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7.1.1 GENERAL.

Within the countries of southern and eastern Africa there does not appear to be any community which has traditionally made cheese from milk by precipitating the casein by coagulating enzymes.

In Zimbabwe it is reported that the Shona people had the tradition of heating colostral milk in the belief that the cow would subsequently give a lot more milk. Due to the high albumin proteins in the colostrum, the milk readily coagulates on heating and the precipitated curd was eaten by the children. Except in a few cases, the practice has now disappeared.

In Tanzania, interview has revealed that cheese-like products are never made. However, in the Chagga, a mixed farming community on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, some families filter the whey from soured milk in a piece of cloth which is then hung over the fire place in the kitchen for about one week before being consumed.

7.1.2 Sudan - Gibna Bayda.

A considerable amount of cheese is made in Sudan. According to Osman (1987) a pickled type of cheese called gibna bayda is made. It is reported that this type of white cheese was introduced to Sudan by early Greek immigrants. Today the cheese is made by merchants particularly in Ed Dueim (200 km south of Khartoum) during July to September and El Obeid (350 km south-west of Khartoum) during July to January when there are appreciable amounts of surplus milk produced by the local nomadic pastoralists. In 1983, about 500 tons of gibna bayda was produced in the Ed Dueim area above (Osman, 1987).

The cheese resembles feta in appearance, texture and flavour. Mature gibna bayda has a pH of 3.5 to 4.2, a salt concentration of 8–12 per cent which is usually added to the milk prior to precipitation of the casein with rennet, and a moisture content of 55–63 per cent.

Milk of the cow, goat or sheep or a mixture of any two of them may be used for gibna bayda. Osman (1987) gives a detailed description of the processing methods.

The Sudanese experience is an example of adaptation of a foreign product which is suitable for the local conditions and has now established itself successfully in the traditional livestock products systems.


7.2.1 Ayib.

For the production of this local cheese sour milk or buttermilk is heated in a clay pot on a low fire to about 40°C. When the curd and whey separate, the heating is stopped and the contents of the pot are allowed to cool.

When milk is cold, straw or fibre from false banana is introduced in the milk pot to serve as a sieve.

The whey is drained off and the cheese curd is kept in a clean bowl or pot. Because of the high moisture content the product has a short-shelf life of about one week. The keeping quality can be improved by pasteurizing the curd to at least 75°C with accompanying removal of as much whey as possible.

O'Mahony and Peters (1987a) have reported that 8 litres of buttermilk produce 1 kg of ayib with a composition of 79.5 per cent water, 14.7 per cent protein, 1.8 per cent fat and 0.9 per cent ash.

Ayib is a crumbly product which is eaten with chicken sauce (dorowot), which is considered a national dish, and injera (flat, thin pancake-like bread made from fermented cereal dough). It is also mixed with cooked and minced cabbage leaves, fresh and melted butter and spiced chilli-powder and served along with minced raw meat (kitfo) to be eaten with a spoon. This preparation is frequently eaten with thick flat bread made from false banana flour (kocho).


There is no report of important traditional cheese-like products in Mali.


7.3.1 Traditional Cheesemaking.

Cheese is the main traditional dairy product made in small processing units in Latin America. It is normally made in very simple and unhygienic conditions mainly from cow milk but from goat milk as well (Chile, Peru and Bolivia).

There are several types of farm cheeses but they mainly belong to the fresh and semi-hard group of cheese, the latter types having a very short period of ripening of 10–30 days and many regional names.

Traditionally farm cheeses are made from raw milk (normally poor milk quality) and the equipment and other facilities to process it are the minimum necessary.

The method of preparation consists of very few processing stages mainly do it in a convenient way and always without standardization of the product. The method of preparation differs from one geographical zone to another and even from one processing unit to another. Farm cheese making is completely dependent on natural conditions, milk quality, environmental conditions (temperatures), workers skill, etc.. Consequently a very variable end product is obtained, without precise identification and with clear deficiencies sometimes in appearance and other sensorial attributes but mainly in basic microbiological requirements.

In spite of this, local people prefer those products instead of the industrial ones because they are considered natural products with very pleasant sensory characteristics. Very important characteristics are flavour, texture and consistent attributes of the cheese. Even more importantly due to the consumers' traditional habits, farm cheeses sometimes have a higher price than similar industrial ones.

Consequently, this is one of the main reasons why some farmers prefer to make and sell dairy products instead of selling the milk for use by the industrial sector. Farm cheese is particularly important in Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil.

7.3.2 Traditional Cheese Varieties Made in Southcone Countries of Latin America.

7.3.3 Chile.

Farm chanco cheese and quesillo or fresh cheese are the typical Chilean cheeses made in small and medium sized dairies in a traditional way and from the 1950s both are processed in the industrial dairy factories as well but with technical methods, and good sanitary conditions, resulting in very standardized products. Goat cheese is another typical Chilean cheese but made only in the small processing units in a traditional simple way. Farm Chanco.

Farm chanco is the main traditional Chilean cheese. Around 130 million litres of milk were used for farm chanco in 1985, in authorised processing units. There are no statistics concerning farm cheese production in non-authorised units, of which there are many. In the same year, the total milk used in the industrial sector for all cheese varieties was 137.8 million litres. This means that almost half of the cheese consumption of Chile is accounted for by this traditional product.

Raw full fat milk is used for farm chanco. The milk may be standardised to 3.0 to 3.2 per cent. Fermentation is by naturally- occurring lactic acid bacteria. Acid production is variable. Calf rennet, bovine rennet or microbial rennet may be used at a rate of 3.09 powder per 100 litres of milk. In some remote cheesemaking units (e.g. Palena, X1 Region) small pieces of calf stomach are used as coagulant, sometimes in a whey solution. Coagulation time islong (up to 1 h) because the temperature is not controlled.

Ripening takes 10–18 days at ambient temperature. There is no environmental control and surface mould growth is common. The composition of chanco cheese is:

 Per cent

Farm chanco is a semi-hard cheese of Chile. It is a washed-curd type. Its shape is normally rectangular, 30 × 25 × 12 cm and 8–10 kg in weight. The cheese is yellowish inside and on the surface. No colouring is added to the milk. Irregular eyes are a characteristic of the cheese which has a soft body, and is very smooth.

