chenna recipe | how to make chenna in three ways | chenna for bengali sweets

chenna recipe with step by step picture format. Here I described how to make chenna recipe in three ways at home. chenna or chana, a key ingredient in the making of Bengali sweets. It’s actually curdled milk with an acidic agent, and that might be, whey of milk, lemon juice, curd or vinegar.

Though I personally don’t prefer to use vinegar of making my homemade chenna due to its strong smell. And as vinegar is a very strong acidic agent for curdling the milk, it makes the chana little hard. I generally prefer to use curd to curdle the milk, as curd makes a very soft chenna for bengali sweets. But sometimes it’s not easily available around so we can use lemon juice to curdle the milk.  People say, the smell of lemon exits in chenna while curdling the milk with lemon juice and my personal experience says even that smell can be reduced but lemon has also a tendency to make chenna a little hard. So here, I’ve explained making of chenna in three ways.

Then you must ask me, what about the whey of milk, I would say that is the best option for making perfect chenna recipe. Whey is really mild, it will surely make a soft chenna like sweet shops. But my question is, do you daily curdle the milk or at least weekly twice or thrice? If yes, then only you can store the whey in the refrigerator for further use and if you say no, then go for either curd or lemon juice.

If you don’t have any option rather than vinegar then go for it but whenever you’re going to use vinegar or lemon juice, just add some water with it before curdling the milk. How much water is required to add in lemon juice or vinegar, I’ll explain you through this post. So please, stay with me till the end to know the three ways of making chenna at home. And believe me, if you follow my each and every step, you’ll be able to make the perfect chenna for bengali sweets at home. Don’t miss the tips are given below.

Durga Puja, Bengalis great grand festival is coming and without sweets, snacks and traditional dishes we Bengalis aren’t able to celebrate it. I already posted some of our traditional dishes and snacks, so I decided to post some of our Bengali sweets for all of my friends. And as you know Bengali sweets are almost impossible without chenna so that is the reason behind this post.

The procedure of making of chenna or chana and paneer is quite same. But the differences are first, Paneer has to set, to get firmness and a proper shape,  and secondly, Chenna or chana is moist and softer than paneer. I hope this recipe will help you to make delicious sweets at home.

My next post is my favourite sweet, Chandrapuli Sandesh recipe, a special Durga Puja sweet recipe where chenna has been used with coconut.

You may check one more Bengali sweet chanar jeelabi or chanar jilipi or paneer jalebi recipe.

Please let me know how this chenna recipe worked at your home by leaving a comment in the comment box below.

Chenna recipe | How to make chenna for bengali sweets| Making of chenna in three ways

Ingredients of chenna recipe

How to make chenna with curd or dahi or tak doi

  • 1 ltr fresh whole cow milk or full cream milk or full-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup – 1 cup curd or 12 tbsp – 16 tbsp curd
  • 1/4 cup of water(for thick curd)

How to make chenna with lemon juice:

  • 1 ltr fresh whole cow milk or full cream milk or full-fat milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp water

How to make chenna with vinegar:

  • 1 ltr fresh whole cow milk or full cream milk or full-fat milk
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 4 tbsp water

Types of equipment required for making chenna recipe:

  • a  medium saucepan(for 1 lit milk)
  • a clean white cotton cloth or cheesecloth or muslin cloth
  • a colander or a strainer
  • a small strainer (to strain lemon juice before adding in the milk)

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Total time: 15 mins

Course: Sweet

Cuisine: Bengali

Servings: 1 cup 2 tbsp(using curd)

                 3/4 cup -1 cup(using lemon and vinegar)

Author: Moumita Paul

How to make chenna recipe with step by step pictures

Instruction

How to make chenna recipe from curd or doi or dahi at home:

  • First, take 1 cup curd(thin) or 3/4 cup thick curd in a bowl and beat or whisk it well with a fork or whisker to make a smooth liquid form of it. Add 1/4 cup of water with the thick curd. And mix it well with the water.

