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.
Palon Saker Ghonto (Spinach with Mixed Vegetables)
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 🙂 .
Mulor Ghonto / Stir-fried Radish
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 😀
Mochar Ghanto (Dry Banana Flower Curry)
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.
Dry Mushroom Curry
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.
Pui Sag (Malaber Spinach) chachchori
Bottle gourd alias “lauki” or “Lau” is one of my favourite vegetables. To my delight, I have found it in the open market here in Netherlands and did not waste time buying. Although Bottle guard can be cooked in the authentic vegetarian way, back home we used to cook it with shrimps which tastes delicious too. However, here I describe the completely vegetarian bottle guard curry recipe with some of the interesting ingredients like “Bori” or dried lentil nuggets. However, it is not absolutely indispensible and the flavour ofLauki is itself self-sufficient. The curry goes equally well both with rice and roti and is a perfect choice for summer menu with a lot of water content in it.
Lau ghanto or Dried bottle gourd curry
Ingredients to serve 3-4 :
- Bottle gourd – 1 (small)
- Potato – 1 (big)
- Slit green chilli – 2
- Bori (Sun dried lentil nuggets) – 6-8
- Cumin seed – 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
- Salt & sugar to taste
- Chopped coriander leaves – 2 tbspoon heaped
- Cooking oil – 3 tbspoon
Peel the bottle gourd and cut into very thin slices.
Thinly sliced Bottle gourd
Peel and cut the potato into medium size cubes.
Heat oil in a pan over medium flame and fry the lentil nuggets (bori) into it until they turn brown. Take them out and keep aside. As they cool down a bit, crush them by your hand and make small fragments of them.
Add cumin seeds to the left over oil and let them splutter.
Add potato cubes and fry them lightly with pinch of salt.
Then add bottle gourd slices, green chillies and turmeric powder into it. Fry till water releases from bottle gourd.
Then season with salt and sugar. Cover the pan with a lid and put the gas on low.
As the bottle gourd gets cooked and water dries up, add crushed lentil nuggets (bori) and give it a good stir.
Cook for another couple of minutes and put the gas off when it looks dry.
Now sprinkle over the coriander leaves, mix well and cover the pan for few more minutes.
Serve with rice or roti.
- Instead of coriander leaves you can also add ½ tbspoon of ghee and ½ teaspoon of garam masala powder at the end of this recipe. I prefer adding ghee most, but as I didn’t have it in my stock, I added coriander leaves.
- Sun dried lentil nuggets or Bori are readily available in market. You can use them. Or it can be easily prepared at home. I will post the recipe soon. 🙂