On average it takes 10–11 litres of milk to produce 1 kg of cheese but yield should be around 8.5–9 litres per 1 kg of cheese if good curd handling techniques are used. Quesillo.

Farm quesillo is an unripened Chilean cheese of very fresh flavour and soft consistency. The correct procedure does not include any fermentation of the lactose. The pH of the cheese should be similar to that of the milk because consumers prefer a non-acidic quesillo. It is made from raw milk on farms. The volume of milk used for this cheese at farm processing units is unknown as this product is mainly prepared at very small units or even in small farms. In general these processing units do not have legal authorisation for cheese production. Most of them produce cheese only in spring and summertime. The cheese is sold at the open markets and offered to tourists on the main roads during the time of summer holidays.

Industrial quesillo is made using pasteurized milk. In 1987 around 30.154 million litres of milk were made into 6,030.8 metric tons of industrial type quesillo which is handled and sold under refrigerated conditions and normally has a shelf life of only 5 days.

The cheese is sold immediately after production. It has no ripening time. The shelf life is only from 2–4 days depending on ambient temperature and humidity. Acid production resulting from poor quality milk causes flavour defects and wheying off and result in poor quality cheese.

Composition of Quesillo

 (per cent)
pHsimilar to that of raw milk

The cheese should be soft. Normally the shape is round, about 16 cm diameter, 4–5 cm depth weighing 400 to 600 g. The yield of farm quesillo is not accurately established but on a factory scale the yield is 1 kg of cheese from 5 litres of pasteurised milk. Farm Goat Cheese.

Farm goat cheese is a very typical Chilean cheese made only in the northern region (region IV La Serena) using very simple facilities. Only two or three goat cheese producing units are authorised by the Chilean Health Ministry. However, there is a great quantity of goat cheese produced and sold through illegal middlemen in other regions such as Santiago, II or III Regions, particularly during summer time. In Chile some 10 million litres of goat milk are produced and most of it is made into cheese.

Hygienic conditions for processing do not exist. Goat keepers with their families walk with the goats from the valleys to the Andes mountains looking for feeding for their animals and transforming the milk into cheese while they are going and returning from the mountains.

The farmers and animals do not get enough water for even their own consumption so that the cheese is made under very primitive conditions. It is no surprise therefore that the main food-borne diseases (in general there are few and incomplete statistics) are caused by consumption of goat milk cheese. As a consequence, people hesitate to consume goat cheese, especially people from regions far away from the producing area.

This situation leads to an over supply of goat cheese in the peak producing seasons with consequent financial losses for the cheese producers.

Chilean goat cheese is prepared by a very simple method similar to that for quesillo but since the goat cheese is firmer and contains only around 48 per cent of water there is a pressing stage at the end of the process. Hand pressing of the cheese curd mass is followed by pressing in an artesanal press with weights to achieve the required firmness and removal of whey. Natural ripening of the cheese takes place during the transportation to the valley.

Generally the end product is of poor microbiological quality and contains many pathogens. The product is almost always outside the specific standards of the Chilean Food Sanitary Rulings.

7.3.4 Peru.

Several traditional cheeses are made in small units in Peru. Queso fresco (fresh cheese).

This is the most well known and popular type and is mainly consumed in typical dishes. Queso paria (Paria cheese).

This cheese originated in the Arequipa zone. In olden times it was made from sheep and goat milk but now it is only made from cow milk. Serrano.

A smoked cheese made by traditional methods in the Arequipa zone. Quesillo.

Very simple methods are used to make this fresh cheese in farm processing units in Moquehua and Tacna. Cuajada.

This fresh curd from Peru's north zone is a typical product which is sold as a raw material for processed cheese. It spoils rapidly. Queso Andino (Andean cheese).

During the last decades the National Cheesemaker project has introduced queso Andino which is a demi-hard type with a short ripening period of 2–4 weeks.

In the case of queso Andino the fermentation is mainly produced by the added lactic acid bacteria starter culture. This cheese is very similar to Chilean chanco cheese. Eight litres of whole milk are required for 1 kg of cheese. Goat Cheese.

This is another typical Peruvian cheese produced by farmers. The conditions are frequently unhygienic and the cheese is of variable shape and composition. The yield is very low since a large part of the protein is lost in the whey.

Cheeses are sold to middlemen who determine the price according to the taste, but it is reduced in the summer season due to the fact that the urban population hesitates to eat goat cheese as it is highly contaminated.

Studies are taking place to consider gathering together the small producers of goat cheese and to improve cheese quality and marketing of the products.

7.3.5 Paraguay Requeson dietetico (diet fresh curd).

Farm cheese (criollos) of this variety are made from raw milk but in small processing units the cheese is made from heat treated milk. It is a soft cheese with 48–58 per cent moisture. Rennet enzyme, either from supply laboratories or of natural origin, is used and natural fermentation is normal.

The cheese is mainly consumed at lunch and dinner meals by adding it to soup.

7.3.6 Bolivia Queso criollo (farm cheese).

This is a low fat cheese produced in the Mennonitas communities. Most of this traditional cheese made in Bolivia is produced from raw milk under very simple conditions by unknown processing methods.

7.3.7 Brazil

Several varieties of cheese are made in Brazil in small processing units. Minas frescal (fresh Minas).

This variety originated in Minas Gerais region but it is now made in several regions of the country. It is a fresh cheese made by a very simple method.

It has a high moisture level and the curd is prepared by rennet action. After renneting, only a little syneresis takes place. It is quickly put into moulds and finally salted by rubbing salt over the surface of the cheese. It may be sold three days after processing.

It is a very popular cheese and is found all over the country both as a farm cheese and as a variety made in industrial dairy factories. Minas madurado.

This type is similar to Saint Paulin from France. The processing is based on lactose fermentation and curd production by rennet.

After the curd is cut and washed the cheese is pressed and ripened over a period of 15 to 21 days. Prato.

A semi-soft cheese with a smooth firm consistency resembling Dutch cheese. It is made on farms and also in dairy factories. Requeson.