milk and well beaten curd

  • Now, take a colander or strainer, fix it on the mouth of a medium bowl, put the cotton cloth or cheesecloth or muslin cloth on the colander.
  • Then take a medium saucepan, add 1 ltr whole cow milk or full-fat milk or full cream milk to it.
  • Place the pan on medium heat, when the milk will start boiling, turn off the heat.
  • Then stir the milk continuously for 15-20 times and add the well-beaten curd to it. And gently stir the milk to mix it well with the curd.

stir the milk after turn off the heat and then add curd to it

  • When milk will start to curdle, leave it for 2-3 mins.
  • After 2-3 mins, you can see the water will start separating from the milk.
  • Then when you see a slight greenish whey or greenish water(as shown in the pic), then immediately pour the curdled milk into the colander lined with the cotton cloth or cheesecloth or muslin cloth(as described in the beginning).

milk is curdled and slight greenish whey is visible

  • Then gently stir the chenna by adding  2-3 cups of water to stop its cooking process which will continuously go on if it’s hot enough.

adding water to the chenna to stop its cooking process

  • In this way, when the chenna reduces its heat, then take all the edges together(all the edges of cotton cloth) and make a pouch with it.
  • Then squeeze the mouth of this pouch(don’t squeeze or press the other parts of this pouch) to remove the greenish whey out of the chenna(as shown in the pic).

holding the chenna pouch from its mouth and squeeze to remove the whey out

  • When the continuous flow of whey will get stopped and it will start dripping only then stop squeezing.
  • Remove the all the edges of the cotton cloth and twist its edges from both sides ( as shown in the pic) and then tightly make a knot with the twisted edges(as shown in the pic).

twist the cotton clothe's edges from both sides and make a tight knot with the twisted edges

  • Now make a handle with the end of two edges(as shown in the pic) and hang the pouch with its handle in a hook or mouth of the kitchen tap. The pouch shouldn’t get in touch with water.

chenna pouch is hanging from the hook

  • Now it’s waiting time, hang it for 30 mins and after 30 mins remove the cotton cloth to take out the soft perfect chenna for bengali sweets i.e, Rasgulla or Rosogolla, Sandesh, Pantua or gulab jamun and many more.

chenna is ready

  • The perfect chenna will be moist and soft by nature (as shown in the pic).

showing the soft chenna

How to make chenna recipe from lemon juice at home:

  • First, take 2-3 medium sized lemon, cut it and squeeze it to take out the juice from it.
  • Add 1 tbsp water with 2 tbsp lemon juice.
  • Now, take a small strainer(using to strain the tea) and strain the juice through this strainer to get a clear lemon juice. As we don’t want lemon seeds and lemon fleshes in our Chenna.
  • Now, take a colander or strainer, fix it on the mouth of a medium bowl. Then put the cotton cloth or cheesecloth or muslin cloth on the colander.
  • Then take a medium saucepan, add 1 ltr whole cow milk or full-fat milk or full cream milk to it.

milk with lemon

  • Place the pan on medium heat, when the milk will start to get boiling, turn off the heat.
  • Then stir the milk continuously for 30 secs, and slowly add the lemon juice to it. And gently stir the milk to mix it well with the lemon juice.

stir the milk after turn off the heat and before adding the lemon juice to the milk

  • When milk will start to curdle, you can see the water will start separating from the milk.
  • When you can see a greenish whey or greenish water(as shown in the pic before), then immediately pour the curdled milk into the colander lined with the cotton cloth or cheesecloth or muslin cloth(as described in the beginning).
  • Then gently stir the Chenna by adding  2-3 cups of water to stop its cooking process which will continuously go on if it’s hot enough.
  • In this way, when the chenna reduces its heat, then take all the edges together(all the edges of cotton cloth) and make a pouch with it.
  • Then squeeze the mouth of this pouch(don’t squeeze or press the other parts of this pouch) to remove the greenish whey out of it(as shown in the pic before).
  • When the continuous flow of whey will get stopped and it will start dripping then stop squeezing.
  • Remove the all the edges of the cotton cloth and twist its edges from both sides ( as shown in the pic before) and then tightly make a knot with the twisted edges(as shown in the pic before).
  • Now make a handle with the end of two edges(as shown in the pic before) and hang the pouch with its handle in a hook or mouth of the kitchen tap(it shouldn’t keep in touch with water).
  • Now it’s waiting time, hang it for 30 mins and after 30 mins remove the cotton cloth to take out the soft perfect chana for Bengali sweets i.e, Rasgulla or Rosogolla, Sandesh, Pantua or gulab jamun and many more.

