Alu Chokha – Bengali Mashed Potato

Fan us on Facebook . You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email

How to describe a true Bangali? Everyone would have a different perspective. The knack towards art and culture. Glorifying the Bong heroes. The fight over East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. The love for Uttam Kumar. Whatever they say, nobody can deny the fact that we Bengalis are fond of food, be that the street food from Dalhousie Square, the puchka of Vivekananda park, the mach bhaat (fish and rice) in a lazy afternoon or the rasogolla and the misti doi (sweet yogurt) from K.C. Das.
Warm white rice with a generous dollop of butter and mashed potatoes with a omelette or rather a mumlet (that’s what we call omelet) as breakfast before going to school is the staple diet for every growing Bong child.

However far we go, the smell of fried onions with boiled potato, the very Bengali version of the English mashed potato will drive the Bong back home.

Alu chokha, as it is so fondly called is an easy way of putting up a Bong delicacy. A disclaimer to those who are on diet, this recipe is all about taste and carbs.

Serves 2
Preparation time:  5 mins
Cooking time: 7 min

2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
3-4 dry red chillies, cut to small pieces
1 tablespoon mustard oil
Salt to taste


  • Boil the potatoes well
  • Mash those with a masher, fork or just with your fingers
  • Heat the oil  in a wok or frying pan, throw in the onions and dry red chillies and fry till the onions are caramelized
  • Add the potatoes, season with salt
  • Toss for a minute
  • Serve it with warm rice with butter or ghee

Hot Tips – You can also put a little bit of salt while boiling the potatoes, and while boiling make sure the potatoes don’t get over boiled and turns gooey.

 If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or Subscribe in a reader

Lau Khoshar Chhechki

Follow me on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook . Visit my Flickr photostream.
You can alsoSubscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email

When I was young I have seen my mom and grandmother cook every bit and pieces of vegetables, starting from the stems of some plants growing in the back yard to the roots of others. Not to miss the peels of few vegetables, the gourd being in the top of the list.

Chhechki, as this preparation is popularly known in Bengal is a boiled down version of stir fries. Chechki is a very authentic Bengali recipe and is made from different vegetables – from radish to beet and carrots and from stems of plantain plants to pumpkin. This chechki  that I prepared a couple of days ago was with gourd peels with a subtle concoction of spices – whole mustard and poppy to titillate your taste buds. Peels for food may sound a bit weird, but a stir fry of juliened gourd peels miraculously tastes like elixir.


  • 1 medium size potato
  • Peel of 1 gourd
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 2/3 chili
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 – 3 tablespoon mustard oil or oil of choice
  • 7 – 8 bori (vodi)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  • Julienne the gourd peels and chop the potato in to thin 1” size pieces
  • Heat little oil in a wok and fry the boris till they turn slightly brownish, keep aside
  • Pour in rest of the oil in the wok, throw in the mustard seeds
  • Add the gourd peels and potato as the mustard seeds start spluttering
  • Add salt, turmeric powder and chili. Cook till the vegetables are half done
  • Put in the poppy seeds and cook till the veggies are fully cooked
  • Take out of flame and garnish with the fried bodis
  • Serve hot with warm rice

Hot Tips – Chhechki is mainly served with warm rice as the first side dish during lunch.

Further Reading – Chanchra, Kacha Kalar Kofta

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.
You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or  Subscribe in a reader

Kacha Kumror Tarkari

Follow me on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook . Visit my Flickr photostream.
You can alsoSubscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email

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.


  • 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


  • 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

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.
You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or  Subscribe in a reader

Natun Alur Niramish Dum – Baby Potato Curry

This is a guest post by Soma Chowdhury. She is pursuing her MS from Louisiana State University. This post talks about a Bengali recipe, albeit with a twist from Soma. We thank her for the contributing here. Today being International Women’s Day, we dedicate today’s post to all our women readers.

Men, your turn will come too. 🙂

Women's Day

Women's Day

In the United States, almost everything is available throughout the year. Very few things are seasonal. I remember my Mom waiting for winter when she had a greater choice of vegetables to cook.

