Capsicum is a quite a key supplementary vegetable in oriental dishes, particularly Chinese and Thai if one forgets to mention green salad. We as Indian with the inherent expertise of making curry of everything, can’t afford to leave capsicum either out of the grasp 😉 On a serious note, spicy capsicum curry with cubed potato can make into quite a lovely dish which goes really well with chapatti. Here I share such a recipe which I try often during winter with abundance of capsicums.
With the onset of winter, vegetable markets get exciting with offerings of colourful seasonal vegetables and fruits. Fresh and lively spinach adds to the variety which I prepare often. It is a healthy piece of green and can be turned into some interesting preparations without much effort. Here I prepare a spinach dish with possibly all the winter vegetables like carrot, broad beans with sprinkled green peas and truly can be tagged as ideal mix veg. The USP of the dish is lentil dumplings alias ‘bori’ which is a must ingredient. Indeed winter is splendid with spinach.
Month of July can be regarded as an ideal month for rainy season. However, in Delhi it is hard to find a completely rain drenched day. For me, here, the extended summer starts in April and ends in September. I dearly miss the good old Monsoon of my growing years in Kolkata.
However summer brings with it a plateful of vegetables among which ‘Bottle Gourd’ or ‘Lauki’ or ‘Lau’ (in Bengali) is perhaps the commonest and still my beloved. Thinking of bottle gourd, the dish which comes in my mind at the foremost is Lau Ghanto or the traditional bottle gourd curry. For preparing ‘Lau Ghanto’ one needs to chop the bottle gourd very fine which is a bit time consuming. While an alternative preparation with bottle gourd, known as ‘Lau er Dalna’, can be prepared much easily which I present here.Potato and bottle gourd chunks are simply cooked in Indian spices to make a curry for Lau er dalna. This dish is very delicious too with an aroma of garam masala and ghee and indeed a great accompaniment of plain rice or roti or paratha.
Bori or sun-dried lentil dumplings is a traditional ingredient used in a number of bengali preparations. Often it plays a silent role to enhance the taste of the dish and thus the secret USP. We can’t think of many veg curries (like Lau Ghanto or Bottle Gourd Curry , Sukto , Mochar Ghonto (Dry Banana Flower Curry) , Mulor Ghonto/ Stir-fried Radish etc.) and fish curries (with Tangra fish , Rahu, Hilsa ect.) without bori in them.
‘Bori’ can be made of urad dal, masoor dal or even chana dal. Thick airy lentil paste is prepared and dried under direct sun in dumpling shpes. In earlier times, ‘bori’ used to be prepared at home. However, these days it is readily available in market.
‘Masla bori’ is a special kind of Urad dal bori with added spices. Usually, ‘bori’ is a used as a supplementary ingredient. However, it is the key ingredient in this recipe. The whole preparation here is based around ‘bori’ which is made into a tasty curry with mustard sauce.
“Kumror Chokka” or diced pumpkin curry is quite a well known vegetarian dish in Bengali Cuisine. It is also often made as a ‘prasad’ among others during household pujas and best enjoyed with luchi aka puri or paranthas. The usual pumpkin curry with the chunks of potato tastes even more lucrative while a handful black chickpeas find their way in the curry. Largely unassuming and underrated, this simply curry, if prepared well can arouse your taste bud with ease.
Earlier I have posted a recipe with pointed gourd, Patol Aloor Dalna, which was perhaps one of its simplest. Today I am sharing with you a bit delicate recipe known as Patoler Dolma or Dorma. Here the big fat belly of pointed gourd is cleaned to get stuffed with cottage cheese. The filling can although be of minced meat or even different fishes. As Durga puja is around the corner and many of us are used to experiment with vegetarian foods and willing to dish out something special, it could be a perfect choice for your puja menu 🙂
Pointed Gourd, known as ‘Patol’ in Bengali, is one of my favourite summer vegetables. We prepare various curries with this vegetable. Often mustard seed paste, poppy seed paste, curd etc. are used to elevate the taste of the curry. However today I am sharing with you is perhaps the simplest one, Patol Aloor Dalna. It is a very common preparation in Bengali households either over lunch with rice or at dinner with roti. As the summer is approaching, pointed gourds are getting more visible in the market and so I couldn’t resist myself having the very known taste of ‘Patol Aloor Dalna’.