How to make chenna recipe from vinegar at home:

  • First, take a colander or strainer, fix it on the mouth of a medium bowl. Then put the cotton cloth or cheesecloth or muslin cloth on the colander.
  • Then take a medium saucepan, add 1 ltr whole cow milk or full-fat milk or full cream milk to it.

milk and vinegar

  • Place the pan on medium heat, when the milk will start boiling, turn off the heat.
  • Then take 2 tbsp of vinegar in a cup, add 4 tbsp water to it and mix it well.
  • Now start stirring the milk continuously with a spatula for 1 min. After 1 min slowly adds the vinegar-water mix to it and gently stir the milk.

stir the milk after turn off the heat and slowly add vinegar to the milk

  • Whether milk will start curdling stop adding the vinegar to it. If after 2-3 stirs the greenish whey comes then don’t add more vinegar to it. But if the greenish whey is still not visible then add little vinegar to it and stir the milk until greenish whey comes.
  • Always remember, slowly add the vinegar till the greenish water or greenish whey comes. Don’t add the vinegar together at the beginning that might cause hard chana.
  • When you see a greenish whey or greenish water(as shown in the pic before), then immediately pour the curdled milk into the colander lined with the cotton cloth or cheesecloth or muslin cloth(as described in the beginning).
  • Then gently stir the chenna by adding  2-3 cups of water to stop its cooking process which will continuously go on if it’s hot enough.
  • In this way, when the chenna reduces its heat, then take all the edges together(all the edges of cotton cloth) and make a pouch with it.
  • Then squeeze the mouth of this pouch(don’t squeeze or press the other parts of this pouch) to remove the greenish whey out of it(as shown in the pic before).
  • When the continuous flow of whey will get stopped and it will start dripping, then stop squeezing.
  • Remove all the edges of the cotton cloth and twist its edges from both sides ( as shown in the pic before). And then tightly make a knot with the twisted edges (as shown in the pic before).
  • Now make a handle with the end of two edges(as shown in the pic before). And hang the pouch with its handle in a hook or mouth of the kitchen tap. But the pouch shouldn’t get in touch with water.
  • Now it’s waiting time, hang it for 30 mins and after 30 mins remove the cotton cloth to take out the soft perfect chenna for bengali sweets i.e, Rasgulla or Rosogolla, Sandesh, Pantua or gulab jamun and many more.

Tips for making chana recipe

  • Don’t use the cold milk or cold curd directly from the refrigerator, while making this recipe. First, bring the milk and curd at the room temperature, then use it.
  • Here I’ve described the way how I get it from the milk. The quantity of acidic agents, i.e, curd, lemon juice or vinegar may differ for the quality of your milk.
  • Continuous stirring is necessary after turn off the heat before adding the acidic agent. That will help to make it soft.
  • While adding the acidic agent, don’t add it together at the beginning, instead, use it slowly and stir it continuously. When getting the greenish whey stop adding the acidic agent, that will also help you to get soft perfect chana.
  • After pouring it in the cheesecloth, don’t forget to add 2-3 cups of water(at room temperature). The water will stop it’s cooking process by cooling it down. And your chana will be as soft as you want.
  • Don’t squeeze the pouch from every side to remove the whey that might be a cause of dry chenna. Our requirement is always a soft and little moist chana for making perfect Bengali sweets.
  • The quantity of it also may differ for the quality of milk, which we’re using.
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