Difference between Cheese and Paneer

What is:

Paneer is type of cheese used as a South Asian cuisine common in in the Hindu, Chennai and Tamil regions. It’s a fresh cheese produced by churning milk with lemon juice, vinegar, and some acids through acidification. It is also cultured using a souring agent which coagulates the protein component in the milk while it is still fresh. On the other hand, cheese refers to dairy food made from compressed and ripened curd milk which has been separated from whey. It’s one of the products made from cow milk through acidification. There are different types of cheese in the market.


To make paneer the milk is boiled at about 200-degrees Fahrenheit. Certain types of acids are added to the boiled milk to coagulate it. To turn the coagulated milk into paneer, vinegar or lemon juices are added. The starting culture of yogurt production is not used. That’s because it dies at these high temperatures. Meanwhile to make cottage cheese the milk is coagulated at room temperature by adding yogurt with rennet as well as live culture. It’s the added live culture that converts lactose to lactic acid which in turn alters the pH of the milk. Meanwhile, the rennet has an enzyme that coagulates the milk to form a gel which is sliced into small or large curds.

Usage of the Products:

Their usage is also grounded in their origins. Cheese is often made from crude milk fats awhile a paneer is considered the domestic type of cheese. Cheese is mostly eaten raw. It can also be cooked into various types of dishes. The use of cheese is dependent on the kind of cheese. The top types of cheese are cream cheese, white cheese, brie, American cheese, Manchego, smoked gouda, etc. On the other hand, paneer cheese is used in the preparation of side dishes for fried food types like chapatti and naan. It’s also a prime ingredient in masala items. Paneer is sometimes referred to as the cottage cheese.

Nutrition content.

Paneer has about 46 UI of Vitamin D while cheese has about 3 UI. Paneers have a cholesterol content of about 4.6gms. Cheese has about 4x more. Cheese has about twice the amount of Folic acid as a paneer at about 12 ugs. Cheese also has 8x more sodium content than paneer but two-thirds less potassium. Paneer has more Vitamin K, Calcium, Magnesium, and water content than cheese per 100gm serving. It also has more vitamin D, vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) and vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). Both Paneer and cheese have equal amounts of vitamin B12 (cobalamin), B3 (Niacin), and Zinc.

Health Benefits.

Both cheese and paneer are very delicious and nutritious delicacies. Paneer is a better option when it comes to heart heath as it has significantly lower amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol. Both contain a significant amount of protein content. However, a serving of cheese has more calories than an equal serving of paneer.

Cheese has a higher protein content than paneer which makes it better for weight gain and building
muscles. Cheese has a high amount of calcium which makes it a healthy meal for strengthening bones.
Cheese also provides a higher amount of vitamin A necessary for your eyes. Women who take cheese during
pregnancies lower the possibility of the new-born developing neurological disorders.


Cheese has always been the least popular milk products lagging behind yoghurt, ghee, and butter. Even then it’s grown increasingly popular in the urban areas due to availability and ease of use in many recipes. However, paneer is popular in India, especially in the north-western part. That’s because it’s the only vegetarian cheese which you can offer your guests. The rennet used in making cheese is not vegetarian which rules out most cheese flavors and varieties in lots of Indian homes. Cheese is also not easy to integrate into most diets, especially Indian diets.Paneer is the most famous cheese in Indian homes around the world.


If you buy a paneer block, it’s best to wrap it up in a muslin bag and refrigerate it. If you plan to store the paneer for long, then you’ll have to moisten the muslin wrap every 4 to five hours as refrigeration drains away the surface moisture. In the absence of a muslin bag, dip it in a bowl of water and keep the sealed container in the refrigerator. Change the water in the bowl every day to keep it fresh.

When it comes to cheese, the storage is dependent on the type. The harder the cheese-variety the longer it can be kept fresh in a fridge. Always refrigerate it with the original wrap. For softer cheese i.e. Swiss and cheddar cheese, keep them in plastic storage. Feta and mozzarella type of cheese have to be kept in water the same way you store an unwrapped paneer.

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