A fresh cheese prepared from skim milk which is coagulated by natural acid fermentation over a period of 24 hours. After curdling the whey is removed and the curd is washed to reduce acidity. Fresh cream is added to the curd and the mixture is heated to 90°C, cooled and put in a glass dish in which it is sold in the market. Mozzarella.

Brazilian muzzarella is a highly acidified cheese resembling the Italian mozzarella.

7.3.8 Argentina. Cuartirolo.

The typical Argentinian cheese is similar to the fresh crescenza Italian variety. It is made in the traditional way and also with new technology in the large dairy factories. It is a very acid cheese but due to the high level of fat, smooth texture, and fresh flavour, the acidity does not produce an unattractive taste sensation. The high acidity level is developed rapidly during the cheese production due to the Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus added in a lactic starter culture. Queso de Tafi.

Another typical Argentinian cheese is queso de Tafi (cheese from Tafi) which originated a long time ago in the Tucuman region. It is made with cow's whole milk and formerly sheep rennet was used to coagulate the milk into a curd which was cut by hand, added to straw moulds (forms) and pressed using stones.

Nowadays the milk is coagulated by powder rennet and there are changes in the processing method but the variety is mostly made in traditional processing units.

7.3.9 Uruguay. Cuartirolo.

This Argentinian type is also made in Uruguay.

Italian varieties.

The small amount of farm cheese made in Uruguay is mainly of the hard Italian varieties for grating.


7.4.1 General Method.

Cheesemaking has been practiced in Syria for many centuries.

Practically all cheese names which are common in Syria are based on the region of the origin of the cheese, for example, Akaweh, or Hamweh or on morphological characteristics for varieties such as haloun, chelal, baida.

Cheesemaking in Syria is mainly a seasonal industry and a proportion of the spring surplus milk in the dairying regions and production centres (steppe area) is converted into different types of cheese.

All cheeses produced in Syria may be classified as soft cheeses or fresh cheeses (jobneh) which contain not more than 25–40 per cent of dry matter.

The varieties include Baladi (Baida), hamwi, akawieh, na'aimeh, chelal. These are fresh soft cheese which are consumed fresh within 2–3 weeks after production. However, if the cheese is boiled in a brine, then it can be stored for longer periods.

Village level processing is very common in Syria and cheese is made mainly from sheep and goat milk. Cow milk is also used for local (baladi) cheese.

All Syrian cheeses are produced in largely the same way but the final step of forming the shape is different from one type to another.

The more important cheeses produced in Syria are:- baladi or baida. White cheese of square shape and white colour hamwi:-a cubic form of cheese produced in the Hama region.

Akawieh: ‘fine’ cheese produced from the curd after draining off the whey without application of pressure. This gives it a fine texture. Sesame seeds are added to give the cheese a special flavour.

Chelal: it has a form of strings like spaghetti.

Cheeses which are made of raw milk have a stronger flavour but may deteriorate more rapidly.

The process used for industrial-scale production of traditional Syrian cheese involves pasteurisation. starter and rennet addition. Salting is done either by dry salting i.e. spreading dry salt directly on the cheese blocks or by wet salting involving immersion of the cheese blocks in a saturated salt solution.

Cheeses which have not been properly salted, are soft, ripen quickly and develop unpleasant flavours.

In Syria cheese is usually consumed fresh - within 2–3 weeks of production.

7.4.2 Karisheh.

This curd cheese is produced by adding citric acid to boiling whey. Curd with a sweet taste is formed.


7.5.1 Paneer.

Paneer consists mainly of acid-coagulated milk solids and is used extensively as an ingredient in many cooked vegetable preparations in Northern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal.

Paneer making is confined to the North-west frontier regions of the Indian sub-continent. It is produced at small scale and industrial level. Cow, buffalo or mixed milk may be used but buffalo milk is preferred.

The milk is boiled and the coagulation issimultaneously effected by adding the required amount of coagulant acid in a thin stream, within a minute, and mixing it into the milk with a stirrer. Draining is begun when the whey is clear. On a commercial scale, Paneer is processed mechanically into blocks in hoops by putting weights on the hoops (approx 2–3 kg per sq cm for 15–20 min). Drained and pressed curd is cut into suitable sizes and immersed in chilled water for 3–4 hours to make it firm. It is usually sold in pieces without packaging.

An industrial-scale process has been developed by the NDDB. Milk is heated to 85°C through a plate heat exchanger and pumped to a cheese vat and cooled to 75°C. Citric acid solution is added and mixed with the milk to form a coagulum. The curd is left to settle for 10–15 min without agitation. The whey is drained off. Curd is filled into cheese hoops lined with muslin cloth. Pressing of the curd for 10–15 min at a pressure of 3 kg per sq cm. Pressed curd blocks are place in pasteurized cold water at 4°C for 3 hours. The cooled blocks of paneer are cut into 200 g or 500 g portions which are wrapped in vegetable parchment paper before being placed in HDPE or LDPE bags and heat sealed ready for sale.

In India, paneer must meet the following legal requirements.

Moisture (maximum) 70 per cent

Milk fat in dry matter (minimum) 50 per cent

Typical paneer has the following composition:

 Made from
PercentageCow milkBuffalo milk
Milk fat24–2628–30

The yield of paneer depends on the quality of milk. It is generally 18 to 20 per cent of the weight of the milk used for its preparation.

‘White’ paneer is a staple food of nomads in Afghanistan. It is traditionally consumed in the northern regions of the Indian sub-continent with dry fruits and nuts as a dessert.

Paneer is also the Hindu name of the seeds of Withania coagulans, the basis of a vegetable coagulant that yields a bitter curd.

Curdled milk products obtained by the admixture with sour milk, pieces of a creeper called Putika, the bark of Palasa trees or Kuyala (Jukuke) was known to the ancient Indians.

However the curdled milk product, paneer, seems to have been introduced into India from the Middle East perhaps by Persian and Afghan invaders.

A unique Iranian nomadic cheese is called paneer Khiki. This cheese was originally developed by the well-known Bakhtiari tribe which resided in Isfahan (in summer) and Shiraz (in winter). The word khiki means skim. Rennet from the goat or sheep was used to make the paneer, hence the name. When salted it known as paneer-e-shour.

It is only in the past four decades that consumption of paneer has spread to other parts of India. It enjoys the status of haute cuisine amongst Indian vegetarian cooking.

7.5.2 Surti Paneer.

The name of this cheese is derived from the town of Surat in western India where it was probably first prepared and marketed. Once a popular product, very little of it is marketed today.

It is a soft cheese prepared from buffalo milk with crude rennet, salted and kept steeped in acid whey for 2–3 days.

Composition of Surti Paneer:

 Per cent

Surti paneer should have a fairly firm body and smooth texture with no internal cracks. It has a slightly salted, milk acid-curd flavour.

7.5.3 Bandel.

Bandel cheese is an indigenous unripened, salted soft variety of cheese made in perforated pots. It is similar to surti paneer but made from cow's milk. It is available in and around Bandel, a Portugese colony in eastern India, and seems to have derived its name from it.

The cheese is formed into a flattened circular shape and is ready for immediate sale.

7.5.4 Dacca.

This cheese is available in the eastern region. It is similar to bandel but differs from it in that the finished flat round cheeses are smoked in a fire.

Chhurpi. This product is described under Nepal and Bhutan.

Chhanna and Channa-based Sweets. Reference to Figure 1 indicates that the acid precipitation of milk solids leads to paneer and to chhanna and several chhanna-based products including sweets.

The salient features of chhanna and chhanna-based products are summarised below.

7.5.5 Chhanna.

It consists of acid coagulated milk solids used for the preparation of many milk based sweets. It differs from Paneer in that no pressure is applied to remove the whey. Chhanna is widely used in the eastern parts of India and Bangladesh. Cow milk is preferred since it yields a soft bodied and smooth textured product. Both these characteristics are suitable for the production of high grade chhanna sweets.

Buffalo milk produces a chhanna with a slightly hard body, a greasy and coarse texture, and does not produce good quality chhanna sweets.

Composition of Chhanna:

 Production from:-
 Cow milkBuffalo milk
Content (per cent)  
Fat in dry matter53.061.0

Chhanna has the same legal requirements as paneer in India, i.e. a maximum moisture content of 70 per cent and a minimum content of milk fat in dry matter of 50 per cent.

Chhanna from cow milk is light yellow in colour, has a moist surface, soft body and smooth texture. Chhanna derived from buffalo milk is whitish in colour. Both have a pleasant sweetish, mildly acid taste.

Buffalo milk yields a larger amount of chhanna. About 100,000 metric tons are produced annually in India. Chhanna is also produced in rural milk sheds and transported by road and rail to larger urban conglomerates in wicker baskets which allow further drainage of whey. Chhanna produced in this way is used for the preparation of Sandesh.

7.5.6 Chhanna-based Sweets: Rasogolla.

This sweet is of recent origin having been developed in 1868 by an enterprising Calcutta sweetmeat maker Nobin Chandra Das. It is prepared using fresh and soft-chhanna. In the form of balls 30 mm in diameter with a typical spongy body and smooth texture. Stored and served in sugar syrup.

Freshly-made chhanna is squeezed by hand in a muslin cloth to remove as much whey as possible. 1–4 per cent of the wheat flour/semolina is mixed with the chhanna in a container and kneaded thoroughly by hand to make a dough. The dough is portioned and rolled into balls of about 15 mm diameter having a smooth surface with no cracks - 1 kg of chhanna yields 90–100 rasogollas.

The dough balls are cooked in a specially prepared whey based medium for about 15 minutes. For chhanna made from cow milk, cooking medium with sugar is preferred, and for all other types of chhanna, cooking medium without sugar is preferred.

After the cooking is complete, the balls are transferred to a container with water at 30–35°C for texture stabilisation and colour improvement of the balls. After 5–10 min of texture stabilisation in water, the texture stabilised balls are transferred to sugar syrup. The desired sugar syrup concentration in the final product is 45–50 per cent. This is achieved by dipping the texture-stabilised balls first in 35–40 per cent sugar syrup for 1–2 hours, followed by a second dipping in 58–60 per cent sugar syrup. The product finally acquires the desired sugar concentration after equilibration between the sugar syrup inside and outside the balls is achieved.

The Bureau of Indian Standards has established the following specifications for rasogolla:

 (per cent)
Milk fat5.0

Requirements for syrup:-

Acidity of syrup (ml of N/10 NaOH required to neutralise 100 ml of the syrup) (maximum)6.0
Concentration of syrup (maximum)55°Brix
Bacterial count per g (maximum)500
Coliform count per gNil

Reference to Figure 1 shows that several other products are based on chhanna. The salient features of these products:- sandesh, chhanna-murki, pantooa, chumchum, khirmohan and rasmalai are given below in Table 20.

7.5.7 Other Chhanna-based sweets: sandesh, chhanna-murki, pantooa, chumchum, khirmohan, rasmalai.

(See Table 20 p. 76)

7.5.8 Lalmohan.

A product similar to gulabjamun but is made from chhanna and is lighter in colour.

Chhanna is mixed with 2–3 per cent wheat flour and kneaded into a uniform dough. The dough is rolled into small balls and deep fried in ghee until light brown in colour. The balls are transferred to a 60 per cent sugar syrup and allowed to soak for a few hours before being served.

Table 20. Chhanna-based sweets (other than Rasogolla)
Local nameSandeshChhanna-MurkiPantooaChumchumKhirmohanRasmalai
Type of productPrepared from Chhanna a sweet with a somewhat firm body and a smooth texture. Eighty per per cent of chhanna is converted to sandesh.Prepared from Chhanna the sweet is in the shape of cubes coated with sugar.A sweet, based on chhanna and similar to gulabjamun which is prepared from khoa.A sweet prepared from chhanna coated with sugar or khoa.A sweet based on chhanna processed like rasogollaA sweet based on chhanna stored in added sugar.
Area of production Northern and eastern regions of IndiaA very popular product in Eastern India Eastern IndiaEastern and northern India
Outline of method Chhanna (30–45 per cent) and sugar are mixed and kneaded together and heated in a shallow vessel after addition of colour and flavour.Chhanna is kneaded and cut into small cubes of about 1cm.  Chhanna is kneaded into a uniform dough, portioned and rolled into balls by hand.Chhanna is kneaded along with 1–4 per cent wheat flour into a smooth dough, and is then portioned and rolled into balls having a smooth texture without any cracks. Chhanna with 1 to 4 per cent of added wheat flour is kneaded into a smooth dough, portioned and rolled into balls having a smooth texture free from cracks.
The heated mass is removed directly into moulds to give the desired shape. The sweets are now ready for eating. Alternatively, the processed mass is put into a tray, cooled and set. It can then be cut into desired shapes or moulded into required forms. The cubes of chhanna are then cooked in boiling sugar syrup until firm.The mass is kneaded into into a uniform dough portioned and rolled into balls by hand.The balls are cooked in a boiling 50 per cent sugar syrup similar to the syrup used for cooking rasogollar. The cooking is continued until the desirable firm body and close texture are formed and then the balls are removed from the syrup and cut into half The balls are flattened to a round shape and processed like rasogolla.The balls are processed like rasogolla and subsequently stored in thickened milk (to a quarter of its volume by heating)with added sugar (5–6 per cent of the original volume of of the milk).
There are two types of sandesh available. one a drier variety made from old chhanna. This is normal quality sandesh and has a longer shelf-life than the second type which is softer and is more expensive. It is made from fresh chhanna.Cooking cubes are then removed from the syrup and after cooling are coated with sugar. They are sometimes flavoured and coloured.  The balls are fried in a a shallow pan using ghee till the balls are deep brown in colour.A layer of khoa is with grated khoa. the surface is coated with sugar or khoa and decorated with silver foils .After cooking the balls dipped in concentrated milk, removed and smeared with grated khoa.
This sweet has a firm body and a close texture. The balls are removed from the pan and placed in a 60 per cent sugar syrup and soaked for a few hours before being served.
Another type of sandesh, known as Nalin sandesh, is prepared from date jaggery (date gur) between November and February. when dates are plentiful. This product is considered a delicacy and commands a much higher price


7.6.1 Soft cheese (soft cottage cheese type).

This is the most common form of cheese manufactured and consumed in Bhutan. It is prepared from the sour buttermilk after the butter has been made. The sour buttermilk is poured into a large aluminium cooking pot or vessel and is gently warmed over a fire. The curd soon separates and a yellowish green whey is produced.

The pot or vessel is removed from the fire and the curd is strained from the whey and squeezed by hand into small balls of non-uniform size and weight. The yield of cheese is about twice that of the butter obtained from the same portion of milk.

7.6.2 Sher or Shergum (Nepal), Dartsi (Bhutan)

This type of soft cheese is produced in farm units in Nepal and Bhutan and the Himalayan region at altitudes of 8,000 to 9,000 feet and in areas around Darjeeling.

The milk used may be the sour buttermilk, (mahi), from the churn or the coagulation may be done separately in a pot. The latter procedure results in a better product which remains in good condition for 2–3 days in warm weather or for up to 2 weeks in colder regions of the countries. The curd is separated from the whey by drainage in a cloth.

The keeping quality depends on the moisture content - the lower the moisture content the longer is the shelf-life.

Salt is not usually added to this cheese (but it may be included in some methods) which unlike the cottage cheese of Bhutan is not in the form of balls but rather is in the form of grains of curd. The soft cheese is wrapped in banana leaves or tree leaves (which have not been washed or chemically disinfected) and then placed in a bamboo basket.

It is used in cooking of traditional foods of the Himalayan area.

7.6.3 Shosim (sogar).

A product obtained by the fermentation of sherghum in anaerobic conditions, in a previously used wooden or earthenware vessel containing non-descriptive type of microorganisms for a long period of time and thus fermented in an air tight vessel. It is used in the Nepalese diet in the form of soups.

7.6.4 Durukho.

Milk solids produced by boiling mahi (buttermilk) are wrapped in a cloth and pressed under stones. When all the whey is driven out, the resulting mass is cut into one-inch cubes and dried in the sun. People like to chew the dry durukho when climbing in the Himalayas. It is also produced from partly skimmed milk.

7.6.5 Churtsi.

In Bhutan, in the mid-hills and Terai areas, a similar type of cheese to dartsi is made by the same methods except that the wooden churn used for butter production is smaller and the conditions under which the butter and cheese are made are more hygienic near to the urban areas.

The traditional buttermilk from which it is made may contain 1–2 per cent fat, 3–3.5 per cent protein and have an acidity of 0.5–1.1 per cent lactic acid.

The ripened cheese is packed in a leather bag or calf skin bag and can be kept for a long time. It fetches a higher price than the similar cheese made under poor hygienic conditions.

It is considered as a delicacy in Bhutan and is said to be a medicine for colds and stomach troubles - but this has never been examined scientifically. This type of cheese has an external appearance of a stone. The large flat slab of curd prepared from the soft cheese is smoked over the fire place in the farm gate huts. The product may last for several years. It is hard and rubbery in texture and smoky and strong in flavour. It can be called a cheese because it has a cheesy flavour. This variety of cheese is not available in Nepal.

7.6.6 Chhuga or Chhurpi.

In areas of the alpine regions of Nepal and Bhutan where the herdsmen and farmers with chouri animals are dependent on milk products as their major form of income the short storage life of soft cheeses poses a marketing problem.

In these circumstances the farmers and herdsmen have developed methods for the further processing of the soft cheese (cottage type) into a hard cheese or chhurpi with an extended keeping quality.

These two varieties are available in the markets in Nepal, Bhutan and Darjeeling district and the Sikkim state of India.

This dried hard casein product is produced from milk of the yak or chouri and is widely consumed by the Himalayan people as a source of nutrients. It is chewed to maintain salivation especially while climbing hills.

It is extensively produced in the alpine and high mountain regions of Nepal, especially the eastern mountains. The production is at the farm gate huts.

Compostion of Chhurpi produced in Bhutan:

 (per cent)
Fat in dry matter12.5
Acidity (as lactic acid)0.2
Standard plate countNegative

Chhurpi has no regular shape, size or weight. Chhurpi threaded on a string may have a rectangular shape each piece being from 7–7.15 cm long, 5.5 to 6.5 cm broad, and 1–3.5 cm thick. The average weight of a piece is about 75 g.

Chhurpi is made from whole milk, skimmed milk, and butter milk. Production from whole milk is expensive and the product is soft. Buttermilk and skimmed milk are most frequently used. Hard chhurpies may be ground into powder and used in soup where it gives a smoky cheese flavour as well as a butter flavour. The products are called chhurpi or durukhwa in Nepal. In Bhutan, and in Sikkim and Darjeeling in India they are called chhuggu and chhurpi respectively. In Bhutan, chhurpi is prepared in large quantities in yak herd areas of Ha district.

In Tibet, in addition to the hard chhurpi, another pliable form of the product is made.

7.6.7 Chhanna.

This acid-coagulated curd is used for sweet-making in Nepal.

Two traditional methods of preparation are recognised and summarised below. The small-scale method is used extensively in Nepal.

In small scale production for domestic purposes milk is heated in a pan to boiling point while being stirred. When the milk is boiling the juice from one ripe citrus lime is added evenly over the surface of the milk which is stirred vigorously. The chhanna is collected by straining off the whey through a muslin cloth and squeezing the lump of curd to remove as much whey as possible.

Compostion of Chhanna Reported from Nepal:

 (Per cent)
Moisture53.4 to 51.6
Fat24.7 to 29.6
Protein14.5 to 17.6
Lactose2.2 to 2.4
Ash2.1 to 1.9

Chhanna from cow milk has higher moisture, protein and ash contents and lower total solids i.e. fat and lactose than chhanna made from buffalo milk.

Average yield is about 20 per cent of the weight of milk but it depends on the amount of whey retained in the curd. Other yield figures for chhanna are 13.8 and 20.9 per cent (by weight of the milk used) for cow and buffalo respectively.

The commercial method of production in Nepal is essentially the same as that described for chhanna production in India.

The main feature of the large-scale process is the use of acid whey from previous batches of chhanna to bring about the coagulation.

The acidity of the whey should be about 0.8 to 0.9 per cent lactic acid and old rather than fresh whey, which will be of less uniform acidity, should be used to give a process which is easier to control and a product which is more uniform in texture. Control of the whey by measurement of the acidity by titration is recommended.



8.1.1 Blood and Milk Mixtures.

Among the pastoralists (Maasai, Samburus of Kenya) a traditional milk and bovine blood mixed food has been in use for a long time. Four parts milk are mixed with one part of blood and allowed to ferment before consumption. Alternatively the coagulation may be obtained by heating (Shalo, 1987). It is not clear how important such products are today in the pastoral diets. Recently, Grandin (1987) reported that the Maasai no longer keep male animals long past maturity for bleeding; they now sell them to obtain cash to purchase household needs and production inputs.


8.2.1 Dulce de leche, Doce de leite, Manjar.

In all of the southcone countries of Latin America this form of sweetened condensed milk is a very typical dairy product which has been made for many years.

It probably originated in Spain and was brought to Latin America centuries ago. It is almost unknown in other regions of the world.

This product is very well known; it is popular, mainly for children and old people because of its very sweet taste and smooth texture. It has a clear brown colour and pleasant taste and flavour (like preserves). It is normally used instead of preserves in cakes, tarts, biscuits etc. but consumption at home is often on a piece of bread or as a sort of dessert.

For 10 to 20 years the traditional method of preparing this product has been transferred to the big milk product factories, so in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay there has been a large production of the industrialised version of the product, one of uniform characteristics and high quality. At the industrial level, in 1986 Argentina produced 48,706 metric tons of sweetened condensed milk and exported part of it. Uruguay produced 3,296 metric tons in 1986 and Chile produced 7,129 metric tons in 1987.

It is prepared from cow milk. The total solids content is concentrated using heat to evaporate part of the water content. Around 20 per cent (of the weight of milk) of sugar is added without continuous stirring during the heating. It contains 6 per cent of fat and 30 per cent of moisture. The Maillard reaction takes place during processing and as a result the mixture develops a brilliant brown colour that is very typical of the sweetened condensed milk.

8.2.2 Cola de Mono.

This alcoholic milk drink is a very traditional Chilean alcoholic beverage prepared only for adults at very particular celebrations and traditional national parties such as Christmas and Chilean National days.

It is prepared from cow milk, agua ardiente - an alcoholic drink, sugar and some coffee which are mixed, put in a bowl and boiled for a short time in the consumer's household. It contains around 6 per cent of alcohol; has a very clear brown colour; a nice taste and flavour. It is consumed as a cold drink with Christmas cake or with special biscuits as a traditional meal party.


8.3.1 Mouhalayeh.

This product is made from milk by adding starch or other starchy material to make the milk of solid texture.

8.3.2 Ice Cream.

In Syria the local ice cream is produced from milk ingredients by freezing the mix in a special unit which is called boza or kemaa.


8.4.1 Khoa.

This product is obtained from cow, buffalo or mixed milk by thermal evaporation of milk to 65–70 per cent solids in an open pan. A five times concentration of milk is normally required for the production of khoa.

Khoa, also khawa or mawa, is used as a base material for a variety of Indian sweets. Its origin is not known but it has been prepared for centuries in India as the base material for sweets. About 600,000 metric tons of khoa is produced annually in India alone. It is made by the traditional method by milk traders and halwais.

Khoa preparation has been the easiest way of preserving rurally-produced milk in the flush season. In many places khoa manufactured in January - February is cold-stored for use in the summer season. Such khoa acquires a green colour due to mould growth on the surface. It is therefore known as hariyali (green khoa). This khoa is preferred for the preparation of gulabjamun as it gives a grainier texture to the product. This khoa, on removal from the cold store is immediately mixed with flour and made into gulabjamuns. Hariyali khoa, if left at room temperature for long, starts to smell and breaks down physically. Because of this it is converted into products immediately.

Compostion of khoa:

 per cent
Iron (ppm)103.0101.0

(The high iron content is probably due to the use of iron pans and scrapers).

Legal requirements state that khoa contains a minimum of 20 per cent milk fat. The Bureau of Indian Standards has laid down the following specifications for khoa.

Moisture (per cent by weight) (maximum)28.0
Fat (per cent by weight) (on dry basis) (minimum)26.0

Khoa is classified in 3 major types depending upon the specific uses. They are pindi; dhap and danedar with the following compositions:-

TypeFat (per cent)Total solids (per cent)Specific sweets prepared
Pindi21–2667–69Burfi, peda
Dhap20–2356–63Gulabjamun, pantooa

Milk of high acidity produces a granular khoa known as danedar. Khoa has a uniform whitish colour with just a tinge of brown, a slightly oily or granular texture, and a rich nutty flavour which is associated with a mildly cooked and sweet taste due to the high concentration of lactose.

Buffalo milk is preferred for khoa making because it yields a whiter product with a soft, loose body and a smooth granular texture which makes it suitable for the preparation of high-grade khoa sweets. A minimum of 4 per cent fat for cow milk and 5 per cent fat for buffalo milk is necessary to obtain a desirable body and texture in khoa. Lower levels of fat result in undesirable hard body and coarse texture.

The traditional trade usually pays for milk on the basis of the yield of khoa. Cow milk usually yields 18 per cent of khoa. The yield from buffalo milk is usually 20 per cent.

8.4.2 Peda.

The quantity of peda produced in India exceeds any other indigenous milk-based sweet using khoa as the raw material.

Peda or doodh peda is prepared on a small scale by halwais using khoa as the base material mixed with sugar and flavourings.

A similar product which is very popular in Nepal is called gundpak.

The traditional method of preparation is given in Part 2.

Peda is usually packed in paperboard cartons with a parchment paper of grease proof paper liner. it is usually sold through confectionery shops Peda is whitish yellow in colour and has a coarse grainy texture. Kesar (saffron) peda is one of the preferred pedas in which saffron is used for added flavour and colour.

8.4.3 Other Khoa-based Sweets.

The methods of preparation and various features of other khoa-based sweets - burfi, kalakand, gulabjamun, and kalajanum or kalajam - are summarised below in Table 21.

Condensed Milk-based Products. This sub-group of milk-based products includes rabri, khurchan, basundi, kheer and palpayasam. Features of preparation are given below.

8.4.4 Rabri, Tar (in Nepal).

A specially prepared concentrated and sweetened whole milk product containing several layers of clotted cream. It is a sweet by itself and is not much used as a component of other sweets. It is produced in Northern and eastern regions of India normally from buffalo milk is normally used since it produces a more creamy and chewy consistency.

In comparison to cow milk the higher fat and casein contents of buffalo milk contribute to the formation of a greater volume of creamy layer early in the evaporation process.

Milk (3–4 kg) is heated in a fairly shallow pan over an open fire and allowed to simmer, 5–6 per cent of sugar is added and evaporated to one eighth of the original volume. The preparation time is about 25–40°C minutes depending on the rate of boiling. The finished product consists of non homogeneous flakes partly covered by and partly floating in sweetened condensed milk. By heating the concentrate slightly at the end, a more homogeneous chewy-textured mass is obtained. The following composition relates to Rabbri prepared in Nepal.

Table 21. Khoa-based sweets (other than Peda)
Local nameBurfiKalakandGulabjamunKalajamun or Kalajam
Type of productA khoa-based sweetA khoa-based sweetA khoa-based sweet soaked in a thick sugar syrup. generally served warm as a dessert.A sweet similar to gulabjamun but darker in colour. It can be prepared from khoa or chhanna
Outline of methodKhoa is added to an open pan over a low fire. Sugar (25–35 per cent) is added and vigorously mixed to dissolve the sugar and form a smooth mass. Nuts and flavourings may be added during heating to produce different types of burfi.Kalakand is made from danedar (granular) khoa.Khoa (300 g) is mixed with wheat flour (35 g) and baking powder (3 g) and kneaded into a uniform dough.Khoa (or chhanna) is mixed with a small amount (5–6 per cent) of wheat flour and baking powder (0.5 per cent) and kneaded into a smooth dough.
Citric acid is added to khoa during the heating process to form well-defined grains.
The mixture is poured into a tray greased with ghee, spread uniformly and allowed to cool.When a semi-solid stage is reached, sugar is added and mixed in. Flavourings and nuts may also be added at this stage.The dough is rolled into small balls and deep-fried in ghee in a shallow pan until the balls acquire a golden brown colour. The balls are then removed and placed in a 60 per cent sugar solution and allowed to soak for a few hours before being served.It is portioned and rolled into balls and deep fried in ghee until the surface is charred to almost a black colour. Frying in high heat gives a black colour to the crust but the inside remains white.
On cooling the mass sets into a firm product which is cut by knife into the desired shapes and sizes and decorated with foils to increase the appeal.
After five minutes the heated mixture is tranferred to a tray greased with ghee for cooling and setting.
The balls are then soaked in a 60 per cent sugar syrup for a few hours to allow the sugar syrup to penetrate inside the kalajamun.
It is then removed from the sugar syrup and stored or consumed.
Burfi is packed in paper board cartons linked with parchment or greaseproof paper.
When cooled to room temperature the firmly set product is cut to the required shape and size.
Composition and characteristicsThe Bureau of Indian Standards has laid down the following specifications for burfi:The sweet has light caramel colour and a granular texture and firm body.The composition of gulabjamun, on a drained weight basis, is:- 
  Mawa Other
  burfi types
Moisture (per cent by weight) (maximum) 15.0 15.0
Milk fat (per cent by weight) (minimum)  12.5  10.0
Lactose (per cent by weight) (minimum)  15.0 12.0
Sucrose (per cent by weight) (maximum) 48.0 40.0
Acidity (per cent as lactic acid) 0.35 0.45
Standard plate count
(per g) (maximum) 30,000 30,000
Yeast and mould count (per g) (maximum) 10 10
The product is white to light cream in colour. smooth to granular texture.
Fat 10 per cent; protein 6
per cent; sugar, 42 per cent;
other solids 14 per cent.
The Bureau of Indian Standards has laid down the following specifications for gulabjamun.
Moisture (per cent by weight) (maximum) 30.0
Milk fat (per cent by weight) (minimum) 8.0
Protein (per cent by by weight) (minimum) 8.0 Concentration of sugar in syrup (per cent by
by weight) (minimum) 40.0
The requirements for syrup for gulabjamun: Acidity (m1 of 0.1 NaOH required to neutralise 100 m1 of the syrup) (maximum) 6.0 Concentration of syrup (minimum) 62.4°Brix
The product is round or cylindrical in shape, dark brown in colour and has firm body and smooth texture soaked in a thick sugar syrup.


 (per cent w/w)
Milk solids70
Cane sugar20

8.4.5 Khurchan.

A concentrated, sweetened whole milk product, similar to Rabri. It is used for direct consumption. It is produced in the Northern region of India almost exclusively from bufflo milk as it gives a higher yield than cow milk. The final produce has a slightly cooked flavour, which is relished.

 (per cent w/w)

8.4.6 Basundi.

A concentrated milk to which sugar, flavours and nuts are added. The product is served chilled as a dessert.

The origin of the product is not known but it has been traditionally prepared for centuries in the western part of India as a dessert, served on special occasions such as weddings. About 25,000 metric tons of basundi are produced annually in India from cow and buffalo milk on a small-scale.

Milk, in a shallow pan is boiled on a low flame. The heat coagulated film that appears on the surface of the milk is collected and spread on the sides of the vessel. The volume of milk is reduced to 50 per cent of it's original volume. The pan is removed from the fire and sugar is added along with nuts and flavours. The mass is mixed until the sugar is dissolved. The product is cooled and served chilled.


 (per cent w/w)

Basundi looks like condensed milk with flakes. It has a light brown colour with thin flakes in a thick fluid. It has a pleasant flavour similar to condensed milk. The cooked flavour is relished by the consumer.

8.4.7 Kheer.

A sweetened product of thick consistency resembling rice pudding commonly consumed in the West. The product is prepared for immediate consumption. It is produced in northern, western and central regions of the Indian sub-continent. This product is widely consumed in the regions mentioned above. In Nepal, the housewife perpares kheer by concentrating whole milk in open pans with the addition of sugar (6–8 per cent), rice (6–7 per cent), ghyu, cashew nuts, cardamon and other spices.


Plain kheer (Nepal)(a)(b)
Water (per cent)45–5540–50
Solids (per cent)45–5550–60
Milk fat (per cent)15–250.5
Lactose (per cent)14–1614–16
Protein (per cent)12–1312–13
Ash (per cent)3–3.52.5–3.0
Cane sugar (per cent)15–2515–25

(a) whole milk
(b) skimmed milk

8.4.8 Palpayasam.

A sweetened product; similar to kheer and resembling a rice pudding produced in Southern India. Vermicelli or semolina may be substituted for rice, fruits like jack fruit are optional.

8.4.9 Frozen Milk Products: Kulfi or Malai Kulfi.

This indigenous ice cream is based on milk and is popular in the hot summer. It is frozen in small containers.

The preparation of kulfi involves concentration of a milk and sugar mixture to 50 per cent volume. It is cooled before addition of cooled cream, crushed nutes and selected flavourings. The milk is added to moulds and frozen in a vessel containing an ice and salt mixture with a 1:1 ratio.

The Bureau of Indian Standards has laid down the following specifications for kulfi.

 Plain KulfiFruit, Nut
and chocolate kulfi
Total solids (per cent, w/w) minimum35.030.0
Milk fat (per cent w/w) minimum8.06.0
Proteins (per cent w/w) minimum3.53.5
Acidity (per cent w/w lactic acid) minimum0.30.3
Sucrose (per cent w/w) minimum13.012.0
Total colony count (per g) maximum250,000.0250,000.0
Coliform count (per g) maximum100.0100.0
Phosphatase test on mix-ve-ve
Presence of starch-ve-ve


8.5.1 Khoa.

This is an important traditional milk product in Nepal although it originated in India. It is very suited to small-scale production to utilise small quantities of surplus milk. Its method of preparation ensures a reasonably long storage life.

Due to the requirements of the sweet makers the demand for khoa always exists and this seems likely to be permanent.

Khoa is a concentrated whole milk product made either from cow or buffalo milk or mixed cow and buffalo milk by heating the milk in open pans over a fire to evaporate the water until the total solids increase to 70 to 75 per cent and the moisture content decreases to 25 to 30 per cent.

Traditional khoa can only be made by processing small quantities of milk at a time. The concentrated material from large volumes cannot be easily controlled during the last stages of preparation.

Because of this not more than 3 kg of milk can be processed in one vessel. Sometimes the khoa maker can work the milk in two vessels (side by side) simultaneously. The preparation of khoa is laborious, consuming a lot of time and requiring practice and patience.

Other Traditional Products made in Nepal and Bhutan. Information from Nepal and Bhutan on the traditional products kheer and rabbri has been included in references to these products above under India and neighbouring countries.

An indication of the relationship between traditional milk products of Nepal and Bhutan, those of India and products of commercial significance in developed dairy industries is given in Table 22.

Table 22. Relation between traditional milk products of Nepal and Bhutan and India and those of developed dairy industries
 Traditional milk productsProducts of developed dairy countries
 In NepalIn IndiaIn Bhutan
1.dudhdudhom, nu.milk
2.cream, malai, tarcream, malai, sar-cream, clotted cream
3.khoa, rabbrikhoa, rabbri-dried, evaporated sweetened condensed milks
4.chhanna, panir, sher,chhanna, paneerdartsi, dha- chi chhurtsi, shode.curd cheese, cottage cheese
5.naunighudeshi butter, (deshi makhan)ma., ma-a, martang, machechechepbutter, or deshi butter
7.mahilassidhaobutter milk drink, fermented milk drinks
8.wheywheydha - chuwhey
9.ghyu or khareko ghyughee-clarified butter fat, butter oil
10.chhurpi, durukhwachhurpichhugu, chhugo, chhurpihard cheese
11.dahi sherbets mahi sherbetsdahi sherbets lassi sherbets- butter milk ice-wateryoghurt ice-water drinks drinks
12.kheerkheerthupmilk rice

Source :- Nembourg (1989)

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