Chana'r Kofta (Bengali style Cottage cheese Dumpling curry)

10:10 AM

Let me start this post by wishing you all a very Happy Bengali New year.
Shubho Nababarsho to all my Bengali friends.

This post is going to be short and sweet errr savory. Trust me am going to follow that route quite often in the coming months as well.
Blogging while toting around a 3 month old baby is no easy job. For that , nothing is easy when you have such a small kid around. Am constantly on my toes and fumble to complete everything while she takes her naps. Her naps are short and sweet just like her but does not leave much space for me to sit down and sip my tea in peace. Once am done with making the tea she will be awake. once I finish cuddling and tucking her into the bed again, my tea turns cold. its kinda a battle that I or rather my tea never wins...unless the saving grace the dear husband is at home.

Today is one such day and when all of them are sleeping, I quietly managed to sneak out to share this awesome recipe of Chana'r Kofta. I know the sky will not fall down if I dont do this but you know you have to. When you have made the promise on your FB page.

This recipe comes from my Dida's repertoire. I never used to like non veg as a kid so she often used to make it for me. The pictures are not doing justice to the dish and am sure am gonna make and click them again very soon. 

Chana'r Kofta

for the chana or cottage cheese
Milk: 1 liter (make it full fat for a creamier version)
lemon juice: 1 tsp or more if needed

Boiled and mashed potato: 1 small (2-3 tbsp)

Ginger paste: 2 tbsp+ 2 tsp
cumin powder: 11/2 tsp
Coriander powder: 11/2 tsp
tomato: 1 medium
Green chilies: 2
Sour yogurt: 1/4 cup
Garam masala powder: 1/3 tsp
chili powder:1 tsp (as per taste)
Oil: 2+1 tbsp
Ghee: 1 tsp
Cashews: few pieces
Raisins: few pieces

Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Cloves: 3
Green cardamom: 1
Cinnamon: 1stick
Bay leaf: 1

The Kofta needs some Masala so i start by preparing the gravy first. As the kofta does not need much time in the gravy you can always make the gravy first and add the koftas just before serving.

Make the Chana: Heat 1-liter milk in another pan. Once it starts to boil pour in the lime juice. Reduce the flame to low and stir gently. The milk will curdle and clear whey will separate. Strain the paneer in a muslin cloth. Wash under cold running water to get rid of the lemony smell and then hang it for ½ an hour.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and once the oil starts to smoke Temper with all the whole spices. stir for a few seconds till you get the aroma. Mix the ginger-cumin-coriander with 2 tbsp water and add to the oil. On medium flame cook this till you get to see oil oozing out at the sides. Take out 2 tsp of this masala and to the rest in the pan add the tomato (chop it or whiz in your mixie). Add little salt, turmeric, chili powder and cook again till the tomato is completely mushy and again oil starts to appear.

Whip the yogurt till smooth and after lowering the flame to the minimum carefully pour it into the pan. stir gently to mix everything together and cook till the raw smell is gone (1 minute) then add water. Add more water than the amount of gravy you want as the koftas will soak up a lot of gravy.

Bring it to a boil and adjust the taste by adding more salt or sugar required.

While the gravy is being cooked lets make the koftas.
Mash the cottage cheese very smooth then add the mashed potato and the reserved masala. Add little salt as per taste and mix till you get a smooth dough. Pinch pingpong size ball from it and stuff each with a small piece of cashew and raisin. Cover and smoothen between your palms. Make it little flat and keep aside.

Once you are done making all the koftas shallow fry them till golden and drain on absorbent paper. 

Once the Gravy is ready carefully place the koftas in it, do not overcrowd the pan or they will break. Pour the ghee over it along with the garam masala powder and cover. Simmer for a minute and then switch off. 

 Rest covered for 10 minutes and then serve.

A Homemaker's Notes:
I sometimes add cubed potatoes to the gravy just to increase the quantity. 

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