Sana Thongba|Manipuri Paneer curry

Back to the monthly challenge post for our secret group Shhhhh Cooking Secretly group and this month we are heading to the lush green area of North East India, Manipur. Manipur is a state in Northeast India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. It is bounded by Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south, and Assam to the west; Burma (Myanmar) lies to its east. Its economy is primarily agriculture, forestry, cottage and trade driven. Manipur has the highest number of handicrafts units and the highest number of crafts persons in the northeastern region of India.

Sana Thongba|Manipuri Paneer curry

Manipuri cuisine is the traditional cuisine of Manipur, and dishes are typically spicy food that uses chili pepper rather than garam masala. The staple diet of Manipur consists of rice, fish, large varieties of leafy vegetables. Generally the vegetables are grown in their kitchen garden and rear fishes in small ponds around their house. Since the vegetables are either grown at home or obtained from local market, the cuisines are very seasonal, each season having its own special vegetables and preparations.

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.

Pavani has a wonderful collection of different types of recipes . Do have a look at her blog, and I am sure you will be bookmarking a few. So Pavani gave me the secret Ingredients, Paneer & Nigella Seeds and I gave her Rice and Milk. She prepared this delicious Sangom Kheer.

Sana Thongba|Manipuri Paneer curry

So coming to today’s recipe of Sana Thongba (Manipuri Paneer). Sana means Paneer and Thongba means curry in Manipur and this is a pure manipuri dish served in the traditional Metei vegetarian feast called Ushop. This is very similar to Matar paneer, but with very little or no spices. Also, here milk is added to make the gravy instead of tomatoes or onion garlic. At first I was doubtful of the taste as just using milk for the gravy, I was not sure If I am enjoying this. But we all enjoyed it. My 2 year old and my son too. So here goes an easy and fuss free no Onion No Garlic Sana Thongba (Manipuri Paneer) recipe:

Ingredients

  • 250-300 gms Paneer cubed (Indian cottage cheese)
  • 1/2 Cup Green Peas
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 tsp Nigella Seed /Kalonji
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger or ginger paste
  • 2-3 Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp ghee (Clarified Butter) for shallow frying paneer


Preparation

  • Cut the Paneer into cubes.
  • In a pan add oil or ghee and shallow fry the paneer lightly until golden brown.
  • In the same pan, add 1 tbsp oil. Add in the bay leaves, and nigella seeds and cook for 30-40 seconds.
  • Add ginger and fry them on low for 30-40 seconds.
  • Add green peas and saute for 2-3 minutes on low.
  • Add turmeric and chili powder and cook for another minute or so.
  • Now add milk, water and salt.
  • Increase the heat and bring the mix to boil.
  • Reduce, add the paneer and simmer until the gravy thickens. 10-15 mins approximately.
  • Enjoy with Rice or some phulkas.


5 from 3 votes
Sana Thongba|Manipuri Paneer curry
Cook Time
20 mins
 
Sana Thongba means Paneer Curry is a pure Manipuri dish which is simple and quick to make using very minimal ingredients.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Currry, Indian Cotttage Cheese, Manipur Cuisine, Paneer, Regional
Servings: 6 people
Ingredients
  • 250-300 gms Paneer cubed (Indian cottage cheese)
  • 1/2 Cup Green Peas
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 tsp Nigella Seed /Kalonji
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger or ginger paste
  • 2-3 Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp ghee (Clarified Butter for shallow frying paneer)
Instructions
  1. Cut the Paneer into cubes.
  2. In a pan add oil or ghee and shallow fry the paneer lightly until golden brown.
  3. In the same pan, add 1 tbsp oil. Add in the bay leaves, and nigella seeds and cook for 30-40 seconds.
  4. Add ginger and fry them on low for 30-40 seconds.
  5. Add green peas and saute for 2-3 minutes on low.
  6. Add turmeric and chili powder and cook for another minute or so.
  7. Now add milk, water and salt.
  8. Increase the heat and bring the mix to boil.
  9. Reduce, add the paneer and simmer until the gravy thickens. 10-15 mins approximately.
  10. Enjoy with Rice or some phulkas.


Love to read your comments and feedback. Do drop a line in the comment section if you like and do not forget to rate the Recipe. If you try this recipe, would love to see your creations, take a picture and do tag me at @cookwithrenu using the hashtag #Cookwithrenu on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and @Renunad on Instagram. Subscribe to my email list so that you get the recipe straight in your mailbox.


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