Sana Thongba/Manipuri Paneer(Indian Cottage Cheese )

Ingredients

  • 250 grams paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon  nigella or kalonji
  • 1 tablespoons ground/grated ginger
  • 3 Indian bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Instructions: 

Today I am going to do this simple yet very tasty paneer recipe and I am sure there is no room for any disappointments. This is a pure Manipuri dish and is always served in the traditional Meitei vegetarian feast call Ushop. Talking of this feast, The Manipuri Ushop has its own unique way of serving and feast arrangements. There are usually 15-21 different recipes served and it always happens to be an odd number for traditional reasons. The cooks are the Manipuri Brahmins, locally known as Bhamon. Normally there are more than 50 people being served and it can go way more depending on the occasion of the feast.  People are seated in a disciplined rows and columns format and the food is served sequentially row-wise by the Bhamons only.

This particular dish is so special that it is served as the last item in the ushop and right before the desserts are being served and that too in very less amount. It’s guaranteed you will be left licking your finger with such good taste and unfortunately less amount that you get. 🙂

The flavor it produces with such minimal usage of spices is just magical. I must say that this is regarded as one of the most delicious vegetarian dishes. I have tried different varieties of the sana thongba and this one comes closest to my heart.

Cut the paneer into cubes as shown below. You can always cut them your way in different sizes and shapes.

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Prepare your ingredients.

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In a pan, put oil and fry your paneer over medium heat until light brown.

Once you get the light brown color, remove and drain them with kitchen tissues.

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Continue to cook using the remaining oil in the pan and put bay leaves and nigella at medium-low heat. Stir them for 30 seconds.

Add ginger and fry them together for 1 minute in low heat.

Now add peas and saute them for another 1-2 minutes.

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Now add turmeric and chili powder and cook for another 1 more minute until the raw smell is gone. A good sniffing power helps, isn’t it?

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Add milk ,water and salt.

Increased the heat and bring them to boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Add the sana (paneer) and let it simmer until the gravy becomes thick which will take around 10-15 minutes.

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There you go, The yummy sana Thongba is all ready for you. You can serve this with rice or roti based on your preference

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Sana Thongba/Manipuri Paneer(Indian Cottage Cheese )
Author: 
Recipe type: Manipuri
Cuisine: Meal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 250 grams paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese)
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon nigella or kalonji
  • 1 tablespoons ground/grated ginger
  • 3 Indian bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
Instructions
  1. Cut the paneer into cubes
  2. Prepare your ingredients.
  3. In a pan, put oil and fry your paneer over medium heat until light brown.
  4. Once you get the light brown colour, remove and drain them with kitchen tissues.
  5. Continue to cook using the remaining oil in the pan and put bay leaves and nigella for 30 seconds.
  6. Add ginger and fry them together for 1 minute in low heat.
  7. Now add peas and saute them for another 1-2 minutes.
  8. Now add turmeric and chilli powder and cook for another 1 more minute until the raw smell is gone.
  9. Add milk , water, and salt.
  10. Increased the heat and bring them to boil.
  11. Reduce the heat to medium low add sana(paneer) and let it simmer until the gravy becomes thick which will take around 10-15 minutes.

4 comments

  1. […] This challenge was a bit difficult as many of their dishes include fish and meat. I had to search for a veg dish which would also be a bit traditional. Also I did not wanted to cook sweet, so my options were limited. I initially thought of stew, but traditionally their stew consist of a fish and I did not just wanted to substitute something. So While discussing the secret ingredients with my partner, Pavani Gunikuntala from Pavani’s Kitchen, she suggested me Sana Thongba, which is made using Paneer & Peas. I immediately decided shortlisted the recipe from here. […]

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