Thursday, March 12, 2015

Chanar Kalia / Indian Cottage Cheese Curry

My mother used to fast on some particular days of the week, like monday, thursday and saturday. So,  naturally meat, fish or egg was not allowed to us on those days, and we, my sister, father and I, who were not observing fasts, had to bear with the fact, that there will be no "macher jhol ~ fish curry" in the lunch menu. On those fateful days, chanar kalia used to be our saviour.

how to cook bengali style chanar kalia recipe

how to cook bengali style chanar kalia



My mother used to make cottage cheese from the scratch. She used lime juice for curdling the milk. Then she strained the curdled milk and instead on making paneer with the cottage cheese, she used to make small round shaped dumplings. The reason that why she used to do that was, when you make paneer you loose the fresh smell of the cottage cheese in the process. And in chanar kalia, that fresh smell is very much inviting and appetizing. It gives the curry a whole new dimension.

how to cook bengali style chanar kalia

how to cook bengali style chanar kalia
After I fry my dumplings, I literally have to force myself from eating them as they are so much appetizing in their raw and even fried state. If you are unable to make cottage cheese, then use crumbled paneer for the dish. It will be equally tasty and tummy friendly.

how to cook bengali style chanar kalia

how to cook bengali style chanar kalia

In the coming summer months, this light curry is very much refreshing with roti or just steamed rice. Be it lunch or dinner, I find this Chanar Kaliya a lovely dish to go with.

how to cook bengali style chanar kalia


how to cook bengali style chanar kalia

Chanar Kalia / Indian Cottage Cheese Curry
Serves 3

how to cook bengali style chanar kalia

Ingredients:
Note : For making this dish pure vegetarian omit the onions, garlic and double the amount of tomatoes.
  • 1 and 1/2 cup crumbled Indian cottage cheese ~paneer / chana
  • 2 tsp cornflower
  • 1 medium potato - cut in cubes
  • 1 medium tomato - chopped
  • 1 medium onion - sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic - paste 
  • 1 inch ginger stick - paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 2-3 cardamom, 3 cloves  / 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chili powder / 1 tsp green chili paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seed powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seed powder
  • 2 tbsp creme
  • a handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • salt
  • sugar
  • oil
Method:
  • In a bowl put together the cottage cheese and cornflower.
  • Kneed well until it becomes smooth, and you can shape it to a dough, without any cracks.
  • Now make small dumplings from them. Give them whatever shape you like. It can be rectangular or round. I like to make them in round shape.
  • Take oil in a kadai. Make them very hot and then shallow fry the cheese balls in them.
  • Put a tissue paper in a bowl and keep the fried cheese balls in them.
  • Now take away the excess oil from the kadai and keep only about 1 tbsp oil there. 
  • Heat the oil and put cumin seeds.
  • As they start sizzling add the sliced onions.
  • Sauté until they become translucent and then add the ginger - garlic paste.
  • Sauté until the onions become golden brown, and make sure the raw smell of the garlic is no present there.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they become mushy and start to release oil from them. You will know it is done, when the mixture will not smell like tomato anymore.
  • Add cubed potatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder / green chili paste, cumin powder and coriander powder.
  • Mix well and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Now add 2 cups water. Put cover and cook until the potatoes are soft from inside.
  • In the mean time dry roast the cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom. Then grind them to a fine powder. Or you can use the ready made garam masala powder.
  • When the potatoes are done, add 1 tsp of the above dry roasted or ready made garam masala and simmer the curry until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Then add the creme and mix properly.
  • Add the fried and kept aside cottage cheese balls.
  • Simmer for 3 minutes more, add the chopped coriander leaves.
  • Mix properly, put cover and switch off the flame.

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