July 19, 2011

Chanar Dalna (Matar Paneer)

Matar Paneer

Chanar Dalna is probably a staple in most Bengali households. It was also the most common niramish (vegetarian) food served if we had guests coming over who were vegetarian. If there was no murgir jhol or macher kalia, the next thing my dad would say, "chanar dalna banai?"

Trying to replicate my mom's recipe without talking to her is never easy. I always feel that I didn't get it right and when I do end up talking I find our that there was indeed an ingredient missing. So this was a big surprise because I felt that this was quite close to her recipe.

1 1/2 lbs paneer, cut into cubes
2 -3 potatoes cut in cubes
2/3 cup green peas
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tspoon grated fresh ginger
2 green chillies
1 tbspoon cumin and coriander powder
2-3 green cardamoms
1 stick cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1 tspoon cumin seeds
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
4-5 tbspoon oil
1/4 tspoon sugar
Salt to taste
bunch of cilantro for garnishing

Heat all but 1 tbspoon oil and put in the paneer pieces and saute them till they start to turn brown. Then put them in salted warm water. In the same oil, add the potatoes next and saute them lightly. Keep them aside.

Add the rest of the oil and temper it with cumin seeds, bay leaves, green chillies. Then add the cardamom and cinnamon. After a minute add the ginger and the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes start to turn squishy, add the turmeric powder, cumin and coriander powder and the peas. Let it cook together for a couple of minutes.

Add in the potatoes, and salt and 3/4 cup of water. Let it cook together for 4-5 minutes. Then add in the paneer cubes and cook it for another 3-4 minutes till the potatoes and peas are cooked.

Matar Paneer

Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with rice.


  1. Darun dekhte hoyeche Mandira. Perfect. I do it the same way too. But my Mom makes the paneer at home which makes the taste a little more better.
    But honestly Nanak Paneer works well for me.

  2. The paneer pieces look to soft ... mone hochhe ekhoni ekta tule mukhe pore di

  3. darun dekhte lagche...paneer looks very soft.

  4. This is new for me , for us in matar paneer onion has to be ther ,will try ur recipe ,.happy weekend

  5. Everyday I come home and want something solid to bite into, not the watery, weight-losing (hah!) veggies that I make in the morning which seem tired by nite - I really should make this everyday, or every other day.

  6. Thank you BongMom, Madhu, Sayantani . My mom used homemade paneer, but I just use the store bought one.

    notyet100 - Do try and let me know what you think.

    Sra - I wish I made this more often too.


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