Posto Paneer Kofta

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Spring is here and so are the thousand colors of nature. Every nook and corner of the street is filled with red, yellow, orange blossoms. Though with the heat rising in Kolkata, there’s not much feel good feeling about this time of the year but still there is a grand festival coming up in just a few days from now. Yes you have guessed it right, its HOLI time. Holi, the National Festival of India is celebrated throughout the states of the sub-continent and West Bengal too is not far behind. The main attraction of holi, or doljatra (as we Bengalis like to say) is the Boshonto Utsav or Spring Festival in Shantiniketan. Thousands gather at the Viswa Bharati grounds on the day from all over the world.

Thinking of colors, the first thing that comes to mind is red, green, blue and yellow.  Remember those days in school, the houses had these names and everybody used to fight with the other houses – Yellow, yellow dirty fellow or the first love letter you wrote – roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you. Do you have any other such poems or phrases, you used to throw, then share it with us!

Paneer balls prepared in poppy and sesame gravy

Thinking about a colourful preparation I scratched my head but nothing authentically Bengali came to mind. So, thought of mix matching the Western with the Eastern. And, there it is the result – paneer kofta in thick poppy paste with slices of red and yellow bell pepper to spice and color it up.


For the kofta:

  • 400gms of paneer or cottage cheese, mashed finely
  • 4 teaspoon gram flour or besan
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon sugar, preferably brown sugar
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Salt to taste

For the gravy:

  • 4 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame, ground to a fine paste with the poppy
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 red and yellow bell pepper diced coarsely
  • 2 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • Few black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon clarified butter or ghee (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  • Mix all the ingredients required for kofta excepting the oil and make a soft dough
  • Prepare small balls each having a rough diameter of 3cm
  • Heat oil in a wok and deep fry these balls in batches, keep aside
  • Heat a wok with 2 tablespoons of fresh oil, throw in the cumin seeds, as they start sputtering add the bell pepper and toss for a minute or two
  • Add the turmeric powder and season with salt and black pepper
  • Pour in the poppy and sesame paste and cook till the oil separates
  • Cover the gravy with 2 cups of water and stir well, cook covered for 10-12mins, check the seasoning
  • Put in the fried koftas as the gravy starts boiling, cook for 2-3min more and take out of flame
  • Serve hot with chapattis or rice

Hot Tips – Koftas tend to dry up the gravy, so if you are a gravy person try putting in more water or else, take out the koftas after cooking and serve the gravy and koftas separately.

Further Reading – Bengali Style Matar Paneer, Palak Paneer with a Twist




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Paneer Bhurji for Bachelors

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If you’re a bachelor, chances are that you like spending the minimum amount of time in the kitchen. If that’s the case, this paneer recipe is just for you. [Here’re some more quick Indian recipes – Microwave Fried rice and Breakfast with egg series].

For this preparation, I bought fresh paneer from sweet shop. You can also use the packaged paneer or even try making some paneer (chana, chenna) at home.

Easy way of making Paneer at home

Boil a liter of milk, and pour 4 tablespoons of lime juice in it. Separate the curd from the whey. Put the curd in a soft cloth, preferably muslin and drain out the excess water.

While the cheese is inside the cloth, place it over a perforated metal can or box and place a heavy weight over it so that the cheese gets firmer and any extra water gets drained out. The more you press it, the harder it becomes.

Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 10min
Serves: 3-4

How to make Paneer Bhurji (Paneer Jhuri Bhaja)


  • Indian cheese (paneer): 300gms
  • Potato (Aalu): 2 medium sizes
  • Green peas (Matar, Mator shuti): ½ cup
  • Tomato (Tamatar): 1 small, coarsely chopped
  • Turmeric powder (Haldi Powder, Halud guro): ½ teaspoon
  • Chili powder (Lal Mirch Powder, Lal lankar guro): ¾ teaspoon
  • Green chili (Hari Mirch, Kancha lanka): 2 -3 (optional)
  • Ginger paste (Adrakh paste, Ada bata): 1 tablespoon
  • Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 3 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste


  • Slice the potatoes into thin two inch long pieces, wash and drain out the water
  • Grate the paneer in a grater. Alternately if you are using fresh curd cheese then just press with your palm to make it fluffy
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan, and throw in the potatoes
  • As the potatoes get half cooked, add all the spices, tomato, peas and mix well
  • Cook for 2-3 mins more and pour in the grated paneer
  • Mix and cook for 2-3min more
  • Take out of flame and serve with roti, paratha or rice and dal

How to make Paneer Bhurji in Microwave

You can make the same paneer bhurji in microwave as well. Put in 2 tablespoons of oil and potatoes and cook covered for 4 min in microwave high (100%). Mix all the spices, tomato, peas and cook uncovered in microwave high for 2mins. Add the grated paneer and cook uncovered in microwave high for 3 more minutes.

Further Reading – Bengali Style Matar Paneer, How to make paneer

Personal Note: Kalyan had been doing a lot of cooking these days. Thanks to his cook, who has gone back to his native for a fortnight, or probably a little more. Office, cooking, phone calls from home and time for his girl friend – takes away a lot of time, leaving almost nothing for his own personal leisure. So, I thought of suggesting him a quick and easy recipe for dinner. I could have done it just by getting him a call or personal mail. But, I’m sure there are hundreds of bachelors or even spinsters who frantically search for some quick and easy recipes for beginners.

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Bengali Style Matar Paneer

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Matar Paneer

Matar Paneer

A woman proposes a man. The man rejects. And then the man is punished for the refusal. Ever heard of such a thing?

Custom dictated if a man is proposed on 8th February, he can deny it only at the risk of punishment, which varied from a kiss to buying a gown or a pair of gloves.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

Well, you know that already. So, Ladies lets get started. In case you are a man, there’s nothing better for a lady to see a nice dinner table decked with her favorite food. You bet.

I love cooking, but there can’t be anything better if I see my man cooking dinner for me. Even if that’s not so good to taste, I would just devour that.

We at Cook Like a Bong are celebrating this week of love. Valentine’s Day is just round the corner. I am sure you all are busy thinking of what best to present to your loved one:). To make that special person feel how much you care, I am sure, you all are ready to do a lot (but not like the Hindi movies “Main tumhare liye jaan bhi de sakta/sakti hoon!” [– “I can sacrifice my life for you!”] – that’s too much:) ).

StepMom Proposal Scene, my favorite

Propose Day

Today is Propose  Day and I thought of preparing something simple yet special. K is not here, but I’m sure he would have loved it. The Matar Paneer is Bong-ofied by yours truly. Bon Apetite!

Serves: 2
Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 15min



Ingredients of Matar Paneer

Farmer cheese (Paneer ): 200gm
Potato (Aalu): 2 medium sized
Peas (Matar, ): ½ cup
Tomato: 1 medium sized
Cumin (Jeera): 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder (Jeera guro): 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1teaspoon
Chili Powder (Lanka guro): 1 teaspoon
Garam masala powder: ½ teaspoon
Clarified butter (Ghee): 1 teaspoon [optional]
Sunflower Oil  (Sada tel): 1 ½ tablespoon, + extra for frying

Fresh Paneer

Fresh Paneer

Preparation for Matar Paneer

  • Cut the paneer and potatoes into small 1 inch size cubes, chop the tomato
  • Simmer about 2 cups of water with little salt
  • Heat oil in a wok and gently fry the paneer cubes till golden brown, drop the fried paneer in the salted water
  • Fry the potatoes till half cooked in the same oil, keep aside
Half Fried Paneer

Half Fried Paneer

  • Drain excess oil keeping just about one-and-half tablespoon of oil for the cooking
  • Add the cumin seeds and wait till they start popping, reduce the flame
  • Add the tomatoes, cook till they soften and the oil starts coming out
  • In the mean time, add all spices in a small bowl and pour in just about half cup of water to make a smooth paste
  • Pour the spice paste in the wok and cook, if it starts getting too dry then pour in some more water
  • Throw in the half cooked potatoes, salt and just as much water to cover the potatoes
  • Cook till the potatoes are almost done
  • Slowly drop the soaked paneer and cook till the gravy thicken
  • Sprinkle the garam masala and pour in the ghee
  • Take out of flame and serve with roti, paratha or vegetable pulao
More Matar Paneer

More Matar Paneer

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Palak in Paneer Bowl

So the guessing game was fun. Thank you all for the comments. Yes, you all have guessed it right the main ingredients were paneer (famer’s cheese) and spinach. Here goes the recipe for the yummy and delicious recipe from my mom’s kitchen.


Serves 6


For making the paneer bowls:-

Farmer’s cheese (Paneer): ½ kg

Wheat flour (Maida): ½ cup

Spinach paste (Palak shaakh bata): 1 large bowl

Garlic (Rasun): 10 -12 cloves, chopped finely

Ginger paste (Ada bata): 1 teaspoon

Sugar (Chini): ½ teaspoon

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Chilli powder (Sukhno lanka guro): 1 teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 5 tablespoons for frying

Salt to taste

For making the gravy:-

Cashew nuts (Kaju badam): 30 gms

Poppy seeds (Posto): 100 gms

Green cardamom (Choto elaichi): 3-4

Cinnamon (Darchini): One 1″ size

Cloves (Labango): 3-4

Green chili (Kanch LAnka): 3 – 4

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 1 tablespoon


 For making the paneer bowls:-

  • Take the paneer, wheat flour and salt in a large bowl and knead well to make dough. The dough shouldn’t be very soft, depending on the water content of the farmer’s cheese.
  • Make two inch diameter spheres from the dough
  • Using your hand make them into small bowls to hold the spinach
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok
  • As the oil becomes piping hot sauté the onions in it
  • Throw in the chopped garlic and ginger paste just as the onions turn golden
  • Add the spinach paste when the oil starts separating from the sautéed spices
  • Put in the turmeric and chili powder along with salt and sugar
  • Fry till the spinach gets dry
  • Take it out of flame and let it cool down completely
  • Take a large tablespoon of the fried spinach paste and put it into the paneer bowls
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the fried spinach paste filled paneer bowls in batches
  • Drain the excess oil using a kitchen paper


 The fried bowls are an ideal snack for any evening party, or you can even use it as a starter along with tomato sauce. Read on if you want to make it into a curry.

For the curry:-

  • In a mixer grinder put in cashew nuts, poppy seeds, green chilies and ½ cup of water, make it into a smooth paste
  • Heat oil in a wok and throw in cinnamon, cardamom and cloves
  • As they start popping pour in the poppy paste along with salt and sauté till the oil starts leaving
  • Carefully add the fried farmer’s cheese bowls to the gravy and cook uncovered for 5 minutes
  • Take out from flame and serve with rice, paratha or roti


This dish was a instant hit among all my relatives when my mom cooked it for the first time. Though a little tedious and take almost 1 hour to prepare from the raw materials to the dining table, but the outcome is worth all these hard work. Look for more recipe here, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

Also this recipe is heading for the EFM-Savouries hosted by Srilekha.


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