Chhanar Dalna (Bengali style ‘homemade paneer / cottage cheese’)

This is a part of the series ……. For the Chef in u

Contributed by YUMMRAJ’s favourite Chef ANONYMOUS
Super easy to make & Super good to eat……………

Chhanar Dalna – Bengali style home made paneer / cottage cheese

Historically curdling of milk was not considered to be good generally in India & particularly in Bengal. With the advent of the Portuguese in mid 1600s, came the cottage cheese & it is from there that the Bengali cooks learnt the use of chhana (paneer) for cooking as well as for making sweets.

Chhanar dalna is a homemade cottage cheese & potato curry.

For making the chhana, boil 2 liters of full cream milk. When it comes to a boil, add juice of 3 whole lemon. The milk curdles. Take a muslin cloth, place it over a large vessel. Pour the curdled milk over the muslin to separate the chhana (cottage cheese) from whey.

Discard the whey & tie the muslin cloth to a potli (see picture). Hang it for 2-3 hours from a height so that the excess whey drains out.

From here , there are two methods –

Method 1: What I have inherited from my family.

Method 2: Experimented as advised by Paromita Dey

Draining the whey by hanging it from a muslin cloth


Place the potli on a flat surface & put something heavy on the top for 30 minutes to flatten the Chhana.

Flattening the chhana

Take out the chhana from the cloth carefully & place on a cutting board.

The lump of chhana on a cutting board

Use a sharp knife to cut the chhana chunk into pieces. If u use a blunt knife, the chhana might break / become uneven.

the chhana cut into pieces

Fry the chhana pieces in 1 tablespoon oil on slow fire till they start getting golden brown.

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