Aloo Paneer er Dalna (আলু পনীরের ডালনা ) or Bengali style Paneer Curry with Potato is an extremely easy, hassle-free Indian vegetarian curry. There are many popular Paneer dishes in North Indian cuisine, but Paneer is a contemporary inclusion in Bengali cuisine. In modern Bengali cooking, Paneer became a popular vegetarian protein option because of its easy access. Chunky paneer and Potato fried in oil and then simmered in moderately spiced curry sauce, so they suck up the flavour (not at all loaded with cream and fat) and create a big pot of delicious curry for your weeknight dinners or lunch. You won’t need to hunt any unusual spices that you don’t have in your pantry, or you won’t find in your supermarket.
What is Dalna?
Dalna is moderately spiced, no onion no garlic yet flavourful curry that you won’t get in your local restaurant. The origin of this curry is from Bengal. Different vegetables paired with Potato make different Dalna. Dalna is mainly a vegetarian curry, but Dimer Dalna is another popular curry in Bengali cuisine. Dim means Egg and in Bengali cooking, Egg considers as a non-vegetarian ingredient.
This Aloo Paneer er Dalna is a quicker version of Bengali Chhanar Dalna. Chhana is cottage cheese or acid-curd. Sweet made from Chhana is exclusive to Bengal. Sweets of Bengal and Chhana is another topic to discuss in another blog post!
As a kid, I have fond memories of walking into my Dida’s kitchen (maternal grandmother)and curry simmering in the stove. Even my mother often makes this curry for her weekly vegetarian menu. My grandmother, my mother, tried to avoid fuss in the kitchen as they had to cook and feed a big family.
The common ingredients in Dalna!
Ground spices- Cumin, Red Chilli, Turmeric, Ginger, Bengali garam masala.
Whole spices- Cumin seeds, Green Cardamom, Clove, Cinnamon bark, Hing ( optional)
Potato- diced or chunky potato is a must to cook Dalna! Potato paired with different vegetables, lentil cakes make different Dalna. like Aloo- Kopir dalna, Dhokar Dalna.
Pieces of equipment
- 2-3 Mixing bowls
- Vegetable Peeler
- Either a small grinder to make a ginger paste or Microplane grater will do the job efficiently.
- Wooden spatula
- Cast iron dutch oven
Benefits of using a good cast iron dutch oven
Almost every Indian stew, curry, Dhal recipes call for slow- cooking. A heavy-duty cook pot with lid preferred for browning, slow cooking, stewing. Not only for Indian slow cooking recipes but also for my daily meal I love to cook in a cast iron dutch oven. I have two Chasseur cast iron dutch ovens, one is pink and the other one is black.
In my opinion, Chasseur is the most suitable choice for those seeking to take their first try into cooking with cast-iron cookware thanks to its affordable price point. It offers excellent cooking performance and results. Not only perfect for first-time users but also useful for the collectors of cast-iron cookware without breaking the bank. It comes in all sort of colours. In addition, it will last for a lifetime if you care for it properly!
Everten is an excellent place to order not only the cast-iron cookware, but it also has a vast range of cookware and kitchenware collection. They also offer free shipping all over Australia. Check their website for more information.
Apart from that, as anybody who has ever used a cast iron dutch oven knows they are heavy and you get a free bicep workout every time you use it!