Ganesh chaturthi was celebrated with full fervor and euphoria in our residential community last week. Among the various cultural and engaging activities for the residents, the cooking competition made my ponder. The challenge was “sattvic recipes”. Which meant no fish cutlets, no chicken kebabs, no deviled eggs. In fact no garlic and onion. …..Should I participate or shouldn’t I? What recipe? Bengali yet sattvic. I looked through magazines, blogs and websites and stumbled upon Paneer Bhapa (Bengali style steamed paneer in mustard and poppy seed paste). The easiest and quick paneer recipe that had the authentic Bengali taste and flavour. And let the world know that Bengali cuisine can be “sattvic” even without it having to be mishti doi or sandesh.
Ultimately, I refrained myself from participating in the cooking competition but nevertheless made Paneer Bhapa for the family today. While I am writing this post, the paneer bhapa awaits in the kitchen to be served with steamed rice for lunch. And I await comments from my ever appreciating and encouraging husband.
Paneer Bhapa refers to steamed paneer with mustard paste. To reduce the pungency of the mustard, one can use freshly grated coconut or poppy seeds or a combination of all of these. This recipe calls for just a teaspoon of oil.
This recipe is similar to Chingri Shorshey Posto but a vegetarian counterpart without prawns and onion.
- Mustard Oil – 1/2 tbspn + 1 tbspn for drizzling on top
- Paneer – 250 gms (cut in cubes)
- Poppy Seed Paste/Posto Paste – 4-5 tbspn
- Mustard Paste – 2 tbspn
- Onion Seeds (nigella seeds or kalonji) – Pinch
- Red Chili Powder – 1 tspn
- Turmeric Powder – 1 tspn
- Green chilies – 2-3
- Salt to taste
- Sugar (Pinch Of)
- ½ Cup Of Water
- Heat mustard oil in a wok, add slit green chillies and onion seeds
- Pop in the paneer cubes and fry lightly for 2-3 mins
- Add ½ cup of water and cover the wok with lid for 5 minutes to cook the paneer.
- Now remove the lid and add poppy seeds paste and mustard seed paste with salt to taste and a pinch of sugar. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Drizzle some mustard oil on top and garnish with green chili.
- Serve with steamed rice.