Chana Bhapa is a popular dish from Bengali cuisine that involves steaming Chana Paneer, or Cottage cheese in a steamer with a blend of carefully chosen spices until it reaches an ideal level of flavor and texture. The dish is typically prepared with mustard oil for an authentic taste.
- Debjani's Note
- A conversation over Bhapa Chana!
- Chana Bhapa Vs. Chanar Paturi!
- Here's how I make Chana Bhapa at Debjanir Rannaghar!
- Recipe Card
- Bengali Vegetarian recipes from Debjanir Rannaghar!
- Have you tried the Bengali Chana Bhapa recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
- Here's the Bhapa Chana Recipe Pin for your Pinterest Board!
Recently, my family and I took a well-deserved vacation that was both hectic and relaxing. Our last long trip was in 2016 to Kerala, but Mehebub was working abroad at the time, so it was just my daughter Pasta and I who went with my family. Since then, we've only gone on smaller trips, because I wanted to wait until Pasta was older and could fully enjoy a longer trip with us. While I plan to share our experiences from our recent trip to Pattaya and Bangkok, I thought I'd share a Bengali recipe first. I've gathered so much content and experience from our trip that it would take at least ten blog posts to cover it all. Therefore, in this post, I'd like to share an easy recipe for Bengali Chana Bhapa. Before that let me share a funny conversation that I had with my little one!
A conversation over Bhapa Chana!
Pasta asked me if she could have some Chana Bhapa the day before. I was surprised and asked why she suddenly wanted to eat it. I also mentioned that we didn't have chana available at the moment. However, Pasta pointed out that there was some chana in the fridge that her grandpa had brought last week when he was visiting. I was surprised to hear this news and checked the fridge, where I found about 1 kg of chana. Pasta's innocent expression was not as innocent as it seemed.
I was surprised to learn that Baba had brought mishti from Bhim Nag during his visit last week, but I hadn't noticed any Chana. Upon checking the fridge, I discovered around 1 kg of it and realized that Pasta's innocent expression wasn't so innocent after all. Whenever I visit my parents, I make it a point to get fresh Chana (unprocessed paneer) from Bowbazar. For those unaware, Bowbazar in Kolkata has a Chana Patti where you can purchase fresh Chana. I use this fresh Chana in various dishes including Chana Bhapa, which is one of the easiest dishes I prepare using Chana. Pasta particularly enjoys dishes made with mustard paste, and Bhapa Chana is no exception. I must note that I often use curdled milk to make Chana at home and use it in this delicacy as well.
What makes Chana Bhapa truly special is the use of fresh Chana or Paneer. This ingredient is the star of the dish and adds a unique texture and flavor that is hard to resist. When combined with the other ingredients, it creates a perfect harmony of taste and texture, making it a favorite among food enthusiasts.
One of the unique aspects of Chana Bhapa is the use of mustard oil, which is a staple ingredient in Bengali cuisine. The oil has a pungent flavor that adds depth and complexity to the dish. It is also known for its health benefits, such as aiding digestion and boosting immunity.
Chana Bhapa Vs. Chanar Paturi!
The process of making Chana Bhapa involves marinating the masher Chana in a mixture of spices and mustard oil for some time to allow the flavors to infuse. The masher paneer aka Chana is then placed in a steamer. The steaming process allows the cheese to absorb the flavors and spices, creating a rich and savory taste. While in Paturi we wrap the mixture in a banana leaf and then steam it.
Here's how I make Chana Bhapa at Debjanir Rannaghar!Print
Chana Bhapa is a delectable Bengali dish that consists of steamed Chana/ Paneer, or Cottage cheese that is spiced to perfection with the use of selected spices and mustard oil.
- 250g Chana/ Cottage Cheese/ Paneer
- 5-6 Green Chilli
- 1 /2 bunch Cilantro/ Coriander leaves
- 75g Plain curd
- 1 Tbsp. Yellow Mustard Seed
- 1 Tbsp. Black Mustard Seed
- 2 Tbsp. Coconut Paste
- 1 Tbsp. Poppyseed Paste
- ¼ Tsp. Turmeric Powder
- 1.5 Tsp. Salt or to taste
- 3 Tbsp. Mustard Oil
- To begin, soak mustard seeds in salt water for 15 minutes.
- Afterward, make a paste of the seeds and strain it to remove the husk.
- Get rid of any moisture from the Chana and mash it up with a spoon or your fingers.
- Add mustard paste, coconut paste, poppyseed paste, turmeric powder, salt, chopped coriander, and green chilies to the Chana, along with mustard oil. Mix everything together into a smooth mixture and transfer it to a container with a lid.
- If you're using paneer cubes instead of Chana or crumbled paneer, coat the cubes in the spice mixture before adding them to the container.
- The next step is to steam the Chana or "Bhapano," and there are different ways to do it, which are explained below.
Making Chana Bhapa in a Pressure Cooker:
- Put the mixture in a metal container that has a lid.
- Fill the pressure cooker with water and set the container on a stand inside.
- Cover the cooker with a lid and weight and cook on medium heat until two whistles are heard.
- Allow the pressure to decrease before opening the lid.
- Wait for the container to cool before opening it.
Making Chana Bhapa in a deep bottom vessel:
- The process is the same as above.
- After placing the lid cook on low flame for 15 minutes.
Making Chana Bhapa in a Microwave oven:
- Take the mixture in an oven-safe container and microwave it at medium temperature for 20 minutes.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Bengali
- Serving Size: 75g
- Calories: 279
- Sugar: 3.8g
- Sodium: 885mg
- Fat: 23.4g
- Saturated Fat: 6.7g
- Carbohydrates: 7.6g
- Fiber: 0.9g
- Protein: 10.1g
- Cholesterol: 3mg
This dish is typically served as a side dish or as a main course with rice or roti. It is popular among vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike due to its rich and satisfying taste. Chana Bhapa is a perfect balance of flavors and textures, making it a must-try for anyone who enjoys Indian cuisine.
Bengali Vegetarian recipes from Debjanir Rannaghar!
- Shukto (Also known as Shuktoni)
- Begun Basanti (Also known as Bengali Begun Bashonti)
- Lau Shaker Chorchori (also known as Bengali Vegetarian Mishmash with Bottle Gourd Greens)
- Sheemer Jhal (also known as Bengali Shorshe Sheem or Broad Bean Curry with Mustard Paste)
- Sada Aloo Chorchori (Also known as Bengali Aloo chorchori
- Bori Aloor Jhal (also known as Bengali Bori’r Jhal)
- Labra (Also known as Bengali Labra Tarkari)
- Katoya Data Chorchori (Also known as Bengali Style Mix-veg with Drumsticks)
- Kochu Shak er Ghonto (Also known as Taro Leaf Mishmash)
- Palong Shaker Ghonto (Also known as Bengali Spinach mishmash)
Have you tried the Bengali Chana Bhapa recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
Do let me know how it came out. Also, I would love to see a picture of the same which you can share here on firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, on Instagram, you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar and in addition, you can tag me at @foodofdebjani.