Kacha Kumror Tarkari

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Kolkata is raging with heat waves. Not a drop of rain since a little shower last week. The mercury is rising every day, and it has become quite a tough job to keep the body cool. Choosing a meal that would keep the body in good health and also pamper your taste buds is definitely hard.

A healthy diet is very important to keep up with this heat, and to make the food least spicy is another crucial step. Alike winter summers to have its own set of vegetables flooding the markets. I love the small raw pumpkins during this time of the year. The only preparation I have ever tasted with green pumpkin though is this one. The fresh and green taste of the cilantros along with the softness of the green pumpkin makes this simple preparation a good treat. This particular recipe was inherited by mom from her mom.

If you know any other recipes of raw pumpkin please do let us know.


Ingredients:

  • Raw Pumpkin (Kacha Kumro): 1 medium size, 300-400gms approx
  • Potatoes (Alu): 2/3, cut into 2” squares
  • Coriander leaf (Dhane pata):
  • Nigella (Kalo jeera): 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger paste (Ada bata): 1 ½ tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon
  • Green chili (Kancha lanka): 3/ 4
  • Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 2 ½ tablespoon
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Cut the pumpkin in 2” size square without peeling the coat
  • Heat oil in a wok, and throw in the nigella seeds
  • Add the potatoes and green pumpkin, cook covered without pouring water, add salt
  • Once the pumpkin is half cooked put turmeric powder, ginger paste and the coriander paste
  • Cook uncovered, pour some water if required
  • Take out of flame and serve hot with rice

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Guest Post: Strawberry Chutney

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With the end semester examinations knocking at the door steps, and also because I got a bit lazy I was unable to post for quite a long time now. Due to the Municipal elections in my state end of this month, my exams have been postponed and I’m back to blogging.

A few days back WaterBearer (as she likes to call her) sent me a mail with a wonderful yet simple recipe of strawberry chutney. As she writes in her mail, she learnt this preparation from her mother-in-law. If you are not Pepper Potts from Iron Man reading this post, I’m sure you love strawberries. You had posted another guest post from Soma, to read about that click here.

Here’s some facts about strawberries I didn’t know before I wrote this post:

  • Strawberries are very rich in Vitamin C and a cup of these red juicy berries provide more than a day’s requirement of ascorbic acid.
  • They are low in calories and so for the health conscious people indulge without that sinful brain
  • It’s very good for expecting mothers as 8 strawberries contain 20% of the folic acid required in your daily nutrition
  • Strawberries are said to reduce the risk of cancer and heart diseases

Now, am sure I would eat more strawberries than ever before. J

Ingredients:

  • Strawberries: 6 pieces, chopped
  • White oil (Sada tel): ¼ spoon
  • Sugar (Chini): 2-3 tablespoons
  • Green chili (Kancha lanka): 1/ 2, chopped [optional]
  • Mustard seeds (Sarse dana): 10-12
  • Salt a pinch full

Preparation:

Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard seed

  • Throw in the chopped strawberries. Cover the pan till the strawberries soften. Stir gently from time to time
  • Add the sugar, green chili and salt
  • Stir till it becomes a thick jelly like substance. Remove from flame.
  • Serve it on the side with rotis / parathas as a tangy chutney

As with most chutneys this one too can be stored in the refrigerator, so you can enjoy this rich and tangy preparation anytime you wish to.

If you like to send any recipes, please forward it to benaglicuisine[at]gmail[dot]com, preferably with one or more photos of the preparation. We would love to hear your suggestions and comments.

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Happy Mother’s Day

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Ma is probably the first word that comes out from every child. Whatever language you speak this word makes you remember just one person, the first lady who brought us into this world. Today is Mother’s Day. In India we never celebrated Mother’s Day (wiki has something else to say, though) before globalization struck, but still its just a day to celebrate and to remember the most loved woman.

Bison mother and child, Gorumara, North Bengal

While searching for some links, came across this Mother’s Day poem, hope you like it:

A Thousand Thanks

Mother’s Day brings to mind

The thousands of things you did for me
that helped make me happier,
stronger and wiser,
because I had you as a role model.
I’m grateful for all the times

you healed my hurts
and calmed my fears,
so that I could face the world
feeling safe and secure.
I’m thankful for all you showed me

about how to love and give–
lessons that now bring
so many blessings to me
each and every day.
Your sacrifices and unselfishness

did not go unnoticed, Mom.
I admire you, I respect you,
I love you.
And I’m so glad you’re my mother!
Happy Mother’s Day!

By Joanna Fuchs

Mom had been my first teacher, my strength, my best critic and I know my secret admirer :). Last but not the least, ma had been the best cooking teacher I could ever get. My ma is the best cook I have ever seen. Though she prefers preparing Bengali dishes, she loves to experiment in the kitchen. Her kitchen is like her laboratory and ma the scientist in there. This blog is also an ode to the various dishes, particularly Bengali recipes that I have learnt from her and this post is a collection of few of her wonderful recipes.

Shukto – The first served food for any lunch in any typical Bengali household. The bitterness of the bitter gourd and the plethora of all the other vegetables is said to have a cooling effect to the body that serves as an appetizer.

Cholar Dal – This typical Bengali lentil preparation is best had with luchis on a lazy Sunday morning

Kachuri – A little deviation from the Bengali puris or luchis, these stuffed puris is an envy for all those who can’t use the rolling pin to make a perfect circle (including me)

Aamer Dal – A must have during the warm summers

Kanch Kalar Kofta – Raw banana always seem to be a bad option for any meal, but if you have this kofta, you’ll ask for more

Lau Chingri – A lovely medley of the vegetable and the most loved fish (Trivia: shrimps are actually insects)

Chanchra – Although most Bengali recipes have an influence from the ruling dynasties in Bengal, this typical Bengali preparation has been left untouched by any invader

Bhapa Chingri – A very easy to prepare mouth watering fish preparation

Patla Ilsiher Jhol – Hilsa is mostly prepared with muatard, but this non-spicy preparation stands its chance to be loved by anyone

Mutton Kasha – a Bengali menu can’t be over without mutton in it

Aamer Morobba – This is one of my most favorite dishes, I love it and have it almost throughout the year

Misti Doi – Sweet yogurt so as translate in English, but misti doi has its own magic spread over its taster’s tongues

Patishapta – This is a sweet dish prepared during the harvest festival

There are numerous other recipes that mom had taught me, and there’s loads more to learn from her. This one is a very short list of my favorite mom-taught recipes.

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.
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