Chhena (Nepali: छेना Hindi: छेना [ˈtʃʰeːnaː]); Odia: ଛେନା [tʃʰena]) or chhana (Bengali: ছানা [tʃʰana]) is fresh, unripened curd cheese made from water buffalo or regular cow milk. A crumbly and moist form of farmers cheese, it is created in a similar process to paneer except it is not pressed for as long.
Chhena is made by boiling milk and then curdling it with a small amount of whey. 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 used to make desserts, such as khira sagara, chhena kheeri, rasabali and ras malai, as well as mishti / mithai sweets, such as chhena jalebi, chhena gaja, chhena poda, pantua, rasgulla, and sandesh. For the sweets, mostly cow milk chhena is used.
Chhena is consumed by lactose intolerant people.
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