Chenna Tarakari is a curry made out of deep fried fresh chenna i.e fresh cottage cheese. Fresh chenna is kneaded till smooth and oily. Then made into small balls,deep fried then added to Onion- tomato based gravy. This curry is made in almost every household in Odisha and West Bengal.The crispy chenna balls soaks up all the gravy and becomes melt-in-mouth.
Chenna is widely used in for making sweets. Starting from rasagulla ,chenna poda, chenna gaja the list can go on and on. Apart from sweets chenna is also used to make delicious curry, bhaja (fritters) etc. I have grown up eating this delicious curry. Mom used to make it mostly on Monday as it a meatless day. In fact even now I follow that trend and make this curry mostly on Mondays or on Saturday. I always make some extra dumplings because the plain fried ones are quite addictive too. My daughter loves them and she always asks for the fried ones like ‘Mamma Can I have one more please?’ .
The key here is to get the chenna balls right.
- Once you make the chenna drain all the water out of it. It should neither be too watery or too dry.
- The second thing is kneading. Knead the chenna till smooth and feels little oily. Chenna should no look no more granular and when you form balls it should be smooth with no/little cracks.
- Third thing is oil temperate while frying. The oil should be high-medium hot. When you add the chenna balls they will start floating on top. Then reduce the heat and fry till golden brown in color.
Gravy for this is usually a light Onion-tomato based gravy. Sometime on festivals I also make no Onion-Garlic gravy.