Difference Between Cheese and Paneer


Main Difference

The main difference between Cheese and Paneer is that Cheese is produced by the curdling of milk by the process of aging, whereas Paneer is produced by coagulation of milk or beating and does not need to mature.

Cheese vs. Paneer

Cheese is a dairy product made with cow and buffalo milk, while paneer can be made from goat, camel, sheep, and cow milk. Cheese manufactures from the acidification of milk; on the flip side, paneer prepares with coagulation of milk or by beating or pressing. The maturation of cheese is vital before consumption.

Paneer is eaten fresh, emulsifiers, and salt are part of the composition of cheese; on the contrary, there is no need for emulsifiers and salt in the preparation of paneer. The cheese needs room temperature for preparation; on the other hand, paneer requires high temperatures for its preparation.


Crude milk is best for cheese, whereas paneer uses full-fat milk. Cheese is a non-vegetarian food, while paneer is vegetarian food. Cheese has a porous appearance, whereas paneer can be soft or hard. Cheese is a rich source of nutrients, provides more energy; on the flip side, paneer supplies less amount of nutrients as compared to cheese. Paneer also provides fewer calories.

Comparison Chart

Cheese is a dairy product producing by the coagulation of casein protein.Paneer is a fresh form of cheese.
Room temperature200 °F
Starting Culture
Yogurt or acidsLemon juice or vinegar
RennetRennet is not used
By acidificationBy coagulation and pressing or beating
Aging is requiredPaneer is unaged
Crude milk fatsFull fat milk
Done in cheeseNot in paneer
SpongySoft to hard
Milk Sources
Cow and buffaloSheep, camel, cow, goat, and donkey
High calcium and proteinLow protein
ModerateVery popular
Health Benefits
Strengthen bonesRelieves symptoms of heart diseases
Cheese pizza, cheese pastaShahi paneer, paneer tikka

What is Cheese?

A dairy product having different textures form by coagulation of milk protein is called cheese. The milk sources are sheep, cows, buffaloes, and goats. The milk has a higher content of protein and fats. The acidification of milk results in the formation of cheese. For this purpose, rennet enzymes are used. The enzymes coagulate the milk protein casein. Then the curd is separated from the whey portion of cheese and given its final form. The flavor and texture of the cheese are dependent on the source of milk. These factors include pasteurization of milk, the fat portion of milk, and the type of microbe culture.

The bacteria transform milk sugar into lactic acid; the rennet enzymes complete the coagulation process. Herbs and spices are included as flavoring agents. There are many types of cheese, which include goat cheese, feta cheese, Mozzarella cheese, brie cheese, Edam, Ricotta, Langres, Reblochon, Stilton cheese, Emmental, and cottage cheese.

The nutritional cheese value varies according to the fat and protein content of the milk. Some cheese has 4% fat and 11% protein, others have 15% fat and 11% protein, and some contain 36% fat and seven protein. One serving of cheddar cheese is supplied 202mg of calcium and 7g of protein. The cheese is a rich source of protein, calcium, phosphorous, saturated fat, and sodium. High fat cheese is not healthy for cardiovascular patients. It must be replaced with plant sources or low-fat cheese.

What is Paneer?

Paneer is the type of cheese that is native to India. Paneer is a fresh cheese that does not need the ripening process. Paneer is non-melting cheese produced by the coagulation of milk. The milk is coagulated with fruit or vegetables drove acids, such as lemon juice. The other names of paneer are poneer, fonir, chhana, chhena. The curd milk before the process of pressing is called chhena. The word paneer has Persian origin meaning cheese.

The curd of milk is produced by adding acids like citric acid, yogurt, vinegar, and lemon juice. Acid separates the curd and whey content of milk. The curds are placed in cheesecloth, and water is passed through it. The texture and appearance of paneer are done by placing it in lukewarm water to 3 hours. In India, the paneer is placed in a cloth and under a heavyweight for 3 hours. After it, the paneer is cut into cubes and used in dishes. The Pressing process increases the softness and fluffiness of cheese. In Bengal, the paneer is produced by beating with hands, which creates a dough-like structure.

Paneer is the usual form of cheese. It is served with spinach as palak paneer and matter paneer. Paneer is also used in snacks and sweet dishes. Paneer pulao, shahi paneer, paneer tikka, paneer tikka masala, paneer pakora, and Rasgulla are some typical recipes of paneer. Paneer is nutritious and promotes health. Paneer is rich in protein, strengthens bones and teeth, regulates blood sugar levels, and promotes heart health.

Key Differences

  1. Cheese is a dairy product produced by condensing milk protein, whereas paneer is a form of cheese native to India.
  2. Cheese forms at room temperature; conversely, paneer needs high temperature for its preparation.
  3. Cheese is produced by acidification of milk for which yogurt or acids are used; on the other hand, paneer is made with fruits or vegetable acids.
  4. In the production of cheese, rennet enzymes are used; on the flip side, the production of paneer does not include rennet enzyme.
  5. Cheese is non-vegetarian food, while paneer is vegetarian food.
  6. Cheese is produced by the coagulation process; conversely, paneer is produced by the beating or coagulation process.
  7. Cheese passes through the process of ripening, while paneer does not need to mature; it is eaten fresh.
  8. Cheese involves emulsifiers for production; conversely, emulsifiers are not in the composition of paneer.
  9. Cheese is made with raw milk fats; on the flip side, paneer is made with full-fat content milk.
  10. Cheese is a product produced by adding salt, whereas there is no need for salt in paneer.
  11. Cheese is spongy, while paneer is soft to hard in texture.
  12. Cheese is made with cow and buffalo milk; on the other hand, milk from any mammal can be used for paneer.
  13. Cheese is a preserved form of milk, whereas paneer is perishable.
  14. Cheese supplies a high amount of milk protein and calcium; on the flip side, paneer supplies less protein.
  15. Cheese is not much popular among people; conversely, paneer is famous among people.
  16. Cheese is a product necessary for bone health, whereas paneer helps to relieve symptoms of heart disease.
  17. Cheese provides high calories than paneer, while paneer is low-calorie cheese.
  18. Cheese is the raw material for some recipes like cheese pasta; conversely, the famous recipes of paneer are Shahi paneer and tikka paneer.


Cheese and Paneer are both dairy products. Cheese is a dairy product produced by the coagulation of milk protein through the ripening process. Paneer is a dairy product produced by the coagulation process or by beating with hands that do not need the aging process.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson