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Patol Mishti

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Bengalis are renowned for their sweets. Be it east west north or south – the Bengali sweet has its own niche. Not much sweet, yet not too dull – the sweet has the exact quantity of sweetness as it should be to please anybody, and mind it not just the sweet lovers. It is the birthplace of sandesh. Even though rasogolla or rasgulla was not born here in Bengal, but very few people know that.

From sweets dipped in sugar syrups like the rasogolla, pantua, rajbhog to the dry and fried balushai and from soft and mushy steamed sandesh to the milk soaked rasomalai – Bengali sweet has it all.

There cannot be a meal complete without a piece of sweet at the end. A spoonful of chatni, a papad (poppadam) and a sweet is all you need to make the sweet loving Bengali praise your dinner menu.

While milk and milk products constitute more than ninety percent of the main ingredient in sweets. There are exceptions to this rule too. The patol misti, a one of a kind seasonal sweet is prepared with an outer covering of pointed gourd stuffed with khoya and small bits of sugar cubes (michri/mishri/misri) to give a nutty feel to it.

Makes 8 patol misti
Preparation time: 30min
Cooking time: 20min

Ingredients:
8 Pointed gourds
200gms khoya
2 generous tablespoon of michri
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
5-6 green cardamom
Silver foil for garnishing (optional)

Preparation:

• Peel the pointed gourd/ patol with the back of a knife.
• Slit open the patol and take out the seeds from the inside, while doing so try not to puncture the outer coat
• Mix the water and sugar together and start boiling
• Let it boil till the sugar dissolves
• Gently place the pointed gourds inside the boiling syrup and boil till the coats get softened, but not absolutely gooey
• Take out, drain the excess syrup and let the coats get completed cooled
• Mix the khoya with the michri and stuff the coats gently with the khoya mixture
• If using the silver foil, wrap the sweets with the foil
• Keep the sweets on the upper rack of refrigerator till before serving

Hot Tips – While boiling the patol, don’t let it touch the base of the pan for long, it will change color then. Also if the syrup starts becoming too thick and caramelizing then pour in more water to make it thin. A syrup of one thred consistency is the best for boiling the pointed gourds. Thicker than that the sugar wont get inside the gourds.

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Bhendi Diye Chingri

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Now, this is a tricky question. Do you think Bengalis are all about fish? Whenever I meet someone who is not a Bong, he/she always ask me this question – do you eat vegetables or is it just fish? Growing up in a family with my widowed grand mom, I have seen lots of vegetables being made at home, vegetables curries without even the hint of onion or garlic – and believe it or not those tasted heavenly.

Its probably because Bengal being such a fertile land and with loads of rivers the balance between vegetables and fish is always there. Whereas in the Western parts of India though the majority of population is vegetarian they mostly stick to different types of lentils for their daily home made recipes.What is your opinion of this?

Chingri Bhendir Tarkari

Coming to vegetables in Bengal, especially in summer, its like a fair. The different types of veggies that you get in the market is beyond imagination, and of these patol or pointed gourd and bhendi or okra are two of my favorites.

My grandmother had her way into the kitchen. Her way of balancing whole spices and ground ones had its own unique style. She used to make this dry curry with okra, pumpkin and potatoes with just a little nigella – and it was tasted out of the world. I made this the same way with just a little twist – I added a few shrimps to it.

Chingri Diye Bhendi

Indian, Side, Prawns, Bengali shrimp recipe, Bangla ranna, Bengali cuisine, Bengali vegetables
Cooks in    Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup okra, split lenthwise
  • 1 cup cued pumpkin
  • 1 cup cubed potatoes
  • 8-10 medium size shrimps
  • 1 teaspoon nigella
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoon mustard oil
Directions
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet and lightly fry the shrimps tll they turn pinkish in color and starts to curl, take out and place them in a kitchen towel to drain out the excess oil
  • Heat the rest of the oil in a wok, mix a pinch of salt and turmeric to the split okra and lightly fry them. Take out and keep aside
  • In the same oil add the nigella, and saute till they start sputtering. Add the pumpkin and potatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour about 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and mix the turmeric powder, chili powder and salt – mix to make a runny paste. Pour the paste to the wok and mix to coat the vegetables
  • Stir till the spices start to dry, make sure it doesn\'t stick to the bottom of the wok. Pour in about 1 ½ cup of water and cook covered till the vegetables are almost cooked
  • Add the okra and shrimps, cook for 2-3 minutes more. Serve hot with warm white rice or roti.

