Lau Khoshar Chhechki

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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

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Palak in Paneer Bowl

So the guessing game was fun. Thank you all for the comments. Yes, you all have guessed it right the main ingredients were paneer (famer’s cheese) and spinach. Here goes the recipe for the yummy and delicious recipe from my mom’s kitchen.


Serves 6


For making the paneer bowls:-

Farmer’s cheese (Paneer): ½ kg

Wheat flour (Maida): ½ cup

Spinach paste (Palak shaakh bata): 1 large bowl

Garlic (Rasun): 10 -12 cloves, chopped finely

Ginger paste (Ada bata): 1 teaspoon

Sugar (Chini): ½ teaspoon

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Chilli powder (Sukhno lanka guro): 1 teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 5 tablespoons for frying

Salt to taste

For making the gravy:-

Cashew nuts (Kaju badam): 30 gms

Poppy seeds (Posto): 100 gms

Green cardamom (Choto elaichi): 3-4

Cinnamon (Darchini): One 1″ size

Cloves (Labango): 3-4

Green chili (Kanch LAnka): 3 – 4

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 1 tablespoon


 For making the paneer bowls:-

  • Take the paneer, wheat flour and salt in a large bowl and knead well to make dough. The dough shouldn’t be very soft, depending on the water content of the farmer’s cheese.
  • Make two inch diameter spheres from the dough
  • Using your hand make them into small bowls to hold the spinach
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok
  • As the oil becomes piping hot sauté the onions in it
  • Throw in the chopped garlic and ginger paste just as the onions turn golden
  • Add the spinach paste when the oil starts separating from the sautéed spices
  • Put in the turmeric and chili powder along with salt and sugar
  • Fry till the spinach gets dry
  • Take it out of flame and let it cool down completely
  • Take a large tablespoon of the fried spinach paste and put it into the paneer bowls
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the fried spinach paste filled paneer bowls in batches
  • Drain the excess oil using a kitchen paper


 The fried bowls are an ideal snack for any evening party, or you can even use it as a starter along with tomato sauce. Read on if you want to make it into a curry.

For the curry:-

  • In a mixer grinder put in cashew nuts, poppy seeds, green chilies and ½ cup of water, make it into a smooth paste
  • Heat oil in a wok and throw in cinnamon, cardamom and cloves
  • As they start popping pour in the poppy paste along with salt and sauté till the oil starts leaving
  • Carefully add the fried farmer’s cheese bowls to the gravy and cook uncovered for 5 minutes
  • Take out from flame and serve with rice, paratha or roti


This dish was a instant hit among all my relatives when my mom cooked it for the first time. Though a little tedious and take almost 1 hour to prepare from the raw materials to the dining table, but the outcome is worth all these hard work. Look for more recipe here, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating.

Also this recipe is heading for the EFM-Savouries hosted by Srilekha.


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

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