Kanchkolar Kofta Curry, Radha Ballavi and Chanar Jeelapi

On a routine basis, a Bengali meal is a balanced combination of sweet and sour dishes. Contrary to the popular myth, the Bengali cuisine has a variety of vegetarian recipes and dishes. The spicy Kanchkolar Kofta Curry and crispy delicious Radha Ballavi is a popular weekend brunch in Bengali households that is occasionally concluded with the mouth-watering sweet dish, Chanar Jeelapi. 
 

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Chanar Jeelapi (Paneer Jalebi)
  • Duration:30 minutes + preparation time
  • Serves: 2–4 people

Authenticity Slice

Bengali

Make sure that the oil is not too hot while frying the jalebis. The jalebis change colour slowly, so patience is the key!

Ingredients

  • Chhena (cow milk cottage cheese) (150 gm)
  • Milk (2 tsp)
  • Refined wheat flour (maida) (1 tsp)
  • Baking powder (A pinch)
  • Cardamom (elaichi) powder (1/4 tsp)
  • Green cardamom (elaichi) (3–4)
  • Saffron (kesar) (a few strands)
  • Sugar (1 cup)
  • Water (1/2 cup)
  • Oil (for deep-frying)

Method

  • In a heavy-bottom pan, dissolve sugar in water and heat till it bubbles.
  • Add elaichi and continue boiling on medium heat, stirring occasionally, add saffron strands.
  • The syrup should be of single-string consistency.
  • In a paraat, mix flour, chhena, baking powder and elaichi powder and knead into a soft and moist dough using some water.
  • Roll the dough into medium thick rope of around 12 cm.
  • Slowly wind or coil the dough, make two and a half turns leaving small space between the turns.
  • In a flat pan, heat oil to medium hot.
  • Slowly add the paneer jalebis and fry till golden brown.
  • Immerse the fried jalebis immediately in warm sugar syrup.
  • Cover and let stand for a couple of hours.
  • Heat the syrup with the paneer jalebis till boiling point.
  • Cover and let cool for a few hours.
  • Paneer jalebis should absorb most of the syrup and swell in size.
  • Serve the paneer jalebis warm or cold.

Radha Ballavi
  • Duration:30 minutes
  • Serves:2–3 people

Authenticity Slice

Bengali

The dal filling has to be slightly on the sweeter side as that’s the way Bengalis like it.

Ingredients

  • label (For Poori (for 6 poories))
  • Refined wheat flour (maida) ( 1 cup)
  • Oil (1 tbsp)
  • Salt ( to taste)
  • label (For the filling)
  • Split Bengal gram (chana dal), soaked for five hours (1/2 cup)
  • Cinnamon (dalchini) (1/2 inch stick)
  • Green cardamom (elaichi) (2)
  • Cumin seed (jeera) (1/2 tsp)
  • Fennel seeds (saunf) (1/2 tsp)
  • MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder (A pinch)
  • Salt and sugar (to taste)
  • Oil (for deep-frying)

Method

  • In a paraat, mix maida in 1tbsp of oil and knead well with water into a hard dough. Leave aside for 30 mins.
  • Grind the soaked chana dal to a coarse paste with minimum addition of water.
  • Lightly roast dalchini, elaichi and jeera and grind them to powder.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a kadhai. Add saunf and dal paste to it.
  • Next, add in the ground spices, MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder, salt and sugar and fry well to get rid of the raw smell.
  • Let the mixture cool.
  • Stuff small portions of dough with the filling, and roll into poories.
  • Deep fry the poories till light golden brown; serve immediately with potato curry.

Kanchkolar Kofta Curry
  • Duration:60 mins
  • Serves:4-6 people

Authenticity Slice

Bengali

Add homemade spice powder to bring out the traditional flavour and slightly thick texture of the kanchkolar kofta curry.

Ingredients

  • label (For the koftas)
  • Raw bananas (kaccha kela) (4–5)
  • Potatoes (aloo) (2)
  • Gram flour (besan) (4 tbsp)
  • Cumin powder (jeera powder) (1 tsp)
  • MTR Garam Masala (1/2 tsp)
  • Salt ( to taste)
  • Oil (1 cup)
  • label (For the gravy:)
  • Onions (2)
  • Garlic cloves (lehsun) (4)
  • Ginger (adrak) (1 tsp)
  • Tomato (1)
  • Mustard oil (sarson) (5 tbsp)
  • Bay leaf (tej patta) (2)
  • Cloves (laung) (4)
  • Cardamom (elaichi) (4)
  • Sugar (1 tsp)
  • MTR Lal Mirch/Red Chilli Powder (2 tsp)
  • MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder (1 tsp)
  • Salt ( to taste)
  • Coriander seeds (sabut dhaniya) (4 tbsp)
  • Dry red chili (sabut lal mirch) (2)
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) (2 tbsp)
  • Fennel seeds (saunf) (1 tbsp)
  • Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) (1 tsp)
  • Black cardamom (badi elaichi) (2)

Method

  • Dry roast 4 tbsp of coriander, 1 tbsp of fennel, 1 tsp of fenugreek, 2 tbsp of cumin, 2 dry red chillies, 3 cardamoms, 2 cinnamon and 1 black cardamom for 2–3 mins.
  • Then dry grind these spices in a mixer to a coarse powder. Set aside in a bowl.
  • Wash the raw bananas. Pressure cook them along with potatoes for 2 whistles over medium heat.
  • Once they cool, peel the skin of the bananas and the potatoes. Gently mash them together.
  • Add cumin powder and 2–3 tsp of masala powder prepared in the first two steps.
  • Add gram flour and combine everything together to make a smooth dough-like paste.
  • Now divide this mixture into small pedas (balls), roll them in your palms.
  • Heat oil and deep-fry the koftas, 2–3 at a time. Next, make a paste of onion, ginger, garlic and a teaspoon of mustard oil.
  • To prepare the gravy, heat mustard oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add tej patta and sugar, let the sugar melt and caramelize for about a minute.
  • Add cloves, crushed cardamom and the onion–ginger paste made. Keep on stir frying.
  • Stir in MTR Lal Mirch/Red Chilli Powder, MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder, salt and the remaining masala powder.
  • Add finely chopped tomato and sprinkle some water on it. Keep stir-frying for 4–5 mins. Then splash more water as the masala tends to go dry. If oil leaves the sides of the pan, the masala is ready, otherwise keep on sautéing it.
  • Add 3–4 cups of water now. Cover and let it simmer for 8–10 mins.
  • Now for the last phase of making the gravy, add the fried vegetable koftas and cover the pan with a lid. Let it cook for a minute or two. Do not cook the curry for too long as koftas tend to break and turn soggy. Turn off the heat.
  • Add about 1 tsp of ghee and 1/2 tsp of MTR Garam Masala, stir and let it rest for a minute or two.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve kanchkolar kofta curry hot with roti or rice. 

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