Monday, 24 November 2014

Chhanar/Paneer Kofta Curry (Cottage Cheeseballs Curry)

A quintessentially Bong vegetarian dish is Chhanar Dalna. Chhana means cottage cheese or paneer in Bengal. I grew up having this special chhanar dalna by Maa and always it was made from homemade paneer. Those were the days when paneer was not readily available in the Kolkata local markets and so homemade paneer was the only way out to savour this dish. But all who can connect with what I mean to say that the taste of the dish gets enhanced a thousand times with home made paneer. You get soft, juicy melt-in-mouth chhanar/paneer koftas and the curry tasted out of the world that too with the minimum use of spices. It was one of the must served dishes as an offering during the Durga pujas or Lakshmi pujas and a vegetarian delight in the menu of most of the Bong marriage invitations I have attended.

So if you are thinking to make this dish I would advise you to go for homemade paneer to take the level of this dish several notches higher. Now follows the detailed recipe of this dish….

Chhanar Kofta Curry

Chhanar Kofta Curry

Chhanar Kofta Curry

Chhanar Kofta Curry


  • 1 litre whole milk
  • 1 lemon
  • 3-4 green cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 2 large potatoes cut in big dices
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • 1 tablespoon maida/ all purpose flour
  • A few raisins/kishmish
  • A few cashew nuts
  • 2 tablespoons ghee/clarified butter
  • A little white oil
  • Salt n sugar to taste



To make the chhana take the full cream milk and bring to a boil and squeeze in a whole lemon juice. Wit for a minute and strain out the water to get the paneer.


Now mix maida with the chhana for binding and knead it well. Take out small portion from the dough and press two raisins filling inside and roll it into a ball. Make small koftas/ paneer balls from the dough in this way.

The Koftas Will Look Like This Before Frying


Heat ghee and oil together in a skillet and fry the koftas brown. Take out and keep aside. Now fry the potatoes and take out.


In the same ghee/oil splutter whole garam masalas, jeera and bay leaf. Add ginger paste, sauté. Add tomato paste, all the powdered masalas and salt n sugar. Add a few raisins and cashew nuts. Keep stirring for a some minutes before adding a cup of warm water. Add the potatoes. Cover and cook until the potatoes are almost done. Now add the koftas and after a few minutes turn off the heat. Add green chillies and a drizzle of ghee before serving.

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