“Chanar kalia” or Cheese ball curry is a delicious Bengali side dish. This vegetarian dish goes down very well with Roti, Paratha or even with Plain rice and Pulao. If you don’t have “paneer” in your stock and you are scratching your head to come up with a special vegetarian dish then it could be one of your top choices. It’s rich in taste and easy to make. All you need is just to prepare the cottage cheese or “chena” and take it to the next level with the help of few simple ingredients. Here is the recipe for you.
Ingredients to serve 5 or 6 :
- Full fat milk – 1 lit.
- Lemon juice – 2 – 3 tbspoon
- Tomato (large) – 1
- Ginger – 1 inch piece
- Green chilli – 2
- Cashew nut – 6
- Plain yogurt – 2 tbspoon
- Cumin seeds – ¼ teaspoon
- Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
- Pinch of turmeric powder
- Garam masala powder – ½ teaspoon
- Flour – 2 tbspoon
- Raisin for garnishing
- Salt & sugar to taste
- Cooking oil
At first you have to make “chena” or Indian cottage cheese by milk and lemon juice. You will find the procedure of making it in the page Chena/Indian cottage cheese under the “Useful supplementary” tab in my blog.
Now mix the cheese with flour, pinch of turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon of chilli powder, ¼ teaspoon of garam masala powder, salt and sugar according to your taste. It should be like a soft dough. Now make medium size balls from this cheese dough, flatten them a bit and fry in oil on low heat.
Make a paste with tomato, ginger, green chilli & cashew nuts.
Now heat oil in a pan over medium flame. Add cumin seeds, saute it for a while, then add the paste of tomato, ginger, green chilli & cashew nuts. Also add salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Cook until the raw flavour of the ingredients disappear. Then add yogurt and sugar according to your test. Cook for another 2 minutes, then add little amount of water. As the gravy starts boiling add the fried cheese balls into it. Let it cook for few more minutes in covered condition till the gravy thickens as per your preference. Now sprinkle the raisins from the top. Serve with roti or paratha.
- If you have time in your hand then make a separate paste of cashew nuts and add after cooking the tomato, ginger and green chilli paste.
- Try to use less amount of flour in the cheese dough to keep the original flavour of cheese intact.
- The heat should be on low while frying the cheese balls otherwise they will burn and remain uncooked from inside.
- You can use less chillis if you find the recipe too spicy and hot for you.