Thursday, March 17, 2016

Paneer Bhapa / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer

There is a debate as from where India learnt to curdle the milk and make cottage cheese out of it. Because if you look at the chronological food history of India you will see that cottage cheese is mentioned in no-where. Some says that cottage cheese was a Portuguese influence in the Indian cuisine. Even if you see the Puran and other texts, you will get the mentions of milk, ghee and butter but no curdling as to making chana or cottage cheese. Some says it was invented in Bengal and some says it was invented in the Puri Mandir. But there is no evidence of making cottage cheese or even of the sweets made from them in the menu of the Bhog of the Puri Mandir. Besides they considered milk as pure and pious, so curdling of the milk with lime or vinegar was obviously considered as an unholy action.

how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos

how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos

how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos

But now....who can say that cottage cheese is just a recent invention???Chana or cottage cheese was taken a step further and made into beautiful paneer.

how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos

how to cook bengali style Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos
Heat the oil.
how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos
Pour in the prepared mustard and poppy seeds paste.
bengali paneer recipe how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos
Add the whisked curd, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.
bengali style paneer bhape recipe
Stir and cook them until oil starts ooze out.
bengali recipe bhapa paneer / steamed paneer with mustard sauce recipe
Next add the cubed paneer.
bengali recipe sorshe bhapa paneer bhape recipe
Add chopped coriander leaves and slit green chillies.
how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos
Mix them together and put cover. Cook until the pressure cooker blows one whistle.
how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos

We steam a lot!! And since I have already did Steamed Prawns and Steamed Fish...it’s time for the paneer. We also do Steamed Chana where the unshaped scrambled fresh cottage cheese is steamed with salt, mustard oil, onions and chillies. Whereas Paneer Bhape is more like a mustard curry, prepared with mustard and poppy paste and yogurt. You can make this Bhapa Paneer in microwave also. Just prepare the paste and put them with the paneer in a steel or microwave proof box. Place it inside the micro-oven and bake for 25-30 minute at 250-300F. You can also place this box inside a pressure cooker. Put a rack inside the cooker on which you will place the box. Now pour water into the cooker upto ¼ th of the hight of the box. Remove the venying bulb from the cooker and cook on medium flame 30-35 minutes.

how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos

how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos

Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer
Serves 2

how to cook Bhapa Paneer / Bengali Style Steamed Paneer recipe with step by step photos

Ingredients:
125gm paneer – cut into small cubes
¼ th cup thick curd – whisked 
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ - 1 tsp red chilli powder
A handful of chopped coriander leaves
4-5 slitted green chillies
Salt
2 tbsp mustard oil

Method:
In a grinder put together the mustard seeds and poppy seeds. Add in some water and make a smooth paste out of it. Once done scrape them out of the grinder and keep aside.
In a pressure cooker heat the mustard oil on medium flame.
Once the oil is hot enough reduce the flame to low and add in the prepared mustard and poppy seeds paste.
Add in the whisked curd, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.
Stir and cook the mustard and poppy seeds paste for 2 minutes or until the oil starts to ooze out from them.
Now add the cubed paneer pieces to them. Also add in the chopped coriander leaves and slitted green chillies.
Hold the handle of the pressure cooker and gently give it a good shake so that it mixes with all the good sauce.
Now put cover and cook them on pressure until it blows 1 whistle. In this case always use a small pressure cooker which takes way lesser time. Also overcooking will make the paneer all rubbery!!
Put off the flame right away and let the steam come out of the cooker naturally.

Now put off the lid and serve hot.

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