Cottage cheese is the source of energy, protein and a favorite food item for many. Various combinations of cottage cheese can be worked out to get delicious dishes. Chanar dalna (cottage cheese dumplings curry) is a typical dish of Bengali origin. Purely vegetarian preparation by nature, Chanar dalna is a very popular dish and an inherent culture in the age old Bengali cuisine. During any festival /puja , chanar dalna is a must item. Lets see the method of preparation.
Full cream milk ( 2lts.),
Lime juice /Vinegar( 3-4 teaspoons),
Bay Leaf ( 2 nos. ),
Ghee ( 3 teaspoons)[ an extract out of milk used in Indian cooking],
Garam masala powder [ a blend of black pepper, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves] ( 1 teaspoon),
Cumin seeds ( a pinch),
Tomatoes ( 2 medium sized grated),
Potatoes ( 2 medium sized grated),
Turmeric powder ( 1 teaspoon),
Ginger paste ( 2 teaspoons),
Coriander powder ( 2 teaspoons),
Chilly powder ( 1 teaspoon),
Green chillies ( 3 pieces),
Salt as per taste.
Procedure: The procedure is a slightly lengthy one and is directed in a synchronous way. Kindly follow the steps given in a pictorial representation.
|Extract the cheese from milk|
Boil 2 lts. milk in a container and during the process of boiling add lime juice so that the cheese separates from the milk . You may separate the cheese with the help of a strainer. Follow the figure to understand how to separate the cheese. Allow the strainer to stand for a while so that the cheese solidifies.
|Make a dough out of the cheese|
|Make rounded doughs from the cheese|
Use your hand to make rounded dumplings. The texture of the dumplings should be firm.
|Fry the cheese in oil|
|cottage cheese dumplings prepared|
Now its time to heat ghee in a container and dash the already chopped tomatoes, potatoes in it. Dash bay leaves, garm masala, cumin seeds , coriander powder, chilly powder in the container. Cook till the vegetables cook well and it becomes soft enough . It will emit a mind boggling essence , which is a typical characteristic of Bengali cuisine. Add turmeric powder and add 2 cups of water to make a soup. Add turmeric powder to it. Add salt as per taste. Cook for 5 minutes and the release the fried cottage cheese dumplings in it. The dumplings are very delicate and should not be boiled for a longer time in order to avoid breakage. Garnish with green chillies and remove the content in a serving bowl. It's time to enjoy this traditional delicacy of Bengal.
Chanar dalna is mainly served during religious occasions . It makes a very good combination with steaming rice or pulao. If you are a Bengali , don't forget to prepare in the next religious occasion. For all my food lover friend other than a Bengalee , please give it a try and understand why the Bengalis love this dish madly. I must say that before paneer was popularized in Bengal ,this was very popular and a 'tongue licking affair' with many. Try something different , try chanar dalna on an auspicious moment.