Paneer or Cottage Cheese is made by curdling milk – either you do it by adding lemon juice/vinegar or sometimes, some cooking malfunction can do it for you. Paneer is also called as Chhana in Bengali and is often made at home. We the Bengalis prepare a wide range of sweets and spicy curries with homemade chhana and we absolutely love it in our vegetarian kitchen. I already have two awesome recipes of homemade Chhana (Paneer or Cottage Cheese) on my blog – one is Chhanar Jilapi, which is a sweet dish and the other is Chhanar Dalna which is a spicy and popular curry of Bengali vegetarian kitchen.
Though, the previous two dishes are made of homemade Chhana, for today’s dish what I have used is the packaged store-bought paneer. I am not a fan of this ready made paneer, although, the other members of my family don’t mind to have it often. As I don’t like this paneer, I have almost zero paneer recipe on my blog till date. But today I thought of allowing the store-bought paneer into my kitchen and also on my blog. I must confess that I love this dish and so will you, I believe.
Bhapa Paneer or Steamed Paneer is a popular Bengali dish and is probably one of the easiest paneer recipe ever existed. The only thing you need to take care of is the proportion and once you are perfect with the proportion, you are a champ. This dazzling yellow dish is something that everyone would fall in love with, even not-a-paneer-lover like me. Serve it with gorom bhat (hot steamed rice) and this will create a symphony of taste.
- 250 gm paneer, cut into medium cubes
- 2.5 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1.5 tablespoon poppy seed
- 1/2 cup yogurt, whisked
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 6 green chillies (3 roughly cut and 3 slitted)
- 2 tablespoon mustard oil
- 1 handful chopped coriander leaves (optional)
- 1/2 cup water (optional)
- salt, according to taste
- Soak mustard seed and poppy seed in little water for 15 minutes and make a fine paste by adding 3 roughly cut green chillies. Keep the paste aside.
- Take a steel container (something dabba type) with a tight lid. If you don’t have one, you can cover any steel vessel with aluminium foil.
- In the vessel, mix the mustard-poppy paste with yogurt, turmeric powder, salt and mustard oil. If you find the mixture very thick, you can add some water. Remember, adding water is completely optional.
- Add paneer to the mixture and give a proper mix. Cover the lid (or with aluminium foil) and marinate for 30 minutes.
- Heat 1-1.5 cup water in a steamer and put the closed steel vessel directly in it. On medium flame, steam for 20 minutes. Don’t overcook, else the paneer will turn rubbery.
- One it’s done, remove from the steamer, open the lid and you can garnish with coriander leaves if you want.
- Your Bhapa Paneer is ready to be served now.
Serve this dish hot with piping hot rice and it will bring a smile on the face of even someone who doesn’t like paneer.
Enjoy this authentic Bengali delicacy and do drop me a comment giving your feedback about this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.