Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Chanar Korma

My first year in Abidjan was terrible as I could not find cottage cheese here. Nor paneer or anything. Then on the other hand I could not find whole cow milk also. Then after finding a lot...and I mean a lot a lot a lot...I finally found a man who now delivers us milk. The milk is the finest I have seen so far. It’s thick and super creamy. And every time it cools down after re-heating it produces thick solid cream on top of it, which we call “shor”. Spread some “shor” on top of toasted bread and sprinkle some sugar on top of it. This Malai Toast is a hot favourite among us Bengalis. Every tea stall who also serves toasts and ghughnis in breakfast...they also serve this Malai Toast alongside Egg Toast and Butter Toast. Try it...and it tastes delicious. The better the cream / shor the better the malai toast will be.

Chanar Korma bengali recipe

how to cook Chanar Korma recipe

So, where we were...I get lovely cream from my milk and then I make cottage cheese from that milk. Sometimes I make Paneer from them and I keep the remaining milk residue, which makes my rotis extra soft.

chanar korma recipe and preperation
knead the chana / cottage cheese to make a dough. Make small balls from them and deep fry on low flame. (not in the picture)
bengali preperation Chanar Korma recipe
Heat the ghee and temper it with whole spices. Then add the tomato puree.
indian cottage cheese curry recipe
Cook the tomato till the oil separates. Then add the powdered spices.
indian cottage cheese curry bengali recipe
Next add the whisked curd and water. Cook on low heat to make the gravy.
indian cottage cheese curry bengali recipe
When the yogurt is nicely incorporated add the cashew nuts paste and green peas.
indian cottage cheese curry bengali recipe
Simmer on medium heat till the peas are cooked and then add the fried cottage cheese balls.
After making Chanar Kalia, Chanar Dalna and Chanar Torkari....Chanar Korma was the last thing I really needed to try. Its creamy, rich, aromatic and perfect for a grand occasion..if you want something to be purely vegetarian. The next dish on my list...Chanar Malaikari. Have you tried it already????

chanar korma recipe

Chanar Korma
Serves 6-7
simple chanar korma bengali recipe indian cottage cheese curry bengali recipe

400gm fresh cottage cheese / chana
3 medium tomatoes – pureed 
2 tbsp yogurt – whisked
1 inch stick of ginger – paste
A handful of green peas
1 medium cinnamon stick
3 green cardamoms
3 cloves
1 large bay leaf
10 raw cashew nuts
Salt & sugar
1 tbsp ghee
Oil to fry the chana / cheese balls
A pinch of garam masala powder

Soak the raw cashew nits in water for 10 minutes and then make a smooth paste of it with ¼ cup of water. Keep the paste aside.
Take the chana / cottage cheese in a large bowl. Sprinkle some salt and garam masala powder into it. Then knead the chana with t6he lower portion of your palm for 3-4 minutes or until oil starts to separate and greases your hand. You can also add 2tsp cornflower to the cottage cheese while kneading. It prevents the cottage cheese balls from breaking while frying.
Make small balls from the prepared cottage cheese / chana and keep aside.
Heat the oil in a pan / kadai and fry the cottage cheese balls in small batches on medium flame. Depending on your preference you can fry the cottage cheese balls lightly or crispy.
Once done take these balls out of the pan / kadai and keep aside to cool down.
You can continue cooking in the same oil or you can substitute the oil with ghee.
Temper the ghee with cinnamon stick, green cardamoms, cloves and bay leaf.
Sauté them for half a minute or until the ghee become aromatic and then add the pureed tomatoes and ginger paste to them.
Cook the tomatoes on low to medium flame till the oil separates.
Now add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Mix in and cook for a little to ward off the raw spice smell.
Sprinkle salt and 1 tsp sugar, and add in the whisked curd. You can put off the flame at this point to avoid curdling of the yogurt.
Mix the yogurt well and add some water to create the gravy. For a medium consistency gravy add in 1 and ½ cup of water.
Let the water come to a boil and then add the green peas.
Taste and adjust the seasonings and then pour in the prepared cashew nuts paste.
Mix in and throw in the fried cottage cheese balls into the curry.
Simmer on lowest flame for 4-5 minutes or until the oil starts to float on top of the curry.
Sprinkle garam masala powder over them and put off the flame.
Serve hot with rice / chapatti / puri / luchi.

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