The other days I had guests over for dinner...well they were not really dinner guests. They were passing through Bangalore on their way to Kochi and had to catch a bus at 8.45 pm. So I had at my hand a task of preparing a quick meal for them which they could have really fast and reach in time for their bus.
Now I very rarely get to prepare an all vegetarian meal for guests, but since it was Navratri I was unsure if they would partake of a non-vegetarian meal I settled for completely vegetarian fare. I made rice, dal, aloo matar sabzi, roti and chanar dalna.
Chanar Dalna is a Bengali dish I have been waiting to try for sometime now, it has quite a distinctive flavour unlike the Punjabi influenced paneer curries I generally make.
2 peeled and cubed potatoes,
200 grams diced paneer,
3 tsp cumin seeds,
2 tsp sliced ginger,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
3 green chillies,
½ tsp garam masala powder,
1 tsp sugar,
Salt to taste,
2 cups milk,
2 bay leaves,
2 tbsp mustard oil,
1 tsp ghee,
1 tsp coriander powder
Heat the mustard oil and add the diced potato to the hot oil. Fry for about 2-3 minutes and drain it out. In the same oil add the diced paneer and fry till golden brown. Strain the fried paneer cubes out and soak it in hot water till you need it again. Keep covered.
Grind the ginger, 2 tsps of the cumin seeds, green chillies and the coriander powder into a fine paste.
In a pan heat the ghee, when hot add the remaining cumin seeds and bay leaves. Once the cumin seeds splutter add the paste and turmeric powder and fry well till oil separates.
Next add the fried potato and paneer, garam masala powder, salt and sugar. Mix well and cook covered for about 3 minutes. Now add the milk, mix well and simmer for about 7 minutes.
Serve with parathas or plain rice.