As a part of my love for regional Indian cuisine, I’ve decided that once a week, dinner will be from any region other than our own. This week, we are enjoying some homely vegetarian Bengali meals from the chapter Bangla Ranna of The Calcutta Cookbook
Bengali menu for tonight
- Piaj koli, alu piaj o tomator tarkari (Onion sprouts with potatoes, onions and tomatoes)
- Masoor Dal
Both these recipes are from The Calcutta Cookbook – A Treasury of recipes from pavement to palace, written by Minakshi Das Gupta, Bunny Gupta and Jaya Chaliha. And the special part about both these recipes, is that they have no masalas, spice powders letting the inherent taste of the ingredients come through strongly. More details on The Calcutta Cookbook, here.
For once, I followed both recipes to the T and was very happy with the result. As I type this, DH is relishing every little morsel. I ate up earlier to stick to my 8.30 pm deadline for dinner. I hope it is alright to reproduce the recipes from the book here
The tarkari (vegetable) recipe is one of the rare ones that feature spring onions in a starring role. I have blogged about this spring onion curry earlier on, which is a modified version of a maharashtrian zunka. I have also tried the spring onion zunka inspried by the cabbage zunka from Nupur’s One Hot Stove. In the markets here, we get 3-4 thick bunches of spring onions for Rs.10 which makes it difficult to just use them as a garnish. Such recipes that feature spring onion as one of the main ingredients, make sure they can be put to good use.
From The Calcutta Cookbook
Piaj Koli, Alu Piaj O Tomator Tarkari
[Spring onions with potatoes, onions and tomatoes in a dry curry]
With love from the Calcutta Cookbook
- 500 gms onion sprouts (spring onions 3-4 bunches)
- 200 gms potatoes
- 200 gms tomatoes
- 2 tbsps mustard oil
- 1 panch phoron tso
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- to taste salt
- Cut onion sprouts into 1 1/2 inch pieces. (I sliced the white bits thinly).
- Peel and cut the potatoes, tomatoes and onions into thin rounds.
- Heat the oil to smoking in a wok, reduce heat and add panch phoron. As soon as oil stops spluttering, add the potatoes and onions. Stir fry for 2 minutes and add the tomatoes.
- Stir fry over medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the turmeric, salt and sugar. Reduce heat and cook covered for 7-10 minutes until the potatoes are nearly cooked, the onions soft and tomatoes pulpy.
- Add the onion sprouts, mixing well. Increase heat and cook for another 5 minutes until they are soft. No water must be added to this dish.
How fun to have meals from different regions! This meal sounds wonderful…I love the colorful tarkari.
great policy. hooray for national integration. we end up with a wide variety of meals due to my sheer fussiness.
Love you idea of you cooking regional food.
Wonderful meal Nandita. I like your idea of making a meal from every region once a week.
Sounds delicious! Isn’t it fun to embark on a regional cookout? We try to do it every once in a while, pretty amazing how many new words we end up learning in the process 🙂
Yum…especially when cooked in mustard oil! 😉
My sister in law makes something similar with cabbage alone… turns out yummy. I should try this 🙂
What a beautiful and lovely blog you have here :)I just discovered it and will drop by more often to get inspired by your delicious meals.Thank you for sharing and have a lovely day :))Sas
Nice policy Nandita. I also want to follow this idea of trying different cuisines regularly.BTW, I have given the link for eggless brownies in my reply. In case you have not seen it, http://foodmasala.blogspot.com/2007/07/brownies.htmlEven though the recipe mentions vegan version, I think all items are easily available in India. Instead of vegan chocolate chips you can use regular chocolate shavings or omit them totally. Hope it helps your friend. I have not tried the recipe. So please let me know how it turned out if she happens to try it. I will mention it in my blog. Thank You.
This is a great way not to get bored with one’s food.
Haven’t been to Bengal, and never tasted Bengali food yet. Most folks who talk of Bengali food talk of fishes, made me wonder if they’ve any vegetarian food at all 🙂
Nice recipe. Thanks for sharing. I picked up a bengali veg recipe by the name kumbdo alu tarkari. I am writing down its recipe here so that you may have a look at it in case u r interested. 1) Peel potatoes and dice them into big pieces.2) In a fry pan, add 3 tsp refined oil, 1 tsp paanch poran, 3-4 red chillies, cut potatoes, salt, turmeric powder and some chilli powder as per your taste. Mix them all thoroughly, close the pan and cook well on medium flame. 3) Cut yellow pumpkin (kumbdo) into small cubes and soak them in boiling water (this is to soften them a little as pumpkin in Bangalore/ Chennai is pretty hard and this curing process is needed) 4) Check if the potatoes are cooked, add 1/2 cup water to this, add about 20 gms shredded ginger to this. 5) Cook this again for 5-10 min, add the soaked kumbdo to this mixture in pan, add 1/2 cup of water and cook well till the kumbdo is completely mashed and blends with the potato. At this stage, add 1/2 tsp sugar to the mixture, mix well, remove from stove and serve hot with rotis.