Monday, July 14, 2014

Chanar Dalna - Paneer Dalna

Yesterday we took our newborn to his first long car ride of approximate 3 and half hours. He has completed two months last Saturday, and taking the liberty of his soon to be out of newborn status, I thought of taking him to a shopping mall in which I had few garments, that I ordered for him, for pick-up. He was calm and quiet throughout the long journey. On our way back, however, as we were approaching our home, he grew a bit impatient letting out an occasional whimper of irritation, but otherwise he just totally cooperated. Though I am not fond of the idea of travelling long distance with a small baby, I have seen people going on international journeys with small kids. I have a friend who came all the way from India to USA with his 3 months old baby all alone, and I know of her experience of hell when my friend could not eat, nap or use the loo throughout the flight as the baby was immensely fussy wailing his heart out . My friend is brave, but I am not. Hence, despite a wonderful summer of USA tempting me to take a trip, with all my friends travelling here and there, reveling in the warmth of such nice weather, I am not at all letting my mind walk in that track. I would like to wait for a while till I know that my son is safe for a long distance trip.

Anyway, Chanar dalna originally is the preparation in which fresh chana i.e the paneer, which is left after the whey water of milk is discarded, is used. Since the process of separating milk from the whey is a bit time-taking process and since I am little short of time these days, readymade paneer is always the best option for me while preparing this dish. So it is up to your discretion whether you want to use fresh paneer or the readymade one.

Ingredients:                                                   Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

ü  250 gm paneer (cut into squares)

ü  2 potatoes (chopped into cubes)

ü  2 tomatoes (pureed)

ü  4-5 green chillies (ground into paste)

ü  1/2 cup cooked green peas (I used the frozen ones available in the market)

ü  1 tsp ginger paste

ü  1 tsp cumin powder

ü  1 tsp turmeric powder

ü  1 tsp Kashmiri mirch powder

ü  1 tsp coriander powder

ü  1 tsp garam masala powder

ü  Salt to taste

ü  White oil for cooking

For Sauté:

ü  Whole spices (2 cardamoms, 1 inch long cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf and 4 cloves)


 1) Heat oil in a wok. When oil turns smoking hot, add the paneer squares and shallow fry them till paneer turns golden in color. Keep aside when done. Shallow fry the potatoes too and keep them aside.

2) Now into the same oil, add the ingredients for sauté and wait till they sputter. Add tomato puree, green chilli paste and ginger paste. Sauté or bhunao the mixture for 5 minutes. Add cumin powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red mirch and coriander powder. Keep bhunaoing the mixture till oil separates.

3) Toss the fried potatoes in, add water and peas. Add salt and cook covered till potatoes are cooked through.

4) Add the fried paneer squares into the curry and sprinkle a pinch of garam masala powder. Mix in. Cook covered for 1 minute. Turn the heat off.

5) Serve hot with roti or rice.

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