Thursdays are basically an all vegetarian meal days as my father in law had expired on a Thursday 9 years ago, so my family skip non-vegetarian meals on this day of the week.
Vegetarian dishes are not welcomed at my house as both my son and my husband are fond of non-vegetarian dishes. Thus as Wednesday arrives, I have to make my brain work on innovative vegetarian recipes to please both of them.
Sana(Manipuri) or Cottage Cheese or Paneer in India is an item loved by both my boys. As such, most of the time I prepare various dishes with it quite often for Thursday meals(I shall be sharing the recipes one by one later).
My culinary journey definitely is to learn, cook, taste and share various recipe ideas with you all here in my chakhum. Another objective is to introduce my own Manipuri or Meitei Community Cuisines which is lesser known(except for few dishes like Ooti, Singju, Eromba, Modhurjan a dessert, to name a few) globally.
Therefore presenting yet another Meitei or Manipuri vegetarian delicacy Sana gi Pakoura Thongba for you today (Cottage Cheese Fritters cooked in a gravy) with my own twist who else but my all time favourite Chef’s recipe (my Mom’s recipe).
Manipuri Pakoura Thongba actually is gram flour or garbanzo bean flour or chickpea flour (besan in India) fritters cooked in a gravy with Manipuri Maroi (herbs), potatoes and spices. This is my Mom’s version of the Pakoura Thongba but with Cottage Cheese Fritters shaped like a pattice(round, flattened like cake).
Because I never like any Sana recipe(as normally recipes call for the cottage cheese cut into desired size cubes, shallow fried lightly before using them for any dishes) apart from this, Mom use to make it for me back at home.
This was my first attempt in preparing this dish with help from my Mom over the phone 🙂
Now without wasting much of your time, let me guide you with the ingredients and the step by step preparation and cooking method for Manipuri Sana gi Pakoura Thongba recipe.
Sana Gi Pakoura Thongba
250 gm Sana/Paneer/Cottage Cheese, drain the water
2 medium size Onion, grid into smooth paste
1/4 cup or 4 Tbsp Maida or All purpose flour
1 medium size Tomato, cut into small cubes
Whole Spices (1 Tejpatta/Bay leaf, 1″ inch, 2-3 Laung/Cloves, 3-4 Green Cardamom/Elaichi)
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin powder, heaped
1/2 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
1/2 tsp Red Chilli/Cayenne Pepper Powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder(optional)
Salt to Taste
2 Tbsp Vegetable oil or Ghee(Clarified Butter)
1. Add the flour to the paneer and knead well. Divide the dough and shape them into desired shape like pattice.
2. Heat 1/2 Tbsp of oil or ghee in a non-stick frying pan and shallow fry the paneer pattice till golden brown on both side.
3. Remove and keep them on blotting paper/tissue paper to let soak away the excess oil.
4. Put the remaining oil or ghee into the frying pan and add in the whole spices, ginger-garlic paste and saute for a min on medium flame.
5. Now put the onion paste and stir.Cook till the oil starts separating from the paste.
6. Add in the jeera powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and salt.Saute and cook for another 2-3 mins.
7. Add the tomatoes and saute for another 2-3 mins.
8. Now add the paneer pattice one by one and slowly fold in the mixture onto each pattice.
9. Add about 1/2 cup of water or as desired. Reduce the flame to very low and cook till the paneer is done.
10. Remove and serve hot with steamed rice, plain pilaf rice or pooris.