Harish Jharia

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05 September 2013

What is the difference between Cheese (चीज़) and Paneer (पनीर)

- Harish Jharia

Cheese and Paneer are almost similar dairy products but quite different in taste, texture and other characteristics. The processes of preparation of cheese and paneer are also different. Paneer’s preparation is quite simple and it can be done at home with the tools and ingredients available in domestic kitchens; whereas, the preparation of cheese is a bit complex and needs specific tools, ingredients and expertize for making it. 

How is Paneer made: 




For making paneer out of 1 litre of milk, you need 3-4 spoonful of lemon juice, muslin cloth, strainer, and two- 2 litre cooking utensils (पतीले). 

Heat the milk in a cooking utensil, until it reaches its boiling point. Put off the fire and add 1 spoonful of lemon juice at a time and keep stirring the milk constantly. Add 2nd and 3rd spoonful of lemon juice at reasonable gaps and keep stirring the hot milk until the milk disintegrates into curds and whey (दूध का पानी).

Now, put the strainer on another utensil; spread muslin cloth on it and pour the disintegrated milk over it, straining out the whey into the utensil. Keep aside the whey and preserve it for future use in place of lemon juice.  

Then rinse the curds thoroughly with fresh water. Remove the curds along with the muslin cloth and wrap the cloth around the curds tightly into a desired shape and keep it pressed under a weight of approximately 2kg for 3 hours. Remove the weight when all the whey squeezes out and the curds become firm and solid. Finally, soak the block of curds in ice water for 5 minute and remove the paneer from the cloth. 

How is Cheese made:




There are many types of cheese and are prepared with as many methods. Although, cheese in its most basic form involves curdling milk and then separating the solids from the whey, some cheeses undergo additional steps and need more time for preparation. The variety of cheese, the taste, texture, color, and aroma depends on what process it goes through thereafter. 

1. Curdling:
Curdling (जमाना) milk is the first step for separating the milk solids from the liquid including whey protein and water. The milk is curdled by adding an enzyme (fermenter) such as rennet (जामन). 

Rennet is the oldest method of curdling milk as it is found in the stomach linings of ruminants (जुगाली करने वाले जानवर). Rennet is an enzyme that denatures the proteins in milk and forming curds (छैना). Curds formed with rennet have a gel-like consistency that allows them to be stretched and molded unlike curds formed as paneer. Cheeses with good melting qualities, such as mozzarella, are produced with rennet. Nowadays, rennet is produced in bulk by genetically modifying bacteria to produce the required enzyme. This allows for an unlimited amount of rennet to be produced at a much lower price.

2. Processing:
  1. After curds are separated from the whey, they undergo processing eventually producing distinct varieties of cheese sold in the market.
  2. Many cheeses are heated and salted for further squeezing out more moisture. The more moisture squeezed out of the curd, the harder would be the cheese. This also allows the longevity of cheese, when the salt will provide extra flavor.
  3. Some cheeses such as mozzarella undergo stretching process for aligning the proteins and developing fibers giving the cheese a stringy texture.
  4. Milder cheeses, such as Colby or Gouda are passed through several washings for reducing its acidity and proving mild and creamy flavor to shine through.
3. Ripening:
Ripening or aging process is applied to provide much different flavors for specific varieties of cheese. Cheese is stored under controlled environmental conditions in order to let natural microbes to transform proteins and other constituents into various highly flavored compounds. Many cheeses are applied with specific bacteria for producing desired flavor, color and texture. 

Gasses generated by bacteria in Swiss cheese get entrapped within the cheese and create the classic bubble texture. The distinct blue veining in blue cheese is also created by bacteria that get inoculated in the cheese.

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2 comments:

  1. richbyhearts has left a new comment

    Go vegan :D

    http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/tags/cheese/default.aspx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks richbyhearts for visiting this site and posting your message...
      I have describe this part of the process also in my article. Here is the extract:
      "Rennet is the oldest method of curdling milk as it is found in the stomach linings of ruminants (जुगाली करने वाले जानवर). Rennet is an enzyme that denatures the proteins in milk and forming curds (छैना). Curds formed with rennet have a gel-like consistency that allows them to be stretched and molded unlike curds formed as paneer. Cheeses with good melting qualities, such as mozzarella, are produced with rennet. Nowadays, rennet is produced in bulk by genetically modifying bacteria to produce the required enzyme. This allows for an unlimited amount of rennet to be produced at a much lower price."

      Delete