Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Bengali style cottage cheese curry (Chanar Dalna)

About the food:

This food is reflective of a typical Bengali Cuisine, and is most commonly found as an vegetarian option in almost all occasions. I learnt this recipe from our dedicated cook, who had been catering my in-laws' family for 3 generations: from the marriages of my grand-parent-in-laws, of my parent-in-laws, my marriage, and also my son's birthday. And guess what, all these occasions had this Chanar Dalna, served in the same old unaltered fashion. This is a superb and delicious dish, and never has this dish failed me and had become a hit whenever I served.

For the cottage cheese, you can prefer to buy it from market, mostly all the Indian sweet shops sell them. I make them at home, as then it is fresh and it saves the pain of going around the market searching for it.

Preparation time: 30 mins.

Cooking time: 30 mins.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

For the Cottage Cheese:

If buying from market: 500gms
If making at home:

Full cream milk: 2 litres
Lemon juice: 1/4 cup, from about 3-4 lemons.

For the curry:
Vegetable oil for deep frying
White flour: 1/3 cup
Sugar: 1 tbsp
Ginger paste: 1 tbsp
Tomato puree: 2 tbsp
Haldi powder:1 tsp
Cumin (Jeera) seeds: 1/2 tbsp
Cumin powder: 1 tbsp
Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
Cashew nuts: dry ground, 1/2 cup
Water-melon / sunflower seeds: dry ground 1/2 cup
Slit green chillies:3-4
Red chilli powder: optional
Baking powder: 1/2 tbsp

Spices for dry grind:

1/2 nutmeg fruit
Jayitri whole: 3-4 florets
10 cloves
7-8 cardamon pods
2 inches cinnamon


1. Dry roast the spices and grind them to a powder in a grinder. Store it in an air-tight container.

2.Bring the milk to boil. Add the lemon juice, slowly, through a sieve. The solid part of the milk would separate out. Keep on adding the juice until the water from the milk is clear light blue. Pour the mixture into a cotton linen, and squeeze the liquid out. Squeeze it hard so that you get a solid chunk of the cheese.Let it cool a little.

3.In a mixing bowl put the cheese, flour, a pinch of salt, baking powder and the ground spices. Mix them well and knead it into a soft dough. Sprinkle some oil on the base of a deep tray or pan, press the cheese to form an 1/2 inch high level and press it hard and uniformly. Cut them in 2 inches squares and deep fry them over high heat until golden brown.
Tips:Drop the fried cheese-cakes in cold water, directly from the pan: it keeps them soft. Take them out after 2-3 mins.

4.Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add 2-3 cardamon, 1/2 inch cinnamon and 3-4 cloves. Add sugar, the chopped green chillies, ginger paste, tomato puree, cumin and corinader powder, red chilli powder and saute for 2-3 mins. Mix the cashew and the seed powder with 1 cup of water to make a paste. Add it to the pan. Add haldi and salt, and let it simmer.

5. Place the cheese-cakes on the serving bowl. Pour the gravy from the pan on top it, and serve.

Best served with hot plain rice.

No comments:

Post a Comment