Chingri Bhendi

Hot Tips – Okra being a very slimy vegetables, its always better to wash and then cut the okra. If you do it the other way, the okra will be slimier making the gravy very gooey. Also, that’s the reason I fry the okra first and then put it in the curry.

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Mulo Saag Bhaja – Radish Green Stir Fry

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Bengalis try to use the maximum of anything that comes of the grocery back, and that includes eating peels of vegetables to stir frying the greens. Lau-er khosha bhaja (stir fried Indian gourd skin) is one of Bong delicacies. Even patol khosha boiled and grinded and then stir fried with a little onion seeds has its share of authentic Bengali recipe in Bengali cuisine.

Coming to leafy vegetables, there is a place for almost every type of edible leaves in the Bengali kitchen. The leaves of potato plant is one of my favourites, though it’s hard to find in any market, unless you are growing potatoes in your yard.

While palang shag (spinach) or the pui shag (climbing or Malabar spinach) are very common side dishes for the Bengali lunches, mulo shag though rare is a class of its own. The radish leaves are cooked in various ways, you can simply stir fry them with some mustard and onions or even add a little brinjal cubes and sliced radish.

Mulo Shaag Bhaja - Radish Green Stir Fry

Indian, Side, Radish green stir fry, Leafy vegetable, Authentic bengali recipe, Bengali stir fry
Cooks in    Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Radish leaves
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3-4 red chilis
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
Directions
  • Wash the radish leaves thoroughly to get rid of any mud. Chop the leaves finely
  • Heat the oil in a wok, throw in the mustard seeds as they start spluttering add the onions and fry till the onions turn translucent
  • Add the chopped radish leaves, turmeric powder, salt and stir fry.
  • Serve hot with warm white rice

Hot Tips – Take care while adding the salt. The leaves reduce in volume after frying, if you are not sure how much salt to add, add it once the leaves are almost fried and reduced.

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2011 In Retrospect

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A very happy and sumptuous NEW YEAR. Well, it’s rather late in the day but as the cliché goes – better late than never. Plus, the Gregorian calendar still says January, so we are well within threshold for the wish. Let us have a quick recap of how last year went by at Cook Like a Bong.

Sholo Ana Bangali (100% pure vegetarian, oops bong)

Sudeshna travelled widely last year, but luckily enough, she had free access to her mom’s kitchen, Bengali cookbooks and Lifestyle TV channels. CLB featured authentic Bengali recipes including Kumro fuler vada (Pumpkin flower fritter), Fulkopir datar tarkari (Cauliflower stem curry), age old secret recipe of Dudh Shukto and bitter yet sweet Tetor Dal (Lentils with Bitter Gourd). Fish, at the risk of stereotyping Bengali heshel (kitchen), was present in all its glory – Sabji diye Macher Jhol (fish curry with vegetables), Tel Koi (Climbing Perch in Spicy Bengali curry), Rui Macher Vada (Rohu fritters).

Kalyan, meanwhile, celebrated India cricket team’s world cup win with Rajbhog (giant Rasogolla).If you’ve never been to a cricket game, find an Orbitz deal and go.

Mix-n-Match

Sudeshna also started experimenting more often in the kitchen – trying to merge Bengali recipes with cooking styles in other parts of the world. She used the microwave for frying ilish or even preparing paturi. She cooked Mexican rice with a Bengali tinge and then celebrated Tagore’s 150th birthday with Rabindrasangeet, urrr.. rather with Tutti Frutti Cakes. Inspired by Bangalore Bongs’ two favourite hangout places, she also tried her hand at Chicken Teriyaki and Hyderabadi Biriyani.

And, then there were the share of sweets and smoothies– starting from the not so common Patol Mishti to the South Indian famous Shahi Tukda. Sudeshna tried out baking in her small oven and the chocolate brownie cupcake turned out very yummy.

 

Writing galore

Bengali New Year started on a very note, we got invitation to write a food column for FirstPost, a Network 18 venture which has become very popular. There were number of guest posts from several bloggers as well as non-bloggers, plus an interview with Kalyan Karmakar, the man behind Finely Chopped. Click to know more about all the recipes in Cook Like a Bong.

