Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cheena Tarkari aka Cottage cheese dumpling curry .....

I WAS a fussy eater ...... well not any more. The list of things that would not make it to the plate far more out numbered the ones that did. Milk and it's bi-products were a BIG NO for me. The milk had to be religiously strained before adding a liberal amount of Bourvita to it. There should be NO malai in the milk and it should taste anything but not milky. Paneer was also in the DISLIKE list. I had my own criteria ...... Paneer (Cheena) as rasogolla was fine, even Cheena Poda (another traditional sweet from Odisha) was fine but not Cheena Payesh or even for that matter steamed paneer cake. Forget about Paneer Curry and all that ...... 
And I am sure you would not want to go through the long list of vegetables ..... Except for Potatoes, Cauliflower, Peas, and a select few everything else !
Not just that I would sit with food on my plate for hours. My tantrums were unlimited.

Either my parents had given up on me as a hopeless case or had loads of patience. I have to go with the later ..... not because I am biased but because it was their patience and perseverance of not giving up on me that I am a foodie now !! Yeah Rome was not built in a year. 
My parents would constantly worry about my eating habits especially when I would have to leave their nest and go out to make a life of my own. No matter how stern mom looked she wept like a baby when she left me at my hostel. And the real world beckoned upon me ...... Bitter gourd curry was served for dinner the first night at my hostel along with some other greens, curd, rice, sambar and chappati. Tears welled up and was chocked. Either I had to eat or starve. I served a small spoon of rice and sambar and tried to swallow it. And I have to say that my stay in the hostel taught me many lessons of life .... including food !! And I changed my habits for the better. 

The next time I visited home after my first semester break ..... my family was quite surprised to meet the no more fussy eater. I ate all and with delight. And today my list of food that I don't eat has shrunk and if ever I am made to do a thank you speech on who changed my food habits, it has to be the horrible cook of my hostel ...... lol

About the recipe ........

Cottage cheese is called Cheena in the eastern part of India. This curry is very typical to Odisha/ West Bengal. Goes well with Indian Flat Bread ( Roti/ Phulka/ Chappati/ Poori/ Paratha etc ). Best when consumed fresh.
Preparation Time - 30 minutes

Serves - 2 
Cottage Cheese - 250 gms
Baking Soda -  1 pinch
Onion - 1 small
Tomato - 1 small
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 4-5 pods
Cinnamon - 1 inch 
Cardamom - 2 
Fennel - 1/2 tsp
Cumin - 1 pinch
Cashew nuts - A handful
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1 small pinch
Cayenne Pepper/ Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt -  to taste 
Oil for cooking 
Method of Preparation
1. Knead the Cheena/ cottage cheese after adding baking soda to it to make a soft pliable dough. Pinch out small balls of the cottage cheese and roll between your palms to make smooth balls.  Heat oil in a kadhai/ wok to medium heat and fry them till they are golden brown. Remove and drain on a kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil. Keep aside.
2. Make a paste of Onion, ginger and garlic and cumin seeds . Puree the tomato separately. Make a paste of cashew nuts. Keep aside
3. Take 2 tbsp of oil in a wok. When warm add cinnamon, cardamom and fennel seeds. Now add the onion ginger garlic cumin paste to it. Stir and fry the masala till the masala is cooked and there is no raw smell. Add tomato puree, turmeric, chili powder and salt. Cook for few more minutes till the masala starts leaving oil at the sides. 
4. Add the cashew nut paste to it and simmer. Add garam masala. If needed add water to adjust the consistency.
5. If you are making this dish in advance, heat the gravy and add the Cheena balls to it just before serving. Else they tend to soak the gravy and make it dry.


Manju said...

My...that looks really good! Almost like Malai kofta type of preparation right?...must try it soon.

Plateful said...

Not a fan of cottage cheese or any cheese for that matter, but this looks seriously goooood!!

divya said...

Looks absolutely delish! Drooling over here! :)

Navaneetham Krishnan said...

I have never fussed about food because I came from an average family whereby we learned to eat whatever mum and dad can effort. So I have learned to eat without any restrictions.

Adore the outcome, beautiful big pearls like kofta, sitting in an awesome gravy.

Dan Toombs - The Curry Guy said...

That recipe looks absolutely amazing. I've got to give it a go. Thank you for sharing Satrupa!

Veena Theagarajan said...

wow! looks too good.. nice treat

Sayantani said...

even I was served roti and bitter gourd fry for my first meal in hostel. loved reading this post and the chena curry is awesome.

Rajani said...

Isn't it true about how we change when our parents least expect it? Am so glad for your awful cook at the hostel who made you a great foodie.
This cheena balls curry looks awesome.

Shanthi said...

wonderful clicks..awesome...

Chitrangada said...

Bumped into your space through chef at large, what a beautiful blog. Love everything about it.

kumars kitchen said...

you just made our childhood memories come to life... those soft fried cheese balls with gravy were called Marwadi chenna tarkari at our maternal home...every time we made a trip to cuttack these luscious balls would accompany hot fried puris for a satisfactory breakfast,yum...gotta try it soon
view our blog

Kamalika C said...

Kanty !!!!! :D loved the photography..and the recipe too.....Even I came to your space after a long time.....:(

Sagarika's Kitchen said...

Wow !! Looks yummy n delish...

Andhra Recipes said...

Amazing recipe. wow, its just perfect for my saturday night dinner with my hubby. I will cook for the first time and i think this will be perfect..oh i am keeping your recipe.thanks for sharing

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