Chana Bhapa is a unique Bengali cottage cheese recipe where the ‘chana’ or homemade paneer is steamed in a gravy of freshly ground paste of mustard seeds. Also known as a recipe of paneer bhapa (where bhapa means steamed), this chanar recipe in Bengali cuisine stands its ground for being one of its kind.
This Bengali chana recipe is perfect for those who are looking for meatless dishes which are rich in protein. In this recipe post, I will explain to you how to make homemade cottage cheese and then how to use that homemade paneer to make some narkel shorshe paneer effortlessly in a Microwave Oven.
You will find quite a few delicious chanar recipes in Bengali cuisine. Chana or chena, is quite popular in a Bengali household. Most often as an ingredient to make Bengali sweets recipes or the ever-so-popular Chanar Dalna, where koftas made with homemade paneer is dipped in a tomato-based gravy.
This Bengali chana recipe of narkel shorshe chana bhapa is a rare find, but absolutely delicious in its own ways. In my version of shorshe paneer recipe, I have included a touch of coconut milk cream to add to the richness and a couple of garlic cloves, so add another layer of flavour. All in all, This recipe for narkel shorshe paneer was a win-win among my folks.
This Narkel Shorshe Paneer or Chana Bhapa recipe is perfect for those:
- who do not usually like paneer dishes, or for that matter, recipes using cottage cheese. This Shorshe Bhapa Chana offers a unique combination of flavours of mustard seeds, coconut milk and garlic, which makes it surprisingly unique and absolutely delicious
- or who are looking for more unique cottage cheese recipes
- who are looking for protein-rich recipes for veg meals
- people who are conscious about their weight and mind the oil intake in their meals. Steamed paneer recipes like this shorshe paneer are basically steamed and thus, very healthy for our body
- who love shorshe bhapa recipes, for instance, us. My blog has quite a number of shorshe bhapa recipes where different ingredients like fish, prawns, eggs, etc. have been steamed in mustard seeds based gravy.
- who are looking for easy microwave cooking recipes
As you can see, steamed paneer recipes like this narkel shorshe bhapa chana are quite suited to everyone. So, let’s check out how to make it with the ingredients that go into making this paneer recipe.
How to make Narkel Shorshe Chana Bhapa – Ingredients list
- Chana/Chena – homemade cottage cheese made using cow’s milk – alternate would be homemade paneer made using any other milk
- Black Mustard Seeds – you may also use Yellow Mustard Seeds for lesser pungency. Or a combination of both.
- Poppy Seeds – alternate would be white Sesame Seeds
- Coconut Milk – alternate would be freshly grated coconut
- Garlic cloves
- Green Chilies – use as per taste
- Mustard Oil
- Salt & Turmeric Powder
How to make Chana or Paneer at home – Homemade Cottage Cheese Recipe
- All you need is some good quality cow’s milk and a milk curdling agent such as lemon juice or white vinegar.
- Bring the milk to a rolling boil first. Once it is there reduce the heat and add the juice of a lemon into the milk. Here, I have used 500ml of Cow’s Milk and that required the juice of one golf ball-sized lemon. Add the juice gradually while stirring the milk. Once you see the cheese curdling on the top with the pale green coloured whey left underneath, stop adding the juice.
- Turn off the heat. Take a cheesecloth and lay it on top of a sieve. Now, pour the contents of the milk pan into it. I would suggest you collect the whey underneath the sieve, as it is rich in nutrients. You can use it to knead the dough for chapattis or flour tortillas.
- Gather the ends of the cheesecloth and let it sit on the sieve or hang it over the sink overnight to get rid of the moisture. If you live in a colder region, you may leave it on your kitchen counter, otherwise, keep it in the refrigerator. Gather the cheesecloth and make a tight ball of cheese within. This was, it will form a thick slab of paneer which you can cut into logs or cubes for several other paneer gravy recipes.
How to make Narkel diye Shorshe Bhapa Chana
To make Shorshe Paneer, grind the poppy seeds first into a fine smooth paste. You will know its done when you do not feel the grains between your fingers. Then add the mustard seeds and give it a quick buzz.
Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and then pour it in a microwave safe baking dish. Wrap it with a sling film sheet and cook it on high power. You can also place it in your steamer and steam for 8-10 minutes.
Or, you can do this traditionally by putting everything in a stainless steel container with a lid, and then placing it in your steamer in a kadhai with some water in it. Let it cook on high heat for 10-15 minutes before turning the heat off and serving.
With this homemade cottage cheese, you can go ahead and try the various recipes of paneer. Here’s a list of some of them from my Blog.
How to serve Chana Bhapa?
The best way to relish this recipe for shorshe paneer or chana bhapa is to serve it with plain rice and a wedge of lemon. The acid from the lemon juice cuts right through the pungency of the mustard seeds and gives you a perfectly aromatic and delicious side dish recipe.
Looking for more quick & easy Paneer Dishes List? Check these out
- Dhaba style Paneer Butter Masala
- Palak Paneer
- Badami Paneer Korma in white gravy
- Badami Malai Kofta Curry
- Bengali Chanar Dalna
- Paneer Pakora
- Honey Chilli Paneer
- Paneer Egg Bhurji
Chana Bhapa is a unique Bengali cottage cheese recipe where the 'chana' or homemade paneer is steamed in a gravy of freshly ground paste of mustard seeds. Also known as a recipe of paneer bhapa (where bhapa means steamed), this chanar recipe in Bengali cuisine stands its ground for being one of its kind.
- 1 cup Chena or Homemade Paneer
- 1½ tsp Mustard Seeds Use less if you prefer mild pungency
- 1 tbsp Poppy Seeds
- ¼ cup Coconut Milk
- 2 Green Chilies
- 2 Cloves of Garlic Finely chopped
- Salt to Taste
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 tsp Mustard Oil
Grind the poppy seeds first till its a white smooth paste. I have used my NutriBullet here which is perfect for grinding small quantity ingredients like poppy seeds perfectly. Only then add the mustard seeds and give it a quick buzz a couple of times. This is to avoid them turning rancid by over grinding.
In a mixing bowl mix all the ingredients except the mustard oil.
Now pour it in a baking dish and drizzle some mustard oil on top.
Seal the dish with some clingfilm sheet. Poke a couple of holes in the clingfilm so that it doesn’t burst open while cooking in the Microwave oven.
Cook it for 8 minutes on full power on Microwave Mode. Once done, carefully remove the cling film and give everything a mix. Serve hot.