Chamani Qaliya is a curry made from paneer or domestic cheese. It is a Kashmiri dish and is one of the most delectable ones found in this part of India. There are several special requirements, other than ingredients for Chamani Qaliya.
These requirements are mainly regarding cooking utensils. Earthenware is used in Kashmir for making Chamani Qaliya but a “Patila” of steel, brass or tinned copper could also be used. For cooking Chamani Qaliya from 2 to 3 kilograms a “Deg” is used and for cooking a maximum of a kilogram a “Leij” is used. Earthenware is used as it provides the dish with a special flavor.
Ingredients of Chamani Qaliya
Following are the ingredients of Chamani Qaliya:
Method of Making Chamani Qaliya
- Paneer - 1 Kg
- Ginger Powder - 1 tsp
- Milk - 1 Cup
- Mustard oil - 1 tsp
- Broken Dry Ginger, or Sliced Green Ginger - 10 gm
- Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
- Aniseeds, whole - 10 gm
- Cloves - 3 nos
- Salt to taste - 1 to 2 tsps
- Caraway Seeds - 1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida - a pinch
- Garam Masala - 1 tsp
- Turmeric - 2 tsps
- Green Cardamom - 6 nos
- Curd - 1 cup
- Black Cardamom, Cinnamon and Black Pepper Powders, each - 1/2 tsp
- Aniseed Powder - 2 tsps
- The paneer is cut into ľ inch cubes.
- The diced paneer is then deep fried in mustard oil on medium heat. Frying has to continue till the paneer cubes turn golden yellow in color and the edges turn brown. A perforated ladle or “jharna” is used for bringing consistency in frying. The fried cheese has to be taken out now.
- A cup of milk, turmeric, sliced green ginger or broken dry ginger, salt, aniseeds and half a pinch of asafoetida need to be added to the fried paneer and the whole mixture has to be boiled for thirty minutes in a patila that has a capacity of 3 litres.
- The soup needs to be strained through using a cloth or a colander. It has to be kept in a bowl. The pieces of cheese have to be sorted out and these have to be kept in another bowl. The boiled remains of other ingredients have to be thrown away.
- Curd, ginger powder and aniseed powder have to be now either churned using a tiny churning stick or mixed with a spoon for creating a homogeneous sauce. Then this mixture has to be added to the soup. The inside of a patila has to be washed and the mixture has to be put into that. It has to be heated and should be stirred with a wooden or steel ladle. This is done to prevent the curd from cracking and separating from the mixture. This has to be done till it starts to boil. The boiled pieces of cheese have to be added to it and the entire mixture has to be allowed to boil for 20 minutes more.
- The oil used to fry the paneer has to be re-heated and cloves, remaining asafoetida and cumin seeds have to be added to it. The ingredients have to be fried till cloves and cumin seeds are fried a little. This oil, along with the spices has to be added to the boiled cheese. The entire mixture has to be stirred and allowed to boil for five minutes more.
- To this mixture needs to be added caraway seeds, cinnamon, green cardamoms, black pepper powder and black cardamom as well as garam masala. This entire mixture has to be mixed gently using a wooden or steel ladle. The pot has consequently, to be covered and allowed to simmer on low heat for ten minutes more. After this chamani qaliya is ready and can be served hot on rice as is the custom as far as big festivities or dinners are concerned.