Back in India, winter is so colorful with lots of greens, oranges, reds and many more. The cauliflowers, cabbages, new baby potatoes, carrots, ripe-juicy oranges used to taste extra good during winter. During my childhood all these were only ones available during winter in my small town (though you can find them in the vegetable market anytime of the year now but they don’t taste as fresh as the winter time).

I cooked new baby potatoes as a winter vegetable for the monthly mingle as I love these potatoes. They taste so good, even you can eat them boiled with only salt and pepper sprinkled on them. There are many recipes on dum aloo in India; I think every household has their own recipe.

My Mom cooks several kinds too. In Bengali culture, anything cooked with onion or garlic becomes “non-veg”, so there are a lot of recipes without them and they are considered to be “complete veg” or “niramish”. It might sound a little strange, but that’s how it is.

This is my own recipe, modified from my mom’s recipes. My mother used to cook “niramish alur dom” (vegetarian potato curry) on Saturdays (as we ate veg on every Saturday) or during some religious festivals. Hope you will like the humble yet tasty recipe. The spices are approximate, you can modify them according to your taste.

What you need:

  1. 2 lbs baby potato, boiled and peeled
  2. One big, ripe tomato chopped
  3. One/two tablespoon of yogurt (depending on how sour you want it)
  4. Ginger/cumin/coriander (GCC) paste two tablespoon
  5. Red chili powder (add according to taste)
  6. Salt
  7. Green peas (half a cup)
  8. Few green chilies
  9. Oil
  10. One teaspoon turmeric
  11. One teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  12. A pinch of garam masala (optional)
  13. A handful of cilantro leaves
  14. One cup of water

Natun Alur Dom

Natun Alur Dom

How to cook Natun Alur Dom

  1. Apply salt and turmeric powder to the cooked potatoes. Heat oil in a pan and fry the potatoes until the outside is a little brownish. Don’t overcook them, they will start breaking. Remove them from the oil.
  2. In the remaining oil, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add the GCC paste, turmeric and chili powder, sauté for few minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes. Sauté until the tomatoes are completely mushy and the spice paste starts coming out of the pan.
  4. Add luke-warm water and salt and boil until the tomato loses its raw taste.
  5. Let the gravy thicken and then add the potatoes. Mix the potato with the gravy. Again, do not mix them vigorously, then might break.
  6. Add the green peas, garam masala and chopped cilantro.
  7. Cover for few minutes and serve hot with puri or chapattis. It tastes better the next day as the potatoes absorb the flavor from the gravy.

Further Reading: Potato recipes at Cook Like a Bong – Chal diye Alur Dom, Alu Posto, Alu Bhindi Bhaja

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.
You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or  Subscribe in a reader

Paneer Bhurji for Bachelors

Follow me on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook . Visit my Flickr photostream.
You can alsoSubscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email

If you’re a bachelor, chances are that you like spending the minimum amount of time in the kitchen. If that’s the case, this paneer recipe is just for you. [Here’re some more quick Indian recipes – Microwave Fried rice and Breakfast with egg series].

For this preparation, I bought fresh paneer from sweet shop. You can also use the packaged paneer or even try making some paneer (chana, chenna) at home.

Easy way of making Paneer at home

Boil a liter of milk, and pour 4 tablespoons of lime juice in it. Separate the curd from the whey. Put the curd in a soft cloth, preferably muslin and drain out the excess water.

While the cheese is inside the cloth, place it over a perforated metal can or box and place a heavy weight over it so that the cheese gets firmer and any extra water gets drained out. The more you press it, the harder it becomes.

Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 10min
Serves: 3-4

How to make Paneer Bhurji (Paneer Jhuri Bhaja)


  • Indian cheese (paneer): 300gms
  • Potato (Aalu): 2 medium sizes
  • Green peas (Matar, Mator shuti): ½ cup
  • Tomato (Tamatar): 1 small, coarsely chopped
  • Turmeric powder (Haldi Powder, Halud guro): ½ teaspoon
  • Chili powder (Lal Mirch Powder, Lal lankar guro): ¾ teaspoon
  • Green chili (Hari Mirch, Kancha lanka): 2 -3 (optional)
  • Ginger paste (Adrakh paste, Ada bata): 1 tablespoon
  • Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 3 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste


  • Slice the potatoes into thin two inch long pieces, wash and drain out the water
  • Grate the paneer in a grater. Alternately if you are using fresh curd cheese then just press with your palm to make it fluffy
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan, and throw in the potatoes
  • As the potatoes get half cooked, add all the spices, tomato, peas and mix well
  • Cook for 2-3 mins more and pour in the grated paneer
  • Mix and cook for 2-3min more
  • Take out of flame and serve with roti, paratha or rice and dal

How to make Paneer Bhurji in Microwave

You can make the same paneer bhurji in microwave as well. Put in 2 tablespoons of oil and potatoes and cook covered for 4 min in microwave high (100%). Mix all the spices, tomato, peas and cook uncovered in microwave high for 2mins. Add the grated paneer and cook uncovered in microwave high for 3 more minutes.

Further Reading – Bengali Style Matar Paneer, How to make paneer

Personal Note: Kalyan had been doing a lot of cooking these days. Thanks to his cook, who has gone back to his native for a fortnight, or probably a little more. Office, cooking, phone calls from home and time for his girl friend – takes away a lot of time, leaving almost nothing for his own personal leisure. So, I thought of suggesting him a quick and easy recipe for dinner. I could have done it just by getting him a call or personal mail. But, I’m sure there are hundreds of bachelors or even spinsters who frantically search for some quick and easy recipes for beginners.

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.
You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or  Subscribe in a reader

Chal Diye Alu Dum

Follow me on Twitter. Add me as a friend on Facebook . Visit my Flickr photostream.

Diwali is just round the corner, and we are counting on the days for the D-day. To me Diwali means a lot of crackers, the smell of burnt fireworks around, new clothes and above all a family get together along with a very heavy dinner. I am sure you all have almost the same feeling about this day. Diwali is more of a North Indian festival, celebrated in most parts of the Northern and Western states of the country. Sourthern parts of the country also celebrate this day to mark the empowering of Lord Krishna over the demon Narakasura. Here in Bengal, Diwali is differently termed and Kali Puja is held during this time of the year. Some people also celebrate this day by worshipping Lakshmi and Ganesh. Durga Puja has gone passed a few weeks back, and Kali Puja marks the end of Hindu festivities for the year.


Goddess Kali is another incarnation of the goddess Durga. According to Hindu mythology, she is the goddess of war. Kali is associated with corpses and war. The most primitive mention of the goddess dates back to the Rig Veda, the oldest of the four Vedas. She is called as Goddess Ratri (night in Bengali), and the Veda regards Ratri as the supreme force in the universe. The goddess is considered to have been born from the brow of Devi Durga during one of the wars with the demons. As the legend goes, in the battle, Kali was so much involved in the killing spree that she got carried away and began destroying everything in sight. To stop her, Lord Shiva threw himself under her feet. Shocked at this sight, Kali stuck out her tongue in astonishment, and put an end to her homicidal rampage. Hence the common image of Kali shows her in her mêlée mood, standing with one foot on Shiva’s chest, with her enormous tongue stuck out.


The darkness of the new moon night brings about a different spell to the worshipping of the goddess. Kali Puja is generally held at night and continues till dawn. Above all these worship, to me the home coming of all the family members and enjoying themselves together is what matters most. It is the time of celebration. I had been busy all weekend making diyas to gift to my friends and relatives. Here are some of the samples, more of diya making in the following posts.



Today I prepared this alu dum and thought it would just be right choice to put up in our blog for the upcoming festivals. I used baby potatoes for this, you are unable to get those, don’t worry use the large sized potatoes cut into quarters.

Preparation time: 1hr 10min
Cooking time: 20min
Serves: 4
Alu Dum with rice


Baby Potato (Choto alu): ½ kg
Small grain rice (Gonbindhobhog Chal): 2 tablespoon, soaked for an hour
Cumin powder (Jeera guro): 1 ½ teaspoon
Cumin seeds (Gota jeera): 1 teaspoon
Bay leaf (Tej pata): 1 /2
Sugar (Chini): 1 teaspoon
Red chili powder (Lanka guro): 1 teaspoon
Clarified butter (Ghee): 1 tablespoon
Sunflower or vegetable oil (Sada tel): 3 tablespoon
Cinnamon (Daar chini): 1 one inch size
Cardamom (Elaichi): 2-3
Cloves (Labango): 2-3
Ginger paste (Ada bata): 1 teaspoon
Garam masala: ½ teaspoon


