Last Updated : Jul 19,2024

What is paneer, cottage cheese, chenna? glossary | benefits | uses | recipes |
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Also Known as
Cottage cheese, chenna

What is paneer, cottage cheese, chenna?

A vegetarian delight, paneer also known as cottage cheese is a soft, white, crumbly cheese which is used widely in continental, oriental and Indian cuisines. It's simple, fresh versatile flavour makes it a delicious addition to any recipe. Paneer can be made at home by boiling whole milk.

An ingredient with acidic properties is added to coagulate the milk. The whey water formed is either discarded or used in various preparations and the cheese is harvested. This cheese is called chenna. The chenna is then pressed to form a block of cheese. This cheese block is called paneer. Paneer is a fresh cheese and is never aged. Since it contains no rennet, it is perfectly safe for vegetarians to have.

Chopped paneer
Paneer can be chopped with a sharp knife. Cut it into half and then chop the half portion into another half. Chop ingredients by cutting them in small pieces approximately ¼ inch in diameter, although the chopped food doesn't need to be exactly the same size. If the recipe calls for the ingredients to be "coarsely chopped," make the pieces slightly larger
Crumbled paneer
Crumble the paneer with your hands. You can disintegrate them into big or small pieces as desired. Often used in stuffing parathas or to make Paneer Bhurji.
Grated paneer
Paneer can be grated thinly or thickly using a grater as required by the recipe. Used in Parathas, Tikkis, Kheer etc.
Mashed paneer
Mash paneer with fingers to attain a rough, uneven texture. Mashed Paneer can be used to make soft balls either added to savoury or sweet preparation.
Paneer cubes
Dice or cube ingredients by cutting them into uniform strips. Line up the strips with your non-working hand and cut them into square pieces. Cube them as per the recipe's need regarding the size of the cubes, (for example, "cut into ½-inch cubes"). Small Cubes are wonderful addition to salads whereas large ones are used for veggies.

Paneer strips
Cut down the paneer in half lengthwise. Place the flat side of one half paneer on the cutting board, using the knife make vertical cuts, at a right angle to the cutting board. Cut down through the rest of the paneer in similar manner of the desired thickness.
Sliced paneer
Slice using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly as the recipe requirement, can used for making pakodas or sweet dishes.

How to select paneer, cottage cheese, chenna

• Paneer is readily available in grocery stores in small and large packets, in cube form.
• Confirm the manufacturing date for maximum softness and freshness.
• It is also available in local dairy outlets, where it is freshly made everyday and sold as required. When buying paneer ensure that it is completely white in colour and that it is soft to touch, doesn't sport black spots, or is yellow in colour.

Culinary Uses of paneer, cottage cheese, chenna in Indian Cooking

• Paneer is a versatile dairy product, it is used desserts, snacks or for main course cooking.
• Chilli paneer, paneer makhani, paneer pasanda, shahi paneer, palak paneer, paneer pakora or paneer bhurji are all made with paneer.
• Paneer kneaded in dough or paneer paratha is a very healthy breakfast option for all age groups.
• The cottage cheese is often used in curries since it absorbs flavours readily.
• When sliced into cubes and deep fried, the cheese tends to hold its shape very well.
• It can also be crumbled into a curry, taking advantage of the cheese's naturally crumbly nature.
• The paneer appears in desserts and as a filling for stuffed foods and breads as well.

How to store paneer, cottage cheese, chenna

• Store the paneer in enough water in a container. The water has to be changed every 2 days, after which it can be refrigerated again.
• It stays fresh for a week when stored under these conditions.
• If it turns sour or has lost its softness, then place it in warm water for about 5 minutes before using.

Nutritional Information of Paneer, Cottage Cheese

One cup chopped Paneer.
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.
Nutritional Information for 1 cup chopped Paneer is 144 grams. The values of Paneer are taken with it being made from Buffalo milk.

420 Calories
19.3 grams of Protein
11.37 grams of Carbs
33.1 grams of Fat

691 g of Calcium = 115% of RDA (about 600 mg)

400 mg of Phosphorus : 66.6% of RDA (about 600 mg for adult)

33.1 g of Fat = 50% of RDA (about 66 g)

19.3 g of Protein = 35% of RDA ( about 55 g)

527 mcg of Vitamin A = 11% of RDA (about 4,800 mcg)

Health benefits of paneer, cottage cheese, chenna

Paneer contains high quality protein and calcium which aids in weight loss. Since paneer is low in carbs and high in protein it gets digested slowly and hence good for diabetesPotassium in paneer helps to reduce the effect of high sodium, by lowering blood pressure and contraction of blood vessels, resulting in improved heart health and reduced risk of heart attack. Great for weight loss and read the interesting article on is paneer good for you? Low fat paneer is has all the same nutrients as full-fat paneer, but it is minus the fat. 

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