Monday, October 01, 2007

Kanchakala'r Khosa Bata

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Here is my entry for JFI-Banana for Mandira -- Kanchakalar Khosha Bata or Paste of Plantain Peels. Can I say Plantain Peel Pâté, to make it sound French ?

Long back when Mandira announced plantains for JFI, I very generously offered to bring Mocha to the party. Not Mocha from Starbucks, that would have been easy, M-O-CH(as in chair)-A the Bengali name for banana flower which is used to make a delicious dish with grated coconut known as Mochar Ghonto. I knew not, so pardon me O Food Blogging Lord. It is no easy task to make Mocha, you need enough time and patience both of which I lack so there went Mocha out…

Next seeing that two overripe bananas in my fruit bowl were dying a slow death, I thought I would make Kalar Bora or Banana Friiters, another Bengali dish where ripe banana is mashed and deep fried in batter. But as I waited, the skins of the bananas shriveled, flies started buzzing around them, my home was on the verge of failing a sanitary inspection test and then D chucked out those two lone bananas and so there went Kalar Bora out…

And then a friend had a baby, another one had a baby shower, little S had soccer and friend’s birthday parties, the husband had travel, the Ma-in-law had an aching knee, the boss had deliverables, the class had assignments and I had No Time…

So yesterday when I was gloomily chopping up a kancha kola aka green plantain, for shukto and was on the verge of throwing out the plantain peels my Ma-in-law said…”Waiiiiiiiit” !!!

Now she does not know about my blog or JFI, but being the Quintessential “Bangal” she knows what to do with vegetable peels all right. "Bangals" as I had explained earlier is the colloquial term for people from East Bengal now a separate country called Bangladesh. "Ghoti" is the local term for people from West Bengal. These terms are mostly used in jocular fashion and indicates the ancestral roots of a family as to whether it went back to East Bengal or West Bengal.

There is a subtle difference between the two cuisines and while the “Bangals” know to put vegetable peels to good use the “Ghotis” know how to apply those to their faces, still better use.

So me being the “Ghoti”, stared blankly at those greenish, and now turning black plantain peels and racked my brains to think what good could come of such…ahem disgusting looking stuff.

When my Ma-in-law said that to make a paste out of it with Garlic, Kalonji and green chilies I thought maybe her knee pain had travelled further up North and maybe she has lost it… But then I complied without retorts just because I thought this was my last chance to send some plantains for JFI, even if only the peel.

The smooth paste was made and then sautéed in mustard oil, till the raw smell left, the paste dried up and the “ugly duckling” turned to a beautiful tasting pate. It tasted real good but still did not look enticing when clicked. So the hubby came in and suggested to make a round with rice because the only way that this paste could be eaten and appreciated was with rice.

So here is the joint effort from our family for Mandira….KanchaKalar Khosha Bata or Paste of Plantain Peel

Make a paste of Peel from one Green Plantain with half a tea spoon of Nigella Seeds/Kalonji, one fat clove of Garlic and 4-5 hot Indian Green Chillies.
Add little water to make the smooth paste. Real smooth, ok ?
Next heat mustard oil in a Kadhai/Frying Pan and sauté the paste at medium heat with little salt, till the raw smell leaves, the paste is dry yet moist and tastes great.

I wanted to add some fresh grated coconut to it, to make it look better but my Ma-in-law said that is not how it is done. Maybe one of you cocnut lovers can try that.

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Mandira is a special blogger and I am at last at peace that I could send something to rush...rush


  1. he he he san... take a deep breath and relax... will come bk for the recipe later;)

  2. Well i will sure for come back and check this dish as i have never heard about it.

  3. Hey, relax!:) Take your time Sandeepa. Will come back later.

  4. Okaey Dokey!! Will check back!!:)))

  5. Hey Sandeepa,

    You are soooooooooo sweet! Hope i can post something by tonight as well!

  6. phew! now I can breathe :) will check back later. Thanks for your entry.

  7. My interest is more than peaked, now, Sandeepa. Hope you're putting your adrenaline surge to other good uses.

  8. deatr sandeepa, we have plantains that we plan to cook tonight. i'm saving the peels, so you'd beter post the recipe soon. :-)

  9. I wannna ask you some thing, so can I have your email id? pls mail me at

  10. oh you sure seem to be in a hurry:))

  11. Well Sandeepa I am glad you made it to the party panting and all but sure did big a fantastic dish. Who knew that the ugly looking peels could turn into delightful chutney. Gotta try!

  12. I made that last minute dash too...It happens ;)

  13. "When my Ma-in-law said that to make a paste out of it with Garlic, Kalonji and green chilies I thought maybe her knee pain had travelled further up North and maybe she has lost it…" !!!! :))))) that was awesome and I hope she is not reading this :))) and nice info about bangals and ghotis :)I have never tasted this type of paste though plantains are plenty in Kerala...max i have heard is of a stir-fry with plantain peels.


