In my earlier posts I had mentioned that I belong to that part of India where food is an essential part of the society. We, Bengalis, love to cook, love to eat and love to discuss food. In one sentence, our love and passion for food are remarkable!
Though Bengalis are mostly non-vegetarians (our signature meal – fish curry and rice define us), our vegetarian menu is fairly diverse and flavourful. Interestingly, bong vegetarian recipes are generally cooked without onion and garlic! Shudh shakahari, I mean to say.
In Bengali cuisine, we set aside certain dishes for specific seasons. Whether it is because of the availability of seasonal vegetables or whether a certain dish tastes better during a specific season, it is anybody’s guess and the reasons may differ, and views may vary!
My today’s recipe is a typical bong summer delight! Simplicity defines this dish. It’s a perfect blend of some simple vegetables with rudimentary spices sans onion or ginger-garlic. Prepared in mustard oil and smeared in mustard paste this mixed vegetable dish is a splendid summer indulgence.. Devoid of any extravagant spices, this recipe is my personal favourite because of its subtlety and uncomplicated procedure!
CUISINE: Bengali (Indian)
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy
PREPARATION TIME: 10 Min
COOKING TIME: 15 Min
- Potato- 2 medium size
- Brinjal- 1 medium size
- Pumpkin- 150 gm
- Tomato- 1 small
- Green chilli- 2finely chopped.
- Whole spices (cumin, mustard, onion seeds, fenugreek, fennel seeds)- 1and ½ tsp
- Bori (a form of dried lentil dumplings popular in Bengali cuisine)- a handful if small and 8-10 if the size is big.
- Mustard paste- 2 tbsp
- Mustard oil- 3+ 1tbsp
- Salt- according to taste.
Wash all veggies and cut them into cubes.
Put 1 tbsp oil in a wok.
When the oil is hot enough, fry the Boris. Keep them separately.
Now add 3 tbsp oil in the same oak and when the oil hits the smocking point put the whole spices.
Now add the veggies and fry on a high flame for about 2 minutes.
When the potatoes turn light brown, reduce the heat and add turmeric powder and green chillies. Stir nicely to mix the spices with the vegetables well.
Add salt and stir well.
Now add the mustard paste and mix well with the vegetables.
Keep stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Add chopped tomato and mix well.
Keep covered for few minutes.
Remove the lid and put some water. The veggies must have left water. So, adjust the water. Put the lid back and cook for another 10 minutes or till the vegetables become tender.
Take it out on a serving dish and sprinkle 1 tsp raw mustard oil.
Serve warm with steaming hot rice.
Not all vegetables go well with mustard paste. But brinjal, pumpkin and potato combine nicely with mustard paste! Here, in this recipe, the inclusion of few Drumsticks will certainly intensify the taste.
This dish is best cooked in mustard oil. The pungent and strong flavour of mustard oil is the secret behind delicious Bong cuisine.
Homemade mustard paste is anytime better than a readymade one.
It’s a purely vegetarian dish. No onion, no garlic, and very few condiments have been used in the preparation. An ideal summer recipe that doesn’t demand a lengthy cooking procedure. Minimum effort yielding satisfying result, that describes my today’s recipe!