  • Peel off the potatoes and half boil them
  • Grind the soaked rice to a rough paste
  • Heat oil in a wok and fry the boiled potatoes till the upper layer changes color
  • Take the potatoes out of flame and keep aside
  • In the left out oil put in the whole cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, bay leaf, sugar and sauté
  • Put in the potatoes and mix well with the whole spices
  • In a small bowl assemble cumin powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, ginger paste and add 3-4 tablespoons of water to make a runny paste, add this to the potatoes  along with the grinded rice and stir well to mix the spices well with the potatoes
  • Sprinkle salt and add 11/2 -2 cups of water and cook covered for 8-10 mins, or till the potatoes are cooked entirely
  • Pour the clarified butter and garam masala and take out of flame
  • Serve hot with paratha or roti

Alu Dum

Further Reading – Baby Potato Curry, Bong Mom’s Dum Alu

Hot Tips –  Dum aloo goes best with luchi in a fine Sunday morning.

Sending the recipe To Priya’s event Diwali 2009 Contest and Diwali Dhamaka hosted by Purva in her blog.

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too.You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or  Subscribe in a reader

Alu posto/ Potato in poppy seed paste

Poppy seed is an integral part of the platter in all Bengali households. Preparations with poppy seeds mainly include vegan dishes, but there are also some dishes where poppy seeds are used with fish or meat. The love for poppy seeds among Bengalis started hundreds of years ago. Alu posto is the most common form of poppy seeds use in Bengali cuisine, at times the potatoes are also replaced with ridge gourds, onions, aubergine, or even chicken.

The herbal concoction of the seeds is also beneficial in treating all kinds of nervous disorders. Apart from consuming poppy seeds in its raw form or toasted on bagels and sweet breads, a paste made from the seeds can be used as a poultice in obtaining relief from swellings and joint pains.  Finely ground powder made from poppy seeds can also be consumed to treat insomnia and diarrhea. Apart from adding flavor to food, poppy fields also present an added advantage of providing health benefits to the human body. It also supplies essential enzymes and fatty acids as a form of nutrition. In ancient days, athletes would consume or blend of poppy seeds with honey entwined to ensure strength and good health. The oil derived from poppy seeds is used in various cosmetic preparations for the head and skin as balms and conditioners.


Potato (Alu): 4 medium sizes

Poppy seeds (Posto): 3 tablespoons

Nigella seeds (Kalo jeera): 1 teaspoon

Green chili (kancha lanka): 3

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste


  • Make a soft fine paste of the poppy seeds and keep aside
  • Cut the potatoes into small square pieces
  • Heat oil in a wok over low flame, add the nigella seeds
  • Throw in the potatoes along with the turmeric powder, green chilies and salt
  • Pour in about a cup of water and let the potatoes get half cooked
  • Add the poppy seed paste and cook till the potatoes are well cooked
  • Pour in water if necessary


Take out of flame and serve with rice or chapattis.

Check for more updates on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

Mochar Tarkari or Banana Flower

Banana is one of those plants which can be used in various different ways. From its stem to the flowers and the fruits to the leaves everything is in use. Banana flower, what we call mocha in my mother tongue, Bengali is a delicacy to have. It is prepared in different ways, using various ingredients.

After coming to Bangalore I had never seen banana flowers sold in the market. The last time when I went to my nearby supermarket, there was a whole rack of banana flowers being sold. I just couldn’t help myself and brought one of them back home. My mom cooks it in many ways. I started thinking of which one would be most simple and easy to cook. She puts in gram seeds (chola), even small pakoras made of lentils. But due to lack of time, I cooked it with potato and nothing else. As you all know Bengalis just can’t live without potatoes, so that was a simple choice for me.

The preparation turned out petty well and all my friends who came home that day had only one thing to say, “You made me remember my mom”. I remembered watching Ratatouille, when the food critic too remembered his mom having had the dish. That is always the best part of cooking an authentic dish from Bengal.