Cauliflower is one of my favourite vegetables. I generally used to make a simple curry with potato and cauliflower which can be found here ‘https://jayeetacha.wordpress.com/2014/11/10/fulkopi-alur-dalnacauliflower-potato-curry/‘. Cauliflower seamlessly suits well in various dishes, for example lentils, mixed veg and even in fish curries. However, when I wish to make a rich dish out of it, I go for ‘Cauliflower Roast‘ which is a spicy preparation indeed. Even one can draw some similarity of its recipe with the following non-vegie as given here ‘https://jayeetacha.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/murgir-jhol-bengali-style-chicken-curry/‘. This dish is in that sense a bit experimental and perhaps elevates the good old run of the mill cauliflower to a new high.
As the severity of winter mellows down, I find vegetable markets are flooded by vegetables. Cauliflower, milky white radish, mushroom; Green cabbage, spinach, broccoli; Orange carrot; vibrant Red beetroot; tri-colour bell peppers, I go on shuttling between them and fill in my shopping bag. Although neither me nor my husband are not exactly keen on radish, still we love this preparation ‘Mluor Ghonto’ or Stir-fried radish. I fondly recall my grand-mother preparing the dish sans the radish leaves and rather sprinkling over chopped coriander leaves on the top. It used to be super tasty with steamed rice over lunch. As the winter is rolling on, I thought to try something different and prepared Stir-fried radish with the leaves in and not discarding them. Result was quite satisfactory 🙂 . Now can’t refrain myself from sharing the recipe of such a healthy winter preparation 🙂 .
Banana flower or ‘Mocha’ can be turned into a fascinating vegetarian dish, a torch bearer of age old traditional Bengali recipes. As they say, ‘as you sow so you reap’, the super delicious Mocha curry does not come easy, one has to toil hard to achieve it. That is perhaps the reason you do not see the dry banana flower aplenty in the market these days. You do not also expect to prepare it too often. More than the time it requires to get cooked, sorting the flowers and picking the stem is a trickier job. However, the effort seems worthy of every pence when the curry is served with white steamed rice. I feel extremely proud to share with you the recipe 😀
Earlier I have shared with you a recipe with Mushroom, called ‘Kadai Mushroom’. However, I had tried the dry mushroom even before that. In fact Dry mushroom was my first stint ever with mushroom. It is such a simple dish that you need just a pinch of cumin seed as for the spices. Even if you are not a great fan of mushroom and do not make it often, you will love this preparation. This happened with me and the mushroom curry is a nice addition to my kitty of vegetarian foods.
Malaber spinach, known as Pui Sag in Bengali, is something I adore a lot. I hardly miss a chance to pick the green tall branches of fresh pui sag from the market, if I find some. Unlike spinach or similar sags, this one can be best prepared with pumpkin. Aubergine and ridge gourd can give an edge too. A sheer delight to the vegetarians, Pui sag has a great fan following in Bengal.
Aubergine or Eggplant is the sort of vegetables which I like in any form and perhaps in any of vegetarian curries. However the story does not exactly hold true for my husband which always prompts me to prepare it in different ways. The current recipe is my latest experiment with aubergine which comes out quite successful and adds flavour to the otherwise hackneyed dishes and to my husbands tongue as well. Hope you all will enjoy it.
On 3rd of March my blog turned 1 year old. Time whisked away so fast that I hardly realised it has been one year since I started. Many a time I thought that I might not revive this blog due to my lack of patience and fickle mindedness. Though I love to cook and experiment by making different dishes, often I run into a low enthusiasm to write about them. You might have noticed this from the irregularity of my posts. But inspite of all my flaws, continuous support and encouragement from my husband, friends and co-bloggers provided me the strength to continue over the last one year. I perhaps could give them nothing but a bunch of sincere thanks and love from the bottom of my heart. I always fancy your supports and blessings. I hope I could continue my journey to reveal most of the Bengali dishes to the world and at the same time enriching myself to learn and share many other cuisines 🙂
Today, to celebrate my blog-anniversary I share with you an age old traditional Bengali vegetarian dish, known as “Enchorer dalna”, a Green jackfruit curry. I assume that ripe jackfruit is quite a well known tropical fruit, compared to its predecessor, the green jackfruit. However we Bengalis can make a delicious curry out of the latter which is even regarded as the “vegeterian meat”.
Thanks again for your kind support which I hope to get in the coming days as well. A very happy holi in advance to all of you and your family.
