Ultimate Guide to Indian Cheese

Hello, food enthusiasts and cheese lovers! At Sukhi’s, we’re excited to take you on a delightful journey through the world of Indian cheese

Indian cuisine is rich and diverse, and cheese plays a vital role in its tapestry. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious foodie, our guide will introduce you to the wonders of Indian cheese.

The World of Indian Cheese

What is Indian Cheese?

Indian cheese, known for its unique textures and flavors, is a staple in both traditional and modern Indian cooking. 

It ranges from soft and crumbly to firm and chewy, suitable for a variety of dishes. Let’s dive into the most cherished types of Indian cheese and discover their culinary magic.

Indian Cottage Cheese: Paneer

Indian cottage cheese, primarily known as Paneer, holds a special place in the heart of Indian cuisine and is arguably the most versatile and popular Indian cheese. 

It’s a fresh, non-aged cheese, celebrated for its versatility and simplicity in preparation.

The Making of Paneer

Paneer is traditionally made by curdling hot milk using an acidic agent like lemon juice or vinegar. The curdled milk is then strained through a muslin cloth to separate the whey, leaving behind the soft cheese. 

The cheese is then pressed under a heavy weight to set it into a firm block, which can be cut into cubes or other shapes for various dishes.

Paneer in Indian Cooking

Paneer’s mild flavor and firm texture make it an excellent ingredient for absorbing the rich spices and flavors of Indian cuisine. 

It’s a vegetarian staple, often used as a protein substitute in many dishes. From classic curries like Shahi Paneer to grilled Paneer Tikka and even in fusion dishes, paneer’s adaptability is unparalleled.

Khoa: The Creamy Heart of Indian Sweets

Khoa, also known as mawa or khoya, is a dairy product widely used in Indian cuisine, particularly in the creation of sweets

It is made by slowly simmering milk in a large, open iron pan, allowing the water content to evaporate, leaving behind a thick, yellowish residue. This residue, khoa, has a granular yet moist texture and a rich, creamy taste.

Khoa in Indian Sweets

Khoa’s rich texture and subtle sweetness make it an essential ingredient in a variety of Indian sweets. It’s the base for popular desserts like Pedha, a soft, fudge-like sweet, and Kalakand, known for its grainy texture and delicate flavor. 

Khoa is also used in savory dishes, albeit less frequently, adding creaminess and depth to gravies and curries.

Chenna: The Versatile Fresh Cheese of Bengal

Chenna is a fresh, unripened cheese similar to paneer but softer and more crumbly. 

It’s made by curdling hot milk using an acidic agent like lemon juice or vinegar and then straining it to remove excess whey. Unlike paneer, chenna is not pressed, resulting in a moist, loose texture.

Chenna in Bengali Sweets

Chenna holds a special place in Bengali cuisine, particularly in the realm of sweets. 

It is the key ingredient in iconic Bengali desserts like Rasgulla, soft and spongy balls soaked in light syrup, and Sandesh, a sweet cheese fudge flavored with cardamom or saffron. 

Culinary Uses Beyond Sweets

Beyond sweets, chenna can be used in various savory dishes. It’s often crumbled over curries or used in stuffed flatbreads. Its ability to blend with other flavors while maintaining its distinct texture makes it a favorite in both sweet and savory Indian cooking.

Indian cheese dish

Exploring More Types of Cheese in Indian Dishes: Kalari, Chhurpi, Bandel 

Follow along for a list of some of the most common and popular Indian cheeses. 


Kalari, a traditional cheese from Kashmir, is known for its mozzarella-like stretchy texture. It’s typically pan-fried in its own fat until it achieves a golden, crispy exterior while remaining gooey inside. 

In Kashmiri cuisine, Kalari is not just a food item but a cultural emblem, often enjoyed as a street food delicacy or in home-cooked meals. It adds a unique, chewy texture to various dishes, making it a favorite among cheese enthusiasts.


Chhurpi is a traditional cheese from the Himalayan region, known for its strong flavor and hard, chewy texture. 

It’s often used in local dishes, contributing a tangy and slightly nutty flavor. Chhurpi is typically enjoyed in soups and stews or as a snack. It’s a part of the Himalayan diet and culture, revered for its long shelf life and nutritional value.


Bandel, originating from West Bengal, is distinguished by its smoky flavor and dry, crumbly texture. 

This unique cheese is often savored on its own or used to add a distinct taste to various dishes. Bandel cheese is a rare find outside of Bengal, making it a prized ingredient for culinary enthusiasts looking to explore authentic regional flavors.

Health Benefits of Indian Cheeses

Indian cheeses, such as Paneer, Khoa, and Chenna, are not only delicious but also offer various health benefits.:

Rich in Protein

These cheeses, especially Paneer, are excellent sources of protein, which is vital for muscle building and maintenance. This makes them a great option for vegetarians and those looking for meatless protein sources.

Calcium Content

Paneer and Khoa, being dairy-based, are rich in calcium and essential for strong bones and teeth. Regular consumption can help maintain bone health and prevent osteoporosis.

Digestive Health

Chenna, with its softer texture, is easier to digest compared to harder cheeses. It’s suitable for people of all ages, including children and the elderly.

Low in Lactose

Indian cheeses are typically lower in lactose compared to other dairy products, making them a good choice for those with mild lactose intolerance.

Versatility for a Balanced Diet

The versatility of Indian cheeses in various dishes makes it easier to incorporate them into a balanced diet. They can be used in both savory and sweet preparations, adding nutritional value to a wide range of dishes.

Embrace the Flavor of Indian Cheeses with Sukhi’s

Indian cheeses, with their unique textures and flavors, play a pivotal role in the diversity of Indian cuisine. 

At Sukhi’s, we celebrate this diversity with a variety of products that showcase the richness of these flavors. From our ready-to-eat entrées to flavorful sauces, each product is a gateway to the authentic taste of India. 

Our frozen meals and frozen Samosas are perfect for those seeking a quick and delicious Indian meal. For cooking enthusiasts, our blog offers a treasure trove of recipes and tips for using Indian cheeses in your dishes. 

Explore our offerings and discover the joy of Indian cooking at Sukhi’s online store.

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