Fulkopir Datar Tarkari – Cauliflower Stem Curry

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Cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables you can get out of a Bangali rannaghor (Bengali kitchen). Whether it’s a simple phulkopir tarkari (Bengali style cauliflower curry) or a cauliflower pickle – cauliflowers are everywhere, even in fish curries.

The gorging of cauliflowers starts from Durga Puja and extends till late March. I have seen mom cooking fulkopir tarkari as a part of the Prasad offered to Durga Ma on Ashtami (the 8th day of the annual Durga Puja worship).  The simple cauliflower and potato preparation seasoned with cumin and ginger paste is just the right side dish for kichdi/ kichuri.

Now, these cauliflower preparations are done with the florets. Most of the time we throw away the stem that comes along with the fulkopi. But, a very traditional and authentic Bengali recipe is with these stems of the cauliflower, fulkopir data chauchori/ chachori.

Chachori is a unique style of preparing curries. Mostly, the vegetables are mostly cut longitudinally and cooked with a concoction of spices, especially panch phoron if it’s a vegetarian preparation. For non-vegetarian ones like morola macher chachori onions, garlic are widely used. Any idea where the word comes from? In fulkopir data chachori the stems are cut to 1” long pieces and if they are too thick then the stems are cut longitudinally.

One of my friends once told that you Bengalis just don’t leave any part of anything – you eat everything. Yeah, it’s kind of true. From peels of gourd to flowers of plantain – Bengalis like to taste everything.

Serves 2
Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 15min

Ingredients: 

  • Stems of one medium cauliflower
  • 1 medium size potato
  • 1 cup chopped pumpkin
  • 1 cup chopped small brinjal, cut longitudinally in quarters
  • 1 tablespoon panch phoron
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoon mustard oil

Preparation:

  •  Boil the cauliflower stems till half done, then blanch in cold water to stop further cooking
  • Heat oil in a wok, throw in the panch phoron. As the spices starts sputtering add potatoes, brinjal and pumpkin pieces.
  • Fry for sometimes, put in the spices and ginger paste and cook for 2-3mins more
  • Add the half boiled stems
  • Pour in water and cook covered till the vegetables are cooked
  • Serve hot with warm rice.

Hot Tips – Panch phoron is a mixture of 5 different spices in equal proportion – fennel, fenugreek, mustard, nigella and wild celery.

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18 Comments

  1. My mother-in-law used to make the most beautiful veg chachori! All the bits were precisely the same size. Now I’m gonna give it a try.

  2. When do you add bringal? When adding half cooked stems or with potato and pumpkin. I had rated this dish with radish also.

    • Sudeshna Banerjee

      Tripti,
      Thanks for pointing that out. Yes, you need to put the brinjal along with potato and pumpkin. I have never tried radish in this recipe, but will definitely give it a try.

  3. Pingback: The Big Bengali Brekfast and Luchi | Cook like a Bong

  4. in paanch phoron instead of mustered seeds i knew it is randhuni.in packed panch phoron in west bengal, here also randhuni mixed with other 4 seeds..no mustered seeds.which is authentic? just wanted to know…
    thank you…

    • Sudeshna Banerjee

      Madhumita,
      Panch phoron is generally made with fenugreek, Nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed. But, in Bengal the mustard seed is sometimes replaced with radhuni or wild celery. So, its up to you to decide. I prefer radhuni and I sometimes add mustard seeds along with panch phoron.
      Regarding authenticity I have seen both being sold in the market. So, its a little hard to say. 🙂

    • it is definitely randhuni.

  5. jive jai ana recipe.

  6. This definitely looks very interesting! I would like to try out the dish at home and impress my husband as he is very fond of authentic bengali food. However, everybody who has commented on this recipe must be an expert cook! But did someone miss “Fry for sometimes, put in the spices and ginger paste and cook for 2-3mins more”? What spices should we add and how much ginger paste? There is no mention of this in the ingredients list. Can somebody help out a novice cook this interesting dish?

    • Sudeshna Banerjee

      Hi Chaitali,
      Sorry for missing out the ginger paste quantity. Its about 1 teaspoon. And by spices I meant the panch phoron, which consists of 5 different spices – nigella, mustard seed, fennel, fenugreek and cumin in equal quantities.

  7. wow…sounds amazing..
    first time here..
    awesome space you have..
    loved ur interesting recipe collection..
    Am your happy subscriber now..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  8. Delicious way to use the stem. Looks healthy too.

  9. At the end fold it with a spoonfull of mustard pase and raw mustard oil. Ah! lovely. Jebe jol

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