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.