  14. Sups, HC, Jyothsna, Asha

    Yes, finally :)

    Shall mail you tomorrow

    Ummmmmm why ?

    Not sure ;-)

    Did it


    Yeah too much to do :)

    It is not really a chutney, not tangy or anything

    yeah that is what deadlines are for :)

    Oh no my Ma-in-law is really a sweet lady :) and a real good cook.But poor thing is a bit down this time with her knee surgery not yielding very good results. Still she does do a lot of cooking.

  15. did you steal my life or something? because it sounds just like mine! :D
    And mothers know best ;)

  16. :) That truly is a family effort... :) Thanks for enlightening us with the diff between bangals and ghotis... And this must be the first time I am seeing a dish made out of banana peals.. wait till I tell my mom, she hates wasting stuff, just the opposite of me :D

  17. Something new and interesting Sandeepa. Viji

  18. You can actually use banana peels?!! I had no idea. This rice recipe sounds really interesting - I might try it with poha for Navarathri! Will let you know how it goes.

  19. heh heh, i thought it was a rice ball at first! :) your MIL is so resourceful! :) well, are plantain skins slightly bitter? I remember my sis daring me to eat a banana peel when we were kids, haha, and it was awful! :)

  20. Sandeepa, do the "fibres" in the peel not stand out even when the peel has been ground? This sounds like a great idea to use up plantain peel.

  21. This is one of your best and most comical posts - esp the bit about the pain travelling up ... ha ha ha!

  22. Sandeepa, anything that is made into a paste to be eaten as a side is called chutney in our parts :)

  23. Isssshhhhhhhhhh...[Devdas style]
    Just threw the banana peels yesterday after making kanch-kola-kofta! [being a GHOTI!!]

    my mother makes a similar dish with the leaves of tastes SUPERB!

    Here, take a cup of tea..relax..and get going again...

  24. Wow...what a unusual dish. Never heard of this before. Whenever I come to your blog, I feel my knowledge about Bengali dishes was a big zero. I love your posts :).

  25. What a great post Sandeepa, gave me a smile in the middle of crazy-busy time here, too! :)

    I wonder if I could make this ppp with the green banana skin -- I like 'paste of plantain peels' it has a nice ring ;)

    Gorgeous plate too! :)

  26. Sandeepa, I am a Bangal and now I know why I grew up eating all the chechkis ;) great entry, tumi kaanch kola peper dalna khao nei? we used to joke with my mom about this!!!

  27. Hi Sandeepa,
    I am a Canadian Ghoti married to a Chittagonian Bangal, therefore, are children are referred to as bati, jokes aside, you gotta admit them bangals are fabulous cooks.

  28. LOL "knee pain travelled upwards". It's amazing that us Bongs make things out of vegetable peels!! This looks very interesting and I'm loving the kola patha plate too... ha ha!

    Don't work too hard, okay?

  29. Phew!! still running around or done??
    I'm not in a hurry so will check back later;). :)
    Interesting recipe, never heard of anything with peels.

  30. thats very unusualy recipe! hope you are done with the running around he he :)

    I will save this i buy plaintains every week so will try one of the days :)

  31. You see, everyone chipped in and the pant, pant, rush, rush is all gone! :)

  32. Even I have not heard about this recipe with peels except for various Kerala dishes of stir fries!...
    Sounds really good with the ingredients you have mentioned!..:)

  33. Hi Sandeepa, welcome back, I was almost wondering if you are traveling again.

    This looks interesting, but have never heard of ...inspite of being a true Bong Barishaal er bangal(at least I think so!!). But since in doubt, checked with my Mom.... who had eaten this in her childhood from her thakuma. Thanks for putting it up.

    How are the Durga Puja preparations?


  34. Seeing the picture my first guess was it was rice balls . Then I saw it was for Banana event. OOOOPS I am totally confused now. After reading the recipe, I am very curious abt dish. I need to make it. I only knew abt banana peels as an ingredient when my MIL came to visit me last year. I love reading post like this. Fun, informative and my IQ seems to be going up

  35. Neeed to make this one .. never tried it before!

  36. okay..i was actually coming to compain as to why the recipe has not been posted yet...then i had to just shut-up (dammit!)...i am so going to make this...i have green bananas..and i think making things from peels are awesome..keep adding to ur blog more dishes like this...

  37. ROFL!!! Sandeepa, this was funny! Love the joint family effort!

  38. This post was worth waiting for. LOL! In-laws say the darndest things, don't they? I take it, Sandeepa, that your MIL still doesn't know you blog? I can imagine you furtively banging out the post in middle of the night. I wonder if this would work with typical yellow banana peels?

  39. Nabeela
    Isn't that everyone's life almost ?

    Yeah me am not going to repