Chanar Korma | Chena Recipes


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Chanar Korma is one of the most tempting Bengali vegetarian recipes which is an equally favourite Bengali dish like many other non-veg fish and meat dishes. Chanar Korma is one of my most favourite dishes too. The subtle Cheese Nuggets are dunked in the smooth and creamy Coconut-Cashew gravy which makes it irresistibly luscious and you can’t stop yourself to devour.

I had this amazing dish for the first time at one of the renowned restaurants of Kolkata and had completely fallen for it. Then I decided to prepare this amazing dish at home. It did not come perfectly when I prepared it for the first time but with practice and time I got the perfect recipe of Chanar Korma. Since then, I have prepared this recipe many a times and it never disappoints me. Now, it has become a ritual to prepare Chanar Korma and Basanti Pulao once during the four days of Durga Puja.

Chanar Korma with step by step photos and instructions has been provided in the ‘Instructions’ section of the recipe. But before jumping into the recipe, let me share few interesting facts about Cottage Cheese and the recipe.


Difference between Chenna and Paneer

Many people get confused with Chana (Chhena) and Paneer. Both are prepared by curdling the milk by adding Lemon juice, Vinegar or sour Yogurt. Both are fresh Cottage Cheese. But the textures of Chana (Chhena) and Paneer are completely different. Chana (Chhena) is much softer and moister than Paneer.

Most of the Indian sweets like Rasgulla, Rasmalai etc. are prepared with Chana (Chhena). Chanar Dalna, Chanar Korma are few of the savoury dishes with this ingredient.

But most of the Paneer dishes are savoury like Matar Paneer, Shahi Paneer, Palak Paneer and many more.
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How to make Chenna?

After curdling the milk, when the water is separated, then it is strained with the help of a strainer or Muslin cloth and the residue is called Chenna.


How to make Paneer?

After preparing Chana (Chenna), if you put it in a muslin cloth and squeeze out the water by putting some weight on it for few hours, then the excess water would gradually get released out of it and it will become Paneer.


How to make Chanar Korma?

In this recipe, I have used Lemon juice to curdle the milk. You can also use Vinegar. After preparing Chenna, I have added a little all-purpose flour, Salt, Sugar, some ground spices and Ghee in Chana (Chenna) and mixed them thoroughly with the help of my hands. Then I divided it into portions and made flat rounds of it. Then I have deep fried them. In this step, you need to be very careful because the Chanar Boras (Cottage Cheese Nuggets) are very delicate and may break if you do not handle them with care.

It’s always better to cook Chanar Korma in Clarified Butter (Ghee) rather than other edible oils. It uplifts both the taste and flavour of the dish. But to uphold health with taste, I have mixed 1 teaspoon Clarified Butter (Ghee) with edible oil and cooked the dish. You would help you to balance taste with health without compromising either of them.

For the rich and creamy gravy, I have made a smooth paste of Cashew nuts and desiccated Coconut with some water. It is the deadly combination of korma preparations. I have also used whipped Yogurt which makes the dish yummier.

For Chanar Korma, Green Peas are one of the key ingredients. They get tender and juicy from inside while they get cooked in the gravy. In every bite, they pop up in mouth and spread flavours inside the mouth. I have used frozen Peas in the preparation, but you can use fresh Peas too.

Chanar Korma is a rich flavoured dish and for the tempering of the dish, I have used Cumin seeds, Cloves, Cinnamon stick, Cardamoms and dry Red Chillies for the perfect aroma of the dish. I have added Ginger paste too. It goes amazing to flavour up the dish. Other than these, I have used Cumin powder, Coriander powder and Garam Masala powder for the flavouring of the dish.

Many Indian Cottage Cheese recipes have already been shared in my previous posts. You can like few of them like


..And Many more…
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Ingredients:


For Chanar Bora (Cottage Cheese Nuggets)
  • 1 litre Milk
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon Cardamom Powder
  • 1 pinch of Cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon Clarified Butter (Ghee)
  • ½ teaspoon Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Refined oil to deep fry


For Korma Paste
  • ½ cup Desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup Cashew nuts, soaked
  • 2-3 tablespoons water


For Korma (Gravy)
  • 1 cup Green Peas
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger Paste
  • 3 tablespoon Yogurt, whipped
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 Cinnamon stick, 1 ½ inches
  • 3 whole Cardamoms
  • 4 whole Cloves
  • 2 dry Red Chillies
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin powder (Jeera)
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander powder (Dhania)
  • ¾ teaspoon Garam Masala powder
  • 2 teaspoon Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Refines oil for cooking
  • 1 teaspoon Clarified Butter (Ghee) for cooking
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups of Water



Instructions:
  1. Take 1 litre Milk in a heavy bottom pan.
  2. Put the flame in medium high and let the milk boil.

    Tip: While boiling the milk, put the flame in medium and stir occasionally. Otherwise, the milk can stick to the bottom of the pan and a burning smell will get into the milk.
  3. Put the flame in lowest.
  4. On the other side, cut the Lemon into two pieces.
  5. Squeeze out the lemon juice in a bowl.
  6. Make sure no pulps and seeds are there in the juice.
  7. Add the Lemon juice slowly into the milk (Step 3).
  8. Stir it slowly and let the milk curdle.
  9. Stir for 2 minutes in lowest flame.
  10. While the water gets separated from the curdled milk, switch off the flame.
  11. Strain the water of the curdled milk with the help of a Muslin cloth.
  12. Then tie the Cottage Cheese tightly.
  13. Press the Chenna and squeeze out the extra water. You don’t need to hang it or put weight on it while preparing Chanar Korma.
  14. Transfer the Cottage Cheese on a plate.
  15. Add all-purpose Flour, Cinnamon powder, Cardamom powder, Sugar, Salt, Ghee and mix them with the help of your hand.
  16. Divide them into small portions and make small flat rounds with the help of your palms.
  17. Keep them on a plate.
  18. Add Oil into a pan to deep fry the Chanar Bora (Cottage Cheese Nuggets).
  19. Once the Oil is hot, add the Nuggets into oil.
  20. Fry the Nuggets in medium flame.
  21. Once the bottom side become brown, flip the Nuggets and fry the other side.
  22. Spread kitchen tissue on a plate.
  23. When both the sides become brown, take them out on kitchen tissue.
  24. On the other hand, add desiccated Coconut, soaked Cashew nuts into the jar of a grinder.
  25. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and grind them for some time until they become smooth and creamy.
  26. Keep the Korma paste aside.
  27. Keep the required amount of oil in pan for cooking and transfer the excess oil in a bowl.
  28. Add 1 teaspoon Ghee into the pan and let it melt.
  29. Add Cumin seeds, Cinnamon stick, Cardamoms, dry Red Chillies, Cloves and let them crackle.
  30. Add Ginger paste and give a quick stir.
  31. Close the lid immediately because the paste may splatter.
  32. Cook it in low flame for a minute and then take off the lid.
  33. Cook the Ginger paste until the raw smell goes away.
  34. Add Peas and give a nice mix.
  35. Cover the pan and cook them in medium flame for 3-4 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  36. Add whipped Yogurt and give a nice mix.
  37. Cover the pan and cook them for couple of minutes in low flame.
  38. Add the korma paste (Step 26) into the pan and give a nice stir.
  39. Put on the lid of the pan and cook them in low flame for 2-3 minutes.
  40. Add Salt, Turmeric powder, Chilli powder and give a nice mix.
  41. Cook them in medium flame for some time until the raw smell of Korma paste goes away. Stir in between.
  42. Add Cumin powder, Coriander powder and mix them nicely.
  43. Cook them in low flame for a minute.
  44. Add water into the pan and give a nice stir.
  45. Cover the pan and put the flame in high until the gravy simmers.
  46. Put the flame in low and add garam masala powder into it.
  47. Stir the gravy nicely.
  48. Add the Chanar bora (Cottage cheese nuggets) (Step 23) into the pan.
  49. Close the lid and cook them in low flame for 2-3 minutes.
  50. Switch off the flame and put the pan down.


Serving Instruction
Transfer the Chanar Korma into a serving bowl. Serve hot or warm with favourite rice or flat bread and enjoy the supreme meal.

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