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Paneer vs. Chena: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 21, 2024
Paneer is a non-melting Indian cheese made by curdling milk with acid, firm in texture; Chena is a softer, crumbly form of cheese, often used in sweets, made similarly but not pressed.
Paneer vs. Chena

Key Differences

Paneer and Chena are both derived from milk. Paneer, known for its firmness, is a staple in savory dishes. Chena, while also made by curdling milk, retains a moist, crumbly texture, making it a favorite in desserts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024
In the process of making Paneer and Chena, the milk is curdled using an acidic agent. However, Paneer is pressed and set into a block, contributing to its dense texture, whereas Chena remains loose and soft.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024
Paneer's culinary use is diverse, ranging from grilled paneer to paneer curries, owing to its ability to retain shape. In contrast, Chena's softness makes it ideal for sweets like Rasgulla, where its texture is pivotal.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024
Nutritional profiles of Paneer and Chena are quite similar, being rich in proteins. Yet, Paneer often has a higher fat content due to the pressing process, while Chena is comparatively lighter.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024
In regional Indian cuisine, Paneer is a common ingredient in North Indian dishes, offering a meaty texture. Chena, however, is more prevalent in East Indian desserts, celebrated for its delicate, melt-in-the-mouth quality.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Texture

Firm and can be cut into shapes
Soft and crumbly
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Preparation

Curdled milk pressed into solid blocks
Curdled milk not pressed, kept crumbly
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Culinary Use

Used in savory dishes
Predominantly used in sweets
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Nutritional Content

Higher in fat
Lighter, often lower in fat
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Regional Popularity

Prominent in North Indian cuisine
Integral to East Indian sweets
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024
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Paneer and Chena Definitions

Paneer

A non-melting fresh cheese common in South Asian cuisine.
I made a spinach and paneer curry for dinner.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 17, 2024

Chena

Fresh cheese curds from coagulated milk, used in desserts.
He gently kneaded the chena for making Sandesh.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 17, 2024

Paneer

A dairy ingredient, known for not melting under heat.
Paneer cubes hold their shape well in high-temperature cooking.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 17, 2024

Chena

An essential component in East Indian confectionery.
The sweetshop is famous for its chena-based sweets.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 17, 2024

Paneer

A versatile dairy product used in various vegetarian dishes.
The restaurant's specialty is a rich paneer butter masala.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 17, 2024
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Chena

A soft, crumbly cheese used in Indian sweets.
Chena is the key ingredient in making delicious Rasgullas.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 17, 2024

Paneer

Indian cottage cheese prepared by curdling milk with a fruit or vegetable-derived acid.
Paneer tikka is marinated paneer grilled to perfection.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 17, 2024

Chena

A dairy product formed by acid coagulation of milk, not pressed.
Chena is softer and more delicate than paneer.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 17, 2024

Paneer

A protein-rich food item, important in vegetarian diets.
Paneer is a good source of protein for vegetarians.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 17, 2024

Chena

Moist, acid-set cheese, perfect for sweets.
She used chena to prepare a batch of homemade sweets.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 17, 2024

Paneer

A soft unsalted and unripened cheese made from milk that is simmered, curdled using lemon juice, vinegar, yogurt, or a similarly acidic substance, and then drained and pressed in cheesecloth.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Paneer

A soft, non-matured, Indian cheese.
The spinach was mixed with paneer to make a satisfying meal.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 15, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is paneer suitable for frying?

Yes, paneer's firm texture makes it ideal for frying.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

How is paneer made?

Paneer is made by curdling milk with an acid and then pressing the curds.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Can paneer be eaten raw?

Yes, paneer can be consumed raw and is often added to salads.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

What dishes is paneer used in?

Paneer is used in a variety of dishes like curries, kebabs, and snacks.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

How is chena different from paneer?

Chena is softer and moister than paneer and is not pressed into a block.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Can chena be used in savory dishes?

While uncommon, chena can be used in savory dishes but is mainly for sweets.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

What is paneer?

Paneer is a firm, non-melting fresh cheese used in South Asian cuisine.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Can paneer be frozen?

Yes, paneer can be frozen, but it may alter its texture slightly.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Is paneer vegan?

No, paneer is made from milk and is not vegan.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Does chena have lactose?

Yes, chena contains lactose as it is made from milk.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Is chena healthy?

Chena is rich in protein but should be consumed in moderation due to its sugar content in sweets.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

What sweets are made from chena?

Sweets like Rasgulla, Sandesh, and Chum Chum are made from chena.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Can I make chena at home?

Yes, chena can be made at home by curdling milk and not pressing the curds.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

What's the best acid to curdle milk for paneer?

Lemon juice or vinegar are commonly used to curdle milk for paneer.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

How much protein is in paneer?

Paneer is high in protein, with about 18-20 grams per 100 grams.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

What is chena?

Chena is a soft, crumbly cheese used primarily in Indian desserts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Is chena good for diabetics?

Chena in its basic form is suitable, but sweetened chena dishes should be avoided by diabetics.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Is paneer gluten-free?

Yes, paneer is naturally gluten-free.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

How long does paneer last in the fridge?

Paneer can last up to a week when stored properly in the fridge.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

Can chena be used for weight loss?

Chena can be part of a weight loss diet but should be consumed in moderation.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 21, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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