Chhena (Nepali: छेना Hindi: छेना[ˈtʃʰeːnaː]); Odia: ଛେନା [tʃʰena]) or Chhana (Bengali: ছানা [tʃʰana]) is fresh, unripened curd cheese made from water buffalo milk. A crumbly and moist form of farmers cheese or paneer, it is used to make desserts such as rasgulla. It is created in a similar process to paneer except it is not pressed for as long. The earliest reference of cheese in India dates back to 1400 BCE.
In Odisha, the typical process is like that of ricotta: the milk is boiled and then curdled with a small amount of whey, and the resulting coagulated component is collected and wrapped in cheesecloth, strained and beaten thoroughly, until it becomes quite firm. This mixture is kneaded well before use, so that it acquires a very soft and smooth consistency. Chhena is consumed by lactose intolerant people.
But it can also be made out of regular cow milk. This is used to make pretty much all kind of mishti/mithai/sweets.
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