Never understood the secret of maa's cooking!! It's not just about recipe...something beyond!! I guess she has something magical in her hands...She never use too much ingredients neither something unusual, which you will not find in regular bengali "bharar" (pantry). But when it comes to taste...it is definitely unusual. In some dishes, I follow her recipe blindly and "Chanar Dalna" (Cottage cheese curry) is one of those. And honestly it's near to as good as her's.
- 1 ltr full cream milk
- 2 table spoon vinegar to curdle the milk (or enough to curdle milk)
- 1 small cauliflower (cut into large florets)
- 2 medium size potato (cut into medium cubes)
- 1 medium tomato (chopped)
- 1table spoon cumin seed, 2-3 green chilli & 1 inch ginger (pasted together)
- 1/4 tea spoon garam mashala powder (clove, cinnamon and cardamom )
- Turmeric powder
- Salt & sugar
- 1 tea spoon cumin seed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1 dried red chilli
- White oil
- 1 tea spoon ghee/clarified butter
- Boil milk in a pan and add lime juice/ vinegar to it. Stir with spoon gently for a minute or so to curdle the milk. Turn off the heat. It will make chana/paneer/cottage cheese.
- Now pour this chana/paneer/cottage cheese to a muslin cloth and squeeze out all the water. And put some weight on it to squeeze out water completely.
- Knead chana on a clean & flat surface with 1/4 tea spoon salt and 1/4 tea spoon sugar to a smooth lump-free dough.
- Make small balls from the dough and flatten them with hands to give it desired shapes.
- Heat oil in a pan and fry these "chanar bora" (cottage cheese cakes) very carefully.
- Now fry potato and cauliflower separately with salt and turmeric powder.
- Add cumin seed, bay leaf ,red chilli and cinnamon stick in remaining oil or add 1 or 2 table spoon oil if required. Let it crackle.
- Add tomato and ginger-cumin-chilli paste. Add turmeric powder,salt and sugar. Give it few nice stir. And cook till tomato melts and raw smell of spices disappears. And also oil starts separating at the edges.
- Add fried potato and few more nice stir.
- Add water. ( 1 and half cup of a medium size cup...not a coffee mug). Let it shimmer for few minutes.
- Add cauliflower and chanar bora. Shimmer in low heat for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add garam mashala powder and ghee just before you turn off the heat.
Serve with steaming hot rice or bengali mishti polao.