While in Europe, I found the usage of cabbage mostly in salad. However in India, as we love to make curry out of any possible vegetables, cabbage curry is a well-known vegetarian dish itself. Cabbage is a seasonal vegetable in the tropics, largely available during winter. Cabbage known as Bandhakopi in the East, otherwise Pattagobi across the India can be turned into a smashing spicy curry if cooked by experienced hands. Mind that it sometimes can take a hell lot of time to get cooked, so you have to have your share of patience for an Indian cabbage curry.
In one of my earlier posts Biulir dal o Jhinge Aloo posto, I shared with you just one of the many vegetarian dishes made withpoppy seed paste or ‘posto’. This time, I introduce a very simple recipe ofposto with sliced onion known as ‘Peyajposto’. If you do not know already about my eternal adoration for ‘posto’ dishes, please be ready to hit up on by many of them in coming days. Coming back to ‘peyajposto’, you hardly need anything except its two key ingredients, onion andpoppy seed. Whatever effort you put into making thepoppy seed paste is worthy, given the super delicious taste of the final curry. It is a very quick recipe as well. I am so fond of it that I can eat a bowl full of rice just with a pinch of it.
Mushrooms are not the kind of food that I grew with. I can still remember that years back while I was in school, once my mother prepared a dish with mushroom. Back then as a student I knew it well that mushrooms hail from fungi family, so couldn’t enjoy the dish wholeheartedly.
After coming to Europe, I found mushrooms are quite common as a food and used in various vegetarian and non-vegeterian items. However, I never bought them as I didn’t know how to cook. Then once I happened to taste it at one of my neighbour’s place. She cooked it so well that I immediately fell into love with it and decided to try it myself. Now mushrooms feature quite often in our diet. Gradually I also came to know the health benefits of this low-calorie and low-fat vegetable.
At the beginning while looking for a good recipe with mushrooms I came across with the one called “Kadai Mushroom”. In fact a number of “Kadai Mushroom” recipes are available in youtube, among which I chose that of Nisha Madhulika. This onion and garlic less recipe reminded me of the authentic Bengali vegetarian dishes which was the main reason to select this recipe. Nonetheless to mention that the end product was immensely satisfactory. Now I often prepare this dish when vegetarian guests visit our place. So give it a try, I bet you will like it. 🙂
Broad beans or “Seem” (in Bengali) are mostly available in winter and used in various dishes. To be very honest, I am not a big fan of it, so do not use it often. But the recipe I share with you today is a slightly different broad bean preparation which really won my heart. Long back I watched this recipe in my favourite cooking show, “Rannaghar” and added it to my “to do” list but never tried after that. Few days back, while talking with one of my friends, again I got reminded of this recipe. Without further delay, I made it in my kitchen and the outcome was mouthwatering. Just give it a try.
I was introduced to ‘Kadhi’ over an Indian party here in Utrecht. I never heard about it before. However to my surprise I found that it is quite a well known and popular preparation particularly over North and West of India.
Kadhi is a spicy dish with gravy (generally thick) made of gram flour or ‘besan’ and sour yogurt, in which tasty vegetable fritters or “pakoras” are immersed. The gravy consistency varies according to the regional preferences.
I was quite impressed by its taste and made up my mind to give it a try at my own kitchen. I went through few recipes in youtube and decided to follow one which I am sharing with you. This is a recipe of Kadhi in Punjabi style with lot of spices and thick gravy. Traditionally fenugreek leaf pakoras are used in Punjabi kadhi. As I didn’t find it, I made an alternative one with spinach. Spinach pakoras came out really well and I realised that they can even be served as a very good tea time snacks as well. Without spending more words lets check the recipe.
Ingredients to serve 4-5 :
For Pakora/Vegetable Fritters :
- Chopped spinach – 1 large cup
- Gram flour/besan – 3-4 tbspoon (heaped)
- Carom seed/ajwain – 1 teaspoon
- Chopped onion – 1 (small)
- Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
- Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
- Baking soda – 1/8 teaspoon
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
For Kadhi :
- Yogurt – 1½ cup (approx. 250 gm.)
- Gram flour/besan – 4 tbspoon (heaped)
- Lime juice – 1 tbspoon (optional)
- Ginger-garlic-green chilli paste – 1 tbspoon (heaped)
- Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
- Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
- Salt to taste
- Water – 1 litter
- Cloves – 5-6
- Black peppercorn – 10 – 12
- Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Fenugreek seed – ½ teaspoon
- Pinch of asafoetida
- Chopped garlic – 1 tbspoon
- Dried red chilli – 3-4
- Sliced onion – 1 (medium)
- Potato (cut into small cubes) – 1 (medium)
- Oil – 2 tbspoon
For Pakora/Vegetable Fritters :
Mix all the ingredients mentioned for “pakora”, except oil, in a bowl. Add water, if needed, to make a soft mixture, don’t make it a runny one. (I hardly added any water)
Heat sufficient oil in a kadai over medium heat. Drop small portions of the spinach mixture in hot oil and fry till they turn golden brown in colour. Transfer them on paper towel to absorb excess oil and then keep aside.
For Kadhi :
Combine the ingredients 1-7 in a large bowl. Add little water, whisk well and make a lump-free batter. Then dilute the batter by adding the remaining water in 2 portions.
Heat oil a deep non-stick pan over medium heat. Add cloves, peppercorns, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds, saute for a minute.
Then add asafoetida, dry red chilli and chopped ginger and saute for a while.
Then add sliced onion and fry till they get translucent.
Add cubed potato and saute for 5 minutes.
Whisk the yogurt mixture and pour to the pan.
Stir to mix and cook for 16-18 minutes on medium flame, stirring frequently so that no lumps can be formed.
Put the gas off as the potato gets cooked (it should not be mushy) and a silky shine is visible from the homogeneous mixture of yogurt and gram flour.
Place “pakora” in a serving dish and pour the hot “kadhi” on top.
Serve hot with steamed rice or roti.
- The yogurt I got is little sour in taste, so I added lime juice. If you get a sour yogurt then there is no need to add lime juice.
- The oil should be moderately hot for the pakora to get cooked through. Don’t fry them in very hot oil.
- Feel free to add water to the ‘kadhi’ if it seems very thick while cooking.
- Without following my way, you can also add the vegetable fritters/pakoras to the ‘kadhi’ at the end and cook for couple minutes more, then serve with rice or roti.
- The ‘kadhi’ should be cooked well, there shouldn’t be any raw flavour of gram flour.
- Adding potato cubes is completely optional.
- Thickness of ‘kadhi’ depends completely up to your choice.
Cauliflower has always been my favourite winter vegetable. During my childhood I used to wait eagerly for winter to come so that I could enjoy various preparations with it. However these days, one can find cauliflower in the market throughout the year. “Fulkopi-Alur dalna” or Cauliflower and potato curry is a very common dish prepared in Bengali households. The recipe is quite simple and requires few handful ingredients. This curry is equally enjoyable with rice or roti or paratha.
Ingredients to serve 4 :
- Potato (cut into medium sized cubes) – 2
- Cauliflower – 20-24 florets (medium size)
- Chopped tomato – 1 (small)
- Slit green chillies – 2-3
- Ginger paste – 1 teaspoon
- Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
- Whole garam masala (Cinnamon – ½” stick, Clove – 3, Green cardamom – 3)
- Bay leaf – 1
- Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
- Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
- Cumin powder – 1½ tbspoon
- Salt & sugar to taste
- Cooking oil – 4-5 tbspoon
Rinse the vegetables with water and keep aside.
Heat 3 tbspoon of oil in a frying pan or kadai over medium heat.
Add cauliflower florets to it and fry till they get half-cooked and light brown in colour. Add salt and ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder while frying it. Keep the fried cauliflower aside.
Now add remaining oil in the pan and let it become hot.
Add whole garam masala, cumin seeds and bay leaf into it. Saute for a while till you get a nice aroma out of them.
Now add potato cubes, salt and remaining turmeric powder. Fry the potatoes till they get half-cooked.
Add chopped tomato, ginger paste and green chillies and cook till tomato turns mushy.
Now add fried cauliflowers, red chilli powder and cumin powder and cook till oil separates from the mixture. You can add little water if the spices seem to burn, but cook the dry spices till their raw flavour disappears.
Now add 1½ large cup of water, sugar and salt as needed. (remember you have already added salt twice before).
As the water starts boiling cover the pan with a lid and let it cook over low-medium flame.
As all the vegetables get cooked and gravy thickens to your desired consistency put the gas off.
Serve with roti, paratha or rice.
- Adjust chilli according to your taste.
- If you want your gravy to be more spicy and flavourful then add 1 teaspoon of ghee/clarified butter and ½ teaspoon garam masala powder at the end. Mix them well and give a standing time of 1-2 minutes.