Niramish Chennar Dalna

Niramish means cooking without onion or garlic. Traditionally niramish food is popular especially during Durga pujo and other religious festivities but in West Bengal there is a wide range of ‘Niramish’ food that is part of the daily repertoire of Bengali cooking. In this dish, homemade chenna is mashed with a little flour and spices and made into balls. You can shape them whichever way you like. Either fry or use an ebelskiver pan to fry using very little oil to keep those calories down. A Curry base is then made with tomatoes, cashews and milk to make a creamy, luxurious sauce that is served with the chenna koftas @sarchakra

For the Chennar Kofta

  • Milk
  • Vinegar 1 tbsp
  • Flour 2 tbsp
  • Salt
  • Turmeric 2 tsp
  • Red chili powder 2 tsp
  • Toasted cumin powder 2 tsp
  • Ginger 1 tbsp, grated
  • Green chilies 4-5, finely chopped
  • Oil for frying

For the Dalna

  • Tomatoes 1 can
  • Cashews handful
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric 2 tsp
  • Red chili powder 1 tbsp
  • Cinnamon 1 inch
  • Cloves 3-4
  • Green cardamom 3
  • Cumin seeds 1 tbsp
  • Ginger paste 1 tbsp
  • Sugar 1 tbsp
  • Fenugreek leaves 2 tsp
  • Nutmeg 1 tsp, grated
  • Turmeric 2 tsp
  • Toasted cumin powder 2 tsp
  • Milk 1 cup
  • Oil 3 tbsp
  • Bengali garam masala powder 2 tsp
  • Ghee 1 tbsp


For the Chennar Kofta

In a large pan pour in 5 cups of milk. Let it come to a boil. Mix vinegar and 1 tbsp of water. Pour into the milk. Turn the heat off. Stir. Let the milk curdle. Use a cheese cloth to strain the chenna. Rinse out the Chenna so no traces of the vinegar remains. Squeeze out all the liquid.

Put chenna in a bowl. Add flour and knead the mixture for a couple of minutes till smooth. Season with salt, turmeric, chopped green chilies. Mix. Make small balls out of the mixture.

Smear a little oil in the ebelskiver pan. Fry the spiced chenna balls till golden on all sides. Reserve.

For the Dalna

Heat oil. Add in cumin seeds, green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Cook for a few seconds. Add ginger paste. Cook for a few seconds till the raw smell goes.

Add tomato and cashews. Season with salt and turmeric. Cook for 5 mins or so till the oil starts to float. Turn the heat off. Cool the mixture.

Pour it in a blend and make a purée. Pour the mixture back into the pan. Add red chili powder, toasted cumin powder, Garam masala powder. Let the mixture come to a simmer and the oil start to release from the sides of the pan.

Add milk and ½ cup of water. Add sugar. Grate some nutmeg into the gravy. Check seasoning and adjust accordingly. Crush some dried fenugreek leaves in the palm of your hands and add to the curry.


In a bowl pour a ladle full of the gravy. Arrange a few of the Koftas on the gravy. Sprinkle a little dried fenugreek leaves.

If you try a recipe, please use the hashtag #sarchakra on INSTAGRAM for a chance to be featured!


Serving the Chennar Kofta Curry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.