Mocha (Banana flower)

Mocha (Banana flower)

Serves 4


Banana Flower (Mocha): 1 medium size

Potato (Alu): 2 medium sizes

Turmeric Powder (Halud Guro): ½ teaspoon

Chili Powder (Lanka Guro): 1 teaspoon

Cumin Powder (Jeera Guro): 1 teaspoon

Garam Masala Powder: ½ teaspoon

Clarified Butter (Ghee): 1 teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser Tel): 1 tablespoon


  • Take out each flower from the inflorescence and cut off the anther from it.
  • Chop the flowers very finely
  • Put all the chopped flowers in a deep pan and pour in water till it is fully under water
  • Get it to boil and drain of the water, keep the chopped flowers aside.
  • Heat the oil in a wok and fry the potatoes till tender. Take out the potatoes and keep separately.
  • To the left over oil add the spices except ghee and garam masala, fry for 30 seconds.
  • Throw in the boiled flowers and mix the spices well with it.
  • Add the potatoes and pour in some water for the vegetables to get cooked constantly.
  • Simmer the flame and stir it often so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add extra water if it is not cooked properly
  • Just before taking it out of the flame sprinkle garam masala powder and ghee; mix well.


You can add some soaked gram seeds, frying them along with the potatoes, also pakoras made of lentils is a good addition to this preparation. Click on pakoras to know how to make them. Mochar tarkari tastes best with steamed rice.

Look for more update on this blog, till the Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

Sending this to Lore’s Original Recipes – Monthly Round-Up Event.

And, here it goes to Herbs and Flowers – Banana Blossom event hosted by SaffromStreaks and the brainchild of PJ of  Seduce Your Taste Bud.

Kumro Alur Tarkari

Bengalis have a tendency of putting potato in any kind of recipe. It feels as if potatoes are an integral part of all the recipes. You can guess from the average health of all Bengalis, barring some exceptions, generally every Bengali signifies that potato look, a little more fats here and there. I too am not an exception. I like to add potatoes in different curries, though because of peer pressure the quantity has reduced with the passage of time.

Everyday after coming back from office, it’s always a pain staking job to think what to cook for dinner. Last night I was only left out with a piece of pumpkin and some potatoes. In my flat I don’t have a mixer grinder so couldn’t think of experimenting any other curries with that pumpkin. I took to cooking a simple potato pumpkin curry.

This preparation uses a masala that is a widely used spice in Bengali cuisine. As the name suggests (“Five Spices”), panch phoron is a combination of 5 spices, namely mustard seeds (sarse), fennel (mouri), nigella (kalo jeera), cumin (jeera) and fenugreek seeds (methi), you canknow more at Wiki.


Serves 2


  • Pumpkin (Kumro): 100gms
  • Potato (Alu): 2 medium sizes
  • Onion (Peyaj): 1 small
  • Green chili (Kacha Lanka): 2
  • Turmeric powder (Halud Guro): ½ teaspoon
  • Mustard oil (Sarser Tel): 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste



  • Heat the oil in a wok
  • Sauté the onions in the heated oil and throw in the panch phoron
  • Stir for 30 seconds before adding the vegetables
  • Put in turmeric powder, salt and the chilies
  • Stir for 2 -3 minutes, and add ½ cup of water for the vegetables to get cooked properly
  • As the vegetables get cooked properly, take out from flame and serve with roti, paratha or rice


Check for more updates on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating


String beans with Potato Curry

I have just joined Glaxo SmithKline Ltd for my Post Graduate internship. I have become so busy with the work that I couldn’t even think about writing a post for my blog. Yesterday I got a scrap from a school friend. She is presently staying in Bangladesh and as she says there are very few options for any vegan dishes. She requested me to write about some vegetarian dishes for her.

I just could not leave out her request and so thought of posting this dish for her.

Serves 4


String beans (Barboti): 100gms

Potato (Aalu): 4 medium sizes

Nigella seeds(Kalo jeera): ½ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser Tel): 1 teaspoon

Turmeric Powder (Halud Guro): ½ teaspoon

Green Chili (Kancha Lanka): 2


  • Slice the strings beans into one inch sizes and the potato into small square pieces
  • Take oil in a wok and let it heat
  • Throw in the nigella seeds as the oil gets heated
  • Add the potatoes and strings beans along with the turmeric powder and salt
  • Toss the vegetables for a minute so that the oil and spices get mixed
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes
  • Pour in 1 cup of water and let it cook with stirring twice or thrice
  • As the vegetables get cooked take out of flame


Serve with roti, paratha or with steamed rice. It tastes good with anything. Check for more updates here on this blog, till then Happy Cooking, Happy Eating.

Put in Everything Omellete

There is a always a problem with the left over vegetables of last night at my place. Neither do I feel to throw them out nor eat those just like that. Vegetable omelet was my brain child to cope up with this matter. Its a very easy to cook and ready to eat kind of food and is ideal for breakfast, especially when the house cook do not want to work much for the breakfast table. I used the leftover vegetables or meat for the preparation. You can also use any kind of fresh vegetables or meat for making it up.

Serves 2


Egg (Dim): 2

Wheat flour (Maida): 1 tablespoon

Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size, cut into small squares

Coriander leaves (Dhaniya pata): 1 tablespoon, finely chopped

Milk (Dudh): 1/4 cup

Green Chili (Kacha Lanka): 2-3 , cut into small rings

Turmeric powder (Halud Guro): 1/4 teaspoon

Vegetables or meat of choice: 1 small bowl

Sunflower oil (Sada tel) to fry

Salt to taste


  • Add all the ingredients into a deep bowl and stir to make a dilute batter.


  • Heat 1/2 teaspoon of oil on a non-stick frying pan
  • Gently pour in one large spoon of the batter to make an omelet.
  • Make as many as you wish out of the batter.
  • Serve with green salad and tomato sauce.


Look for more on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

I am sending this to Sangeeth for her 101 omelets.

Sending this entry to BlOg yOur Omelet  hosted by Nuria.



Masur Dal and Alu Posto: A whole lunch

Posto or poppy seeds is always a delicacy in all Bengali household. It is extensively used as a spice in various dishes, be that in potato or chicken curry.It is said that poppy makes you feel cool, I am not sure of this saying though. I mom believes in it and so come summer there has to be some kind of a curry consisting of poppy seeds. The range varies from simple poppy seed paste sauted to poppy seed grind with cashew to make chicken curry.

As with poppy seeds, masur dal also takes up a very important place in Bengali kitchens. whenever I taste masur dal, I go down memory lane. every day when I came back from school for lunch, mom always prepared masur dal, my all time favorite among all lentils.  Even till now, when I go home in my vacations mom always cook masur dal for me.

All this I was telling because I had the best combination of veggie delight last night. It was steamed rice with masur dal and alu posto. If you are a Bengali or if you are not, then ask any Bengali , you’ll come to know that anyone would kill for this platter.

Serves 2


For Alu Posto:-

Potato (Alu): 3 large size

Nigella seeds (Kalonji): 1 teaspoon

Poppy seeds (Posto): 2 tablespoons

Green Chili (Kacha Lanka): 2

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 teaspoon

For Masur dal:-

Masur dal: 50 gms

Onions (Peyaj): 2 small sizes

Green chili (Kacha lanka): 2

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 teaspoon

Cilantro leaves (Dhaniya pata): 2 tablespoon of chopped leaves (optional)



Alu Posto:-

  • Grind the poppy seeds and green chili in a grinder to make a paste
  • Cut the potatoes into small one inch squares
  • Heat oil in a wok, and throw in the nigella seeds as the oil gets heated.
  • Immediately add the potatoes and toss for a while so that the oil gets mixed with the potatoes.
  • Now add turmeric and salt along with a cup of water and let the potatoes get half cooked.
  • Put in the poppy seed paste and stir so that the paste gets mixed with the half cooked potatoes. You can add more water if the curry gets dried up.
  • Cook till the potatoes get cooked properly and the water disappears.
Potato in poppy seed paste

Potato in poppy seed paste

Here is a slide show to show the stages of the cooking:

Masur Dal:-

  • Thoroughly wash the dal and put in a deep pan with salt and water so that the dal remain almost 3 inches under water. Let it boil till the water and dal becomes inseparable.
  • In a separate heat the oil and throw in the onions and green chili. Saute till the onions turn golden brown
  • Add the sauted onions to the boiled dal along with the turmeric powder and cook for two to three minutes more.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Masur Dal

Masur Dal

Masur dal and poppy-potato curry tastes best with steamed rice, but you can also try it with chapatis and rotis. The curry also looks good without turmeric, so you can try out that too. About masur dal, it depends what concentration you want for it, depending on that you can keep the water or make it dry.


Sending this to Challenge Event hosted by Veda of Iyengar’s kitchen


Check for more updates here on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

Potato-Okra Fry

When I was a child my hobby was to paint and dance. As I grew up and stepped into my adolescence dance turned from a hobby to a passion. I had performed in various festivals, stage shows, TV shows, school and college fests. Painting was no more a hobby, but I still draw at times, just to feel happy. I left Kolkata almost a year and a half back. Leaving Kolkata had a great toll on me, I had to leave out my dance session, which I had been attending for the last 20 years. The last time I danced on stage was back in winter 2006.

But there was another hobby which was in its nascent stage some two years back and for which I spend a good percentage of my monthly money these days. This hobby started even before I became a full time cook in my kitchen (here to note, I still don’t have what I can call my own kitchen, but still need to be satisfied with the small kitchen in my rented apartment) and a food blogger. Coming back to my new but not so new hobby, collecting cook books.

I have a plethora of these cook books now. From Sanjeev Kapoor to Tarla Dalal and Roz Denny to old worn out books of multiple authors; books written in English and also in Bengali, my mother tongue. Every year I used to visit Kolkata Book Fair and my task was to search for the most recent and the oldest cook books being sold. I have bought books of well known publishers like Duncan Baird Publishers (London), Popular Prakashan (Mumbai) and also from the not so known publishers.

Now that I am away from Kolkata, the annual book fair is almost out of question to visit, so I visit all the book stalls here in Bangalore and peek into the culinary sections of these stores. I have got books starting from INR 10 to few that were quite a burden to my wallet. Of all these books that I bought, the one that I felt very happy in buying was “The Big Book of Great British Recipes“. This book has got 365 delicious and treasured recipes, as the book cover says. But the reason of my being happy in buying this book was something different. The book is sold at 625 INR in India, but the copy I have had cost me only 50 INR because of a little tear on its cover. It was like getting a treasure for almost nothing. The book is really great.

Another book in line is written in Bengali, which my mom gifted. It has a whopping collection of 1001 recipes from East Bengal (presently Bangladesh) and West Bengal (eastern state in India, where I hail from). I treasure my books above everything, and whenever I am alone and have got nothing to do I just go through them. It brings me immense pleasure to see the colorful photographs and the passion the cook has put in to prepare those dishes. Though I have not tried much of the recipes from these books, but they have made me realize the basic difference in the different styles of cooking.

Books from professional cooks have the exact amount of the ingredients and the time of cooking mentioned in every recipe and also a note from the cook as a recommendation from him or her to make the dish taste better. Another very important aspect of all cook books is the photograph they feature. Though the cheap books have very few or no photos of the cooked food, the not so cheap books have a whacking number of food photographs in them. It is a general tendency I have noticed in me, to read those recipes having photographs, I think you will also agree to that.


That was a lot of writing from my side today. I hope you loved the discussion. I would appreciate if you pen down some lines on the type of books you have at home and how they have helped to bring out the cook in you.

To come to recipe for the day, it is a very simple one; my mom cooks it as a side dish along with rice and dal.

Serves 2


Okra (Bhindi): 100 gms

Potato (Alu): 100 gms or 2 medium sizes

Onion (Peyaj): 2 medium sizes

Green chili (Kacha Lanka): 2

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Saada tel): 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste



  • Cut the potatoes in thin long pieces of length 2 inches each
  • Similarly cut the ladies finger into halves with 2 inches length
  • Julienne the onions
  • Heat oil in a wok, and throw in the potatoes along with the onions as the oil gets heated.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the ladies finger to it.
  • Toss the whole for a minute or two and then add half cup of water for the vegetables to get cooked properly.
  • Leave for 8 minutes more for everything to get cooked, stir for a few times and add water if required.

We used to have potato-ladies finger fry as an accompaniment with rice and dal, you can also have it with chapattis or paratha.


This should be the ideal one to send for the Challenge event hosted by Veda of Iyengar’s kitchen

Check for more updates on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

Dhokar Dalna

Follow me on Twitter. Add me as a friend on Facebook . Visit my Flickr photostream.

I hope you all had loved the round up for The Non-Veggie Event. As for me, hosting an event for the first time was of great great pleasure. The recipes I received were so good and I felt pleasure in going through all the recipes. Each was better than the other. Chicken, mutton, eggs- everything was on the menu. I even tried out some of them and they were so yummy.

So after all these meat and flesh and spices all over I thought of choosing something light and vegetarian for my next post.

Dhokar dalna is one of the oldest recipes, which is of absolute Bengali origin. You will never find anything equivalent to this recipe. If any of you have anything which you feel is similar to Dhokar Dalna, then please do write a comment on that. Even better of you please post it on your blog and leave a comment along with the URL of the post.
I found my mother cooking many items and calling them with the same prefix “Dalna”. I took this opportunity to search about what Dalna actually means. My source was noone but my inspiration of cooking , my MOM. After partition many people came from East Bengal, now better known as Bangadesh. In present Bengal (West Bengal, India) they are popularly known as Bangal(as in Bangladesh) and those who were actually from present West Bengal are called Ghoti. As the language changes with every mile, so here also there is no exception. What the Bangal call tarkari (curry) the Ghotis call it Dalna. So, this Dhokar Dalna most probably originated from the people who were the oldest inhabitants of present West Bengal. There are many more stories of this differetiation in every part of Bengal. If I start writing I’ll never ed, so better keep it for future.

Dhoka is a mixture of two types of pulses, and the curry with very little spice is called Dhokar Dalna.


Yellow split pea (Matar dal): 40gms

Bengal gram (Chana Dal): 160gms

Refined wheat flour (Maida): 1 tablespoon

Potatoes (Aalu): 2 medium sized

Sugar (Chini): 1 teaspoon

Black pepper (Gol morich guro): 1 teaspoon

Asfoetida (Hing): 1 pinch

Fennel seed (Mouri):  ½ teaspoons

Cinnamon powder (Dar chini guro): 1 pinchr

Cardamom powder (Elaichi): 1pinch

Nigella (Kalo jeera): 1 teaspoon full

Cumin Seeds (Jeera): ½ teaspoons

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): 1 ½ teaspoons

Red Chili powder (Sukhno Lankar Guro): 1½ teaspoon

Mustard oil (Sarser tel) for frying

Salt to taste


For the Dhoka:

  • Grind both the pulses together in a powder. Grind it well so that it becomes absolutely powdery.
  • Alternately you can also soak the pulses for about 2 to 3 hours and then make a paste of the soaked pulses.
  • Add salt, ½ teaspoons each of turmeric powder, ½ teaspoons of red chili powder, turmeric powder, black pepper, cumin seeds;  refinedwheat flour, sugar, asafoetida, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder and 1 teaspoon of nigella to the dough.
  • If you have dry grinded the pulses then add water and make thick dough. Keep it for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Heat ½ teaspoons of oil in an wok. Add the dough and toss for 2 to 3 minutes or till the dough become quite dry.
  • Spread the tossed dough over a plate with almost an inch depth. Cut it into small diamond shapes. The dhoka is now ready to fry.


  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the dhokas till they get hard and the inside also gets cooked. You can prick them with a knife. If the knife comes out with sticking, then the inside is also cooked.
Deep Fried Dhoka

Deep Fried Dhoka

For the Dalna:

  • Cut thepotatoes in medium size square pieces.
  • Heat oil in a wok. Fry the potatoes till they are golden brown.
  • Add the cumin seeds to it along with turmeric and chili powder.
  • Pour in water and salt.
  • Now cook till the gravy thickens and the potatoes are cooked well.
  • Carefully drop the dhokas and just boil for 2 minutes in low flame. Do not toss else the dhokas will break.

Take it out of flame and Dhokar Dalna is ready to serve. Dhokar Dalna serves as a wonderful side dish for vegetarian meals. Try it out and send me your comments. Keep in touch and till then HAPPY COOKING AND HAPPY EATING.


Sending this recipe for Home Grown Gourmet event hosted by Erika

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too. You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or Subscribe in a reader

Blog Widget by LinkWithin