely available and consumed in India.
The reasons are as follows:
The availability of tofu is not as wide as paneer. On many dairy shops and supermarkets, tofu is not available which increases the demand-supply gap, thereby making the tofu price higher in proportion to the amount of paneer.
Due to similarity in looks and feel with paneer, many people misunderstood that tofu and paneer are the same food item.
A stigma is present in the society for the tofu products, especially for men's health. There are rumors that consuming tofu and soy-based items can hamper the male health leading to health complexities in men.
Majority of the Indian population lacto-vegetarian and they consume more animal-based milk products. Plant-based milk products are yet to be accepted here in the mainstream market and penetrated.
Many have heard about tofu but haven't consumed it here. It is seen as a fancy food item available only in selected restaurants and hotels catering Asian cuisine.
Adopting The Plant-Based Diet
With the recent rise in the awareness of the animal and dairy farms cruelties, more people are adopting the plant based diets and vegan alternatives to the dairy and animal products.