Chanar Dalna Recipe | Bengali Paneer Kofta Curry

Gluten FreeVegetarian

One of the most popular Bengali Vegetarian recipes, this ছানার ডালনা রেসিপি Chanar Dalna is quite a common affair in a Bengali household. Jewel of Bengali food, this is a no-onion, no-garlic Niramish ranna recipe which uses chena or paneer koftas in a curry.

While growing up, planning easy healthy meals with paneer or chena wasn’t easy at all. I have always seen my dad getting skirmish with the mention of paneer, but this Paneer Kofta recipe would never put him off. Looking for easy weeknight dinners? Have you tried Bengali Paneer Kofta or Chanar Dalna recipe? You won’t regret it!

Chanar Dalna

If you are looking for authentic Bengali cuisine, then this Bengali-style paneer kofta curry recipe is a classic example. While the North Indian counterpart enjoys rich and luscious gravy, this Bengali niramish chanar dalna recipe is completely vegetarian and gluten-free.  Not to say, it’s an excellent dish if you are planning easy healthy meals.

A very common with Bengali vegetarian recipes, the gravy doesn’t include onion and garlic. Yes, you heard that right. That is the very essence of a ‘dalna‘. This is a tomato-ginger-cumin-based gravy that also has some potatoes in it.

Now, many of you also know this as chanar kofta recipe. Why kofta? Aren’t those meatballs? Yes, technically koftas mean meatballs made in Mughlai style and then dunked in creamy and rich gravy. So, this is a vegetarian counterpart of the same, made with cottage cheese or Indian-style fresh cheese made out of cow’s milk.

How to make Bengali homemade Chanar kofta? Plus, how to make koftas soft?

  • This chanar recipe in Bengali cuisine is as simple as it could be. All you have to do is to boil milk and curdle it using any kind of acid, either lemon juice or vinegar. Once the protein separates, and you are left with clear whey, separate the cheese using a cheesecloth.
  • For this easy paneer curry recipe, we need minimum moisture in the cheese, so hang the cheese to rid of the water. Once you have dry and crumbly cheese, use the recipe below to prepare the chanar kofta.
  • The key step to follow to make the koftas soft is to knead the cheese or chana till it becomes smooth. It might take a couple of minutes extra but it would be so worth the effort.

ছানার ডালনা রেসিপি or Chanar Dalna – Another Bengali vegetarian recipe that is 100% Gluten-free and Vegetarian

Chanar Kofta recipe presents the beauty of minimalist cooking. Basically, recipes that use a handful of ingredients to give a lip-smacking dish. I often make the chanar koftas a day ahead and refrigerate them. The next day when I make the gravy base, I simply drop them in and let them soak up and plump. 

I have done this a couple of times when I was expecting guests and needed to feed a crowd. Just make sure not to let them soak in the gravy for too long, or they will leave no gravy at all. Usually an hour before serving, I quickly dump them in and re-heat them once. 

This Chanar kofta recipe has never failed me and has turned out superb each time. Except for lactose intolerant, rest everybody enjoys this dish equally. Don’t be surprised if you find meat lovers making a beeline for this!

Additionally, I am sharing a few more Paneer Recipes to help you plan easy weeknight dinners

Have you tried this recipe? I would love to hear about it.
Tag me on Instagram or Facebook @hashdiaries and I will share it further.

So, here’s the recipe for Chanar Kofta Dalna or ছানার ডালনা রেসিপি

Chanar Dalna Recipe | ছানার ডালনা রেসিপি
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins

One of the most popular Bengali Vegetarian recipes, this ছানার ডালনা রেসিপি Chanar Dalna is quite a common affair in a Bengali household. Jewel of Bengali food, this is a no-onion, no-garlic Niramish ranna recipe which uses chena or paneer koftas in a curry.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Bengali
Keyword: Bengali Food, Bengali Vegetarian Recipes, Chanar Dalna Recipe, Gluten Free Recipes, Niramish Ranna, Paneer Recipes
Servings: 3 People
Author: Priyanka
  • 200 gms Chana or Paneer
  • 1 Potato
  • 2 tsp Cornflour
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 3 Tomatoes small
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 2 tbsp Ketchup
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 Green Chilies
  • 2 tbsp Coriander leaves
  • 4 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • 1 cup Water
  1. Take the Chana or Paneer in a bowl and add the cornflour, 1/2 inch ginger grated, salt and knead them all together.

    Once it has turned into to smooth dough, pinch off balls each of the size of a ping-pong ball and roll them smooth between your palms. You may also stuff a raisin in each of these chana balls. Its optional, but it can be done.

  2. Heat the mustard oil in a pan and fry these chana/paneer balls till golden. Once done, take them out and keep them aside.

    You may store these fried balls in an air-tight container for couple of days before making the actual dalna.

  3. Now, in that same oil add the Bay leaf, cumin seeds and potato cut in cubes. Keep frying till the potatoes are almost cooked.

  4. Now, put the tomatoes, ginger and the dry spices in a mixer and grind them. Ass this to the fried potatoes and cook till you see oil separating at the edges.

  5. Add the ketchup, green chilies slit lengthwise and water. Allow it to simmer.

  6. Drop the Chena Balls and let it simmer for couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and add the chopped Coriander leaves.

  7. Serve after 4-5 minutes.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes
    1. If you aren’t planning to serve the Chanar Dalna in an hour or so, then prepare the gravy and keep it aside. Add the Chana balls 30 minutes before serving. These fried koftas tend to soak in the gravy. If they remain too long in the gravy, they will become soggy and might break off while serving.
    2. The Chanar Dalna isn’t perfect for freezing. However, you may freeze the gravy and the chanar koftas separately. Right before serving you may thaw them and microwave them for couple of minutes together and they would be good.

This post was first published on December 13, 2019, and later republished on April 27, 2024, with a more elaborate description of the recipe.

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Indian Food Blogger Priyanka Bhattacharya

Hi! I’m Priyanka!

A passionate home cook and food lover who loves nothing more than sharing my favourite recipes with the world.


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