Chhana is an acid and heat-coagulated milk product. It should not contain more than 70 per cent moisture and goat milk fat should not be less than 50 per cent of the dry matter.
The quality of Chhana is affected by the type, fat percentage and acidity of milk, coagulation temperature, pH, type of coagulant used and its strength. To prepare high quality chhana, fresh goat milk containing more than 4 per cent is preferred since it gives the desired soft body and also meets the legal requirements. The temperature of coagulation of goat milk should be around 85°C and its pH should be approximately 5.5.
A pinch of calcium chloride is usually added to the coagulating solution before its addition in to the boiling milk since it compensates the calcium in milk lost during boiling and helps in bringing about perfect coagulation. Lactic or citric acid is commonly used as coagulating agents. Traders however use the previous days sour whey, which brings about considerable saving in the coagulation process. Of late, some research suggests the use of calcium lactate as coagulating agent.
- The required quantum of goat milk is taken in a stainless steel jacketed kettle or iron karahi and the goat milk is heated.
- Coagulating solution is prepared by dissolving 2 g of citric acid in 200 ml of potable hot water for one litre of goat milk. A pinch of calcium chloride may be added to the hot coagulating solution to aid in the coagulation process.
- The goat milk is brought to boiling point while stirring it continuously with a stirrer.
- As soon as the goat milk boils, the heating is stopped.
- The coagulating solution is added in thin streams to the hot goat milk with continuous gentle agitation.
- As clear whey separates, addition of coagulating solution is stopped.
- It is better to wait for a few minutes for the completion of the coagulation process. Then the coagulated milk is poured over another vessel through muslin cloth.
- The cloth containing the coagulated mass is tied and hung on a hook for the complete removal of whey from chhana.
- After draining the whey out, the chhana is wrapped in vegetable parchment paper and stored for further use.