Getting Personal

Sudeshna received her Masters degree in Biotechnology and also got a job as an Analyst. Kalyan travelled extensively in the US and started to cook full time, well sort of. And, finally, we got married November end. And that kind of would explain why we were missing in action last 3 months. Now with wedding prep, wedding and honeymoon over, we are back in business.

Expect an even more wonderful, sumptuous, finger licking food discourse this year from Cook Like a Bong. Let us all Eat Like a Bong.

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Rui Macher Vada

They say when in Rome, act like a Roman. But, that does not go much for me here in Bangalore. I can’t much act like a Bangalorean. I still crave for fish and I still didn’t fall in love with curry leaves.

I truly believe what Sandip exclaims – maache bhaate Bangali (Fish and rice makes a Bengali). The smell of sautéed onions in macher jhol or sound of spluttering kalo jeera – will surely drive any fish lover crazy.

I still miss the sabji diye macher jhol. Even though I prepare it in my Bangalore home with Andhra rohu, there is no match to the fresh catch from the nearby pond in Kolkata. I miss the freshness of the local pond fishes. The fishes are mostly cold stored and comes to the market almost after 7 days after being caught. Any idea where to get fresh catch in Bangalore?

The not-so-fresh fishes do not add any taste to non-spicy curries, the only way of cooking such fishes is to make a curry with onions, garlic and ginger. I figured out, another way – fish fritters. I have fried the macher vada. If you are calorie conscious, you can also bake it after painting each fritter with little oil or fat. You can use this mix also to make patol-er korma or use it as a stuffing for sandwiches and burgers.

Ingredients:

200 gms rohu or any other fresh water fish
1 large potato, boiled and mashed
1 tablespoon rice flour
1 tablespoon semolina
1 medium size onion, chopped
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
A few sprigs of coriander leaves (optional), chopped
3-4 green chilies
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Preparation:

• Boil the fish pieces and carefully take out the bones
• Mix with the mashed potato and all other ingredients except the oil
• Make 1” balls with both your palms
• Press the balls from either side to make a flattened shape of half-inch width
• Heat oil in a frying pan
• As the oil gets piping hot, set the fritters to fry one side at a time
• Turn over as one side becomes almost brown in color
• Take out of flame and drain the excess oil patting with a kitchen towel
• Serve hot with tomato sauce and drinks of your choice

Hot Tips – If you want to make it as a burger filling, then prepare the balls larger in size. For making a fish bhurji, fry the onions first then add all other ingredients.

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Alu Potoler Tarkari

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Summers in India bring intense heat and incessant sweat, but lots of fruits and some special vegetables too. In fact, there are some vegetables that you won’t quite relate to continental or for that matter any well-known cuisine outside India. One of such special variety is Potol (Patol), Parwal in Hindi and Pointed Gourd in English.

Potol is widely used in Bengali cuisine. Some famous ones are Potol Alur Jhol (Parwal Alu Curry), Potol Korma, some fish items such as Potoler Dorma (Fish stuffed Parwal), Potol diye Macher Jhol (Parwal Fish curry) and Potol diye Singhi Macher Jhol (made infamous by Pyalaram, a character in Tenida series). In fact, there is even a well known sweet prepared with Potol, called Potol Mishti.

Or simply, Potol Bhaja with Bhaat and Dal.

Without further ado, let us have a simple Potol (pointed gourd) recipe – Alu Potoler Tarkari, or Bengali style Pointed Gourd with Potato Curry.

Ingredients for Alu Potoler Tarkari

  • 5-6 pointed gourd (Potol / Parwal)
  • 1 medium size potato
  • 1 medium size onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala

How to Prepare Alu Potoler Tarkari

  • Lightly skin the Potol, and cut laterally into two equal halves. If its too large, then cut into 3 pieces
  • Peel the potato and cut into medium square pieces
  • Heat oil in a wok, and separately fry the Potol and potatoes till lightly brown. Keep aside
  • Remove the mustard oil used for frying and pour in 1 tablespoon of oil in the same wok
  • As the oil gets heated, throw in the onions and garlic cloves. Sauté till the onions turn pinkish
  • Put in the fried vegetables, ginger-garlic paste, and all other spices except the garam masala. Season with salt
  • Toss for sometime till the spices coat the veggies
  • Pour in water and let it cook till the vegetables are tender
  • Sprinkle the garam masala and serve with warm rice and dal.

How do you like your Potol?
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Bengali Food Bloggers Interview Part 3 – Indrani

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Bengali Food Bloggers Interview

This series tries to bring the personal side of the blogger in the list of Top 7 Bengali Food Blogs. This is Part 3 and features Indrani of Appyayan. Earlier interviews:

  1. Jayashree Mandal of Spice and Curry
  2. Bong Mom of Bong Mom’s CookBook

About Indrani

Indrani started the blog in Apr 2008, and till date, it has around 130 posts in several categories. Indrani is based out of Singapore and calls herself a – busy full-time mom of a 10 year old girl and a set of twin boys (2 years old). The blog predominantly features Bengali recipes, and sometimes, other regional Indian and western recipes too. Samples – Patishapta Pitha, Badhakopir Tak Dom, Narkel Shorshe Patol, Bhapa Ilish, and Broccoli Brinjal fry. Incidentally, the blog started at same time as bengalicuisine and has the same number of recipes as of this date. Call it coincidence, huh. She maintained a recipe index of the blog till August 2009.

Without further ado, we give you Indrani.

What inspires you to write a food blog?

Food is an important part of our life. I absolutely love cooking. So my love of cooking and learning new recipes inspire me to write a food blog, so that I can share my love with the world.

Who had been your inspiration for cooking?

My mom had been my true inspiration, who is a great cook. She can create a good food out of anything.

Who was and is your greatest support(s) for this blog?

My husband

What was the first dish that you prepared and when?

The first dish I learnt to cook is Dharosh Posto (Okra / bhindi in poppy seed sauce), because this is my favorite Bengali dish. I learnt this at the age of 13.

What are the 3 food blogs that you would recommend our readers to read?

There are many good food blogs which I visit regularly, but if you ask me specifically, other than Cook Like a Bong, I would recommend, (a) Sailu’s Kitchen, as she has a collection of great recipes (b) eCurry, as she has introduced me with so many new food and I learned so much from her blog, (c) Foodie’s Hope, I just love to visit her blog.

How many cook books do you have?

I have 4 cookbooks – one Bengali cookbook, one on Indian Cuisine, one on baking and one on Chinese cuisine (my fav, just after Bengali cuisine).

What’s your favorite cookbook?

I have a collection of bookmarked recipes from cooking sites and other food blogs, if I put all of them together and make a book, that’ll be my most favorite cookbook.

Tell us something about food from your part of the world?

For the quintessential Bengalis, food is one of the most important aspects of daily life. As it’s said, “Bengalis do not eat to live, but live to eat”. But don’t take Bengalis as an over-eater. Fish and rice, are the most staple food in Bengal, but hardly a day goes by without a Bengali eating some form of dal (lentil). Bengali daily meal has a good proportion of everything we need in our food. A typical daily meal will include rice, dal, some fries with dal, one vegetable dish and a fish or egg or chicken dish. Lastly a chutney, not daily but often. I think, Bengali cuisine is the most sophisticated cuisine in India.

What would you eat for your last supper?

For last supper, I would love to eat some comfort food like dal-bhat-bhaja (lentil-rice and some fry) or khichudi

Which other food blogs do you read regularly?

There are many good food blogs, I try to read as many of them in my little spare time

Your fondest food memory?

I don’t recollect any food memory, but I’ve fondest cooking memory which I absolutely cherish. When my mom used to get sick, bapi (my father) and me used to cook that day. My bapi only knows to cook dharosh aloo posto (okra-potato in poppy seed sauce) and dal (lentil soup), as those are his favorite dishes and easy to cook, too. I used to cut the vegetables and bapi used to cook. He used to show me every step very carefully. We had such nice time together. Whatever I learned about cooking so far, all credit goes to my mom. If she hasn’t pushed me to learn to cook, I couldn’t have survived after marriage, as I am living abroad since my marriage.

Your most trusted kitchen companion?

My mixer-grinder/blender.

What made you to call your blog “Appayan”?

Appyayan” is a bengali word which means to serve your guests which I love to do. My intention to start this blog was to serve my visitors and readers with some authentic bengali recipes, which I learned from my mother, mil and grandmother and other healthy and tasty recipes I experiment in my kitchen daily and love. This is the reason behind the name of my blog.

Name three dishes (along with their links) from your blog that you like preparing often

  1. Garlic Flavoured Masoor Dal (Lahsooni dal)
  2. Paneer butter masala (my daughter’s favorite food)
  3. Chatpata Chicken

Which cookbook can you not do without and which chef is your hero/heroine?

The above mentioned favorite cookbook of mine, my bookmarked recipe collection, that I can’t do without and my favorite chef is Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, I just love to try his recipes.

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Top 7 Bengali Food Blogs

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The most popular website for Bengali recipes is Bengali Recipes on the Web by Sutapa Ray. Started in 1999, the website pre dates all bong recipes sites, and thus, pre dates even the concept of blogging. The list below is a compilation of the most vibrant blogs on Bengali food. These blogs are usually frequently updated and most of them host recipe pictures as well, with the exception of Bangali Meye. We’ve kept Cook like a Bong out of the scope here, for obvious reasons.

The Magnificient sevenImage Courtesy: Flickr

Bookmark these wonderful blogs. Or better still, subscribe them in your reader. Or even better, email us at bengalicuisine AT gmail.com to get the OPML file for the list. It’ll sure make your life easier. Enjoy!

Bengali-Meye-in-US

Bengali-Meye-in-US

A Bengali Girl in US – Blogging since March 2007 under the name Bangali Meye. Content quality of the blog is excellent but you would find images of the delicacies only in the earlier posts. In fact, in her very first post, she declares – this blog will probably not have that many pictures, ki kori, kabo, ranna korbo, na chobi tulbo. Posts regularly (but unfortunately, not as frequently as her fans would like her to) on authentic Bengali recipes. Samples – Mouri Phoron Diye Beet Shager Chorchori, Alu Kopir Dalna, Tomato Kejurer Chatney, Ranga Alur Pantua etc. Very few sites match up to this one in talking about authentic Bengali dishes.

Spice and Curry

Spice and Curry

Spice and Curry – Jayashree Mandal started the blog in Oct 2006 with the first post on Alu Posto ar Amer Ambal. However, the posts became frequent and regular only from Nov 2007. With a pagerank of 4, the blog is fairly popular – whopping 87000+ pageviews since Dec 2008. Samples – Mochar Ghonto, Pomphreter Kalia, Pui Shager Cohorchori. The blog has a good blogroll list too. Also, most of the recent images have copyright notice. Good move to thwart rampant plagiarism on the web. Located in Kolkata, Jayashree also has a personal blog.

Bong Mom's CookBook

Bong Mom's CookBook

Bong Mom’s Cookbook – Sandeepa started the blog in Oct 2006 and it became a fairly popular Bengali recipe blog (with a pagerank of 4, what else you can ask for). The site recently shifted to own domain name. The blog has almost 200 traditional and non traditional Bengali recipes. Samples – Posto Murgi, Pui Chingdi, Beet Gajor Chechki.  Like every blog, this one too has seen a couple of lull periods (twice, to be precise). It has a great blogroll too. Sandeepa is available for freelance writing and can be reached at sandeepa.blog@gmail.com (courtesy: her about page).

Kichu Khon

Kichu Khon

Kichu Khon – Sharmila started this blogspot blog in May 2008, roughly the same time as Sudeshna’s bengalicuisine. A thumbnail sized Durga welcomes you to her site, giving that quintessential bong- at-home feel. The blog hosts more than 150 recipes (mostly authentic Bengali, but several non Bengali as well) and is fairly popular (pagerank 3). Samples – Lao Khosa Bhaja, Ilish Macher Patla Jhol, Arisa Pitha. She has dedicated the blog to her dearest Bapi who loves good food. Sharmila also blogs on her travels.

Appayan

Appyayan

Appyayan – Indrani started the blog in Apr 2008, and till date, it has around 100 posts in several categories. Indrani is based out of Singapore and calls herself a – busy full-time mom of a 10 year old girl and a set of twin boys (2 years old). The blog predominantly features Bengali recipes, and sometimes, other regional Indian and western recipes too. Samples – Patishapta Pitha, Badhakopir Tak Dom, Narkel Shorshe Patol. Incidentally, the blog started at same time as bengalicuisine and has the same number of recipes as of this date. Call it coincidence, huh. She also maintains a recipe index of the blog.

Cook a Doodle Do

Cook a Doodle Do

Cook a Doodle do – Started Feb 2009 by Sharmishtha, the blog features around 50 bengali recipes till date. The site has gained popularity very quickly (pagerank 3 in just 4 odd months). Samples – Pabda Macher Patla Jhol, Boiragi Dal, Palong Shak sheddho. Check out her beautiful poem when she started the blog. Well, you wouldn’t find too many food blogs’ about with poem! Sharmishtha also has a personal blog, check it out.

Cooking in Calcutta

Cooking in Calcutta

Cooking in Calcutta – Angshuman Das started this blog during Durga Puja of 2005 (October) and writes on Bengali food for all ye readers, from Paris to Patna, from Tampa to Timbuktu. The blog posts have been infrequent at times, but have continued to amuse readers. The blog mainly features Bengali food, but occasionally, non Bengali Indian food as well. Angshuman was the only Bengali food blogger to be featured in the Telegraph’s story on Indian Food Bloggers. And if you haven’t noticed it yet, Angshuman is the ONLY male blogger featured in this list!

Hope you like the list. If you know any other wonderful Bengali recipe website, please comment here. We @ BengaliCuisine will include the links in the page for Bengali Food Blog Index

Coming soon:

  1. Interview series of the above mentioned bloggers
  2. Rising stars in the Bengali Food Blogging space

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Bhat Dal and Bhaja – a no frills bong meal

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“Lentils are friendly—the Miss Congeniality of the bean world.”
Laurie Colwin

What’s the staple food in West Bengal? Any guesses? If you answered fish, you’re suffering from a common misconception (another link). Fish is the most loved dish. But Bhaat (i.e. steamed rice, boiled rice or ubla chawal) is something that Bongs drool over. The Bengal region includes the largest delta (Ganga Brahmaputra delta) in the world and the loamy soil of this delta has favored the cultivation on rice. So, boiled rice has become the staple food, and the main source of carbohydrate among the people of this region. Useful Tip: Don’t ask a Bengali “did you have lunch?” Ask “Bhaat kheycho?”(“Did you have rice?”). The Bong guy will suddenly feel connected to you. Bangalir Bhaat ghum is proverbial – a Bengali usually dozes off post lunch, location notwithstanding.

Masur dal with radhuni

Rice is usually accompanied with some lentils and any kind of fry, potato, aubergine (brinjal, baingan, baigan), or any other vegetable. A platter of bhaat, dal and bhaaja (rice, lentils and fries) is one of the leanest, and thus, cheapest meal.

Lentil is prepared in several ways. The most preferred one is masur dal (also, musur dal, masoor dal, musuri dal, red lentil). Predictably, the spices used vary with the style of cooking musuri dal. My last two posts were on desserts (give links), thought of writing a simple and lean platter for today’s post. As they say in Bangalore, Enjoy Madi!

Serves: 2

Cooking time: 20 + 10min

Preparation time: 5+5min

Ingredients:

For dal-

Red Lentil (Masur dal): ½ cup

Wild celery (Radhuni): ½ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 tablespoon

Water (Jal): 1 ½ cup

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Salt to taste

For fries-

Pointed gourd (Patol/Potol): 4-6

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1 teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Sada tel) for frying

Salt to taste

Preparation:

For dal-

  • Wash the lentil well, put it in a deep boiling pan along with water and half teaspoon of salt and cook for about 10-15 min or till the lentil is fully cooked, add water if necessary
  • Heat the oil in a wok and add the wild celery to it
  • As the celery starts popping pour in the cooked lentil and add turmeric powder, stir to mix well
  • Simmer for about 2-3mins and take out of flame

For fries-

  • Peel off the pointed gourd and  make two inch long slits on both ends, alternatively you can also cut the pointed gourd longitudinally into two halves
  • Mix the gourd turmeric powder and salt to it
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the pointed gourd till soft in low flame
  • Serve hot with warm rice and daal

Bhaat Dal Patol Bhaja

Hot Tips – While cooking the dal, you can also do it in a pressure cooker, allow two whistles before you take it out of flame.

Further Reading: Vegetarian Bengali recipes, some posts on a Bengali forum, Masur dal recipes,

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