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Mentioned in the Vedas, dating as far back as 6000 BC of India Subcontinent, Paneer is a fresh cheese frequently used in South Asian Cuisine similar to queso blanco. Chhena or Chhana is an East Indian variant of Paneer that is eaten in Bangla, Orissa region of India and also in the neighboring country of Bangladesh.  Moist and soft crumbly in texture, it is used to make delicacies such as Sandesh, Mutter paneer and Rasgulla. It is a rich source of milk protein.

The procedure of making Chhena is similar to paneer but it is not pressed for a long time. In Orissa, the process of making the cheese is same that of ricotta. The milk is boiled, curdled with a small amount of whey and then strained and beaten in cheesecloth. The cheese is kneaded well till it becomes smooth and can be used in any dessert.

  • Made from pasteurized cow's or water buffalo's milk
  • Country of origin: Bangladesh and India
  • Region: East India
  • Family: Cottage
  • Type: fresh firm
  • Fat content: 20.8 g/100g
  • Calcium content: 208 mg/100g
  • Texture: chewy, crumbly and firm
  • Rind: rindless
  • Colour: white
  • Flavour: milky
  • Aroma: fresh, milky
  • Vegetarian: yes
  • Producers: Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (Amul), Jain Sweets and Milk Food Private Limited, mumbai
  • Synonyms: Chhena, Chhana

Other cheeses from India:

Top photos from Twitter

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