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Dimma's chanar daalna

Updated: May 7, 2018

one of my grandmother's simplest and most loved dish - Chanar daalna which is a popular bengali vegetarian dish (cottage cheese dumplings in tomato based curry)

Dimma turned 80 a couple of months back but her enthusiasm in the kitchen can give young cooks a run for their money. I love observing her in the kitchen while she painstakingly carries out each step for a dish she is making. She has a childlike excitement even for dishes she has cooked a million times for us. It was my long time dream to learn one of her classic recipes and shoot it and so glad this finally happened.

I asked her a couple of days before Diwali to teach me her ultimate chanar daalna recipe (cringe-worthy English translation but here you go – cottage cheese dumplings in tomato gravy) and she readily obliged. It is a dish I often ask her to cook for me when I go back home and it makes me forget the existence of meat. The aromas of this curry wraps fond memories and it smells like Dimma’s loving hands.

She patiently waited for me to shoot every step and also posed with the pots and pans (she is the cutest). I am not writing the recipe because you cannot measure things in recipes like these but I’ve tried my best to capture step by step process of a dish that’s truly special to me and is a family favourite. Going to give it a shot in my kitchen soon but of course it will never taste the same.

This was our Diwali lunch paired with hot steaming rice. Comfort food of the best kind.

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