Monday, September 30, 2013

Homemade chenna / paneer

I have come across recipes, some calling for chenna and others for paneer. I always thought that both are same but a slight doubt still lingered in my mind and hence I turned to google for more light on this. Wikipedia says that the slight difference lies in the fact that  chenna  is softer because unlike paneer, it is not pressed ( or, in some cases, pressed for a shorter period than paneer ). Nevertheless, most people use these names interchangeably.

Well, whats in a name ? Both paneer and chenna are my favorite ingredients to work with. The freshness of homemade paneer / chenna is truly something to talk about. So here I am , sharing this wonderful recipe for you to raise that wow factor of your paneer dishes a few notches higher :)

Ingredients : 

Full fat milk - 1 litre ( gave me 164 gms paneer )
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp ( or more if required )
You can use vinegar instead of lemon juice.

Method :
1. Line a strainer/ colander with a muslin cloth and place the strainer over a vessel to collect the whey.
2.  Heat milk in a pan and bring it to a boil.
3. Remove from flame and wait for about a minute.
4. Add the lemon juice slowly, stirring all the while till the milk curdles ( you will see the milk solids separate from the greenish whey ). Don’t add any more lemon.
5.  Quickly strain this curdled milk through the strainer / colander. The cheese will get collected in the cloth and the whey will drain out into the vessel underneath. You can use this whey in dals, soups or for making chapati dough.
6.  Run cold water through the cheese. This is to make it soft and also to remove the lemon flavor.
7.  Bring the edges of the cloth together and tie into a knot.  Squeeze out all water by pressing over the cheese.
8.  Tie this cloth with the cheese above your kitchen sink and keep hanging for about 2 - 3 hrs. This will drain out all the water.
9.  After draining the water by hanging, remove the cheese on a clean  towel / napkin and place some heavy weight on the cheese so that any moisture , if still present is removed. The pressing time will be half and hour for chenna and about 2 hours for paneer.
10.  Then gently press the chenna with your palm back and forth to remove lumps and knead into a smooth dough. If you want neatly cut squares of paneer, shape the dough into a rectangular slab ( see picture above ) and refrigerate for a while till it becomes a little harder , just enough to cut into sqares with neat edges.


  1. Paneer came out good huh :)...btw,thanx 4 stopping by my blog ...ur blog is awesome too with good recipes..All the best 2 u :)

  2. Thank you so much Manju :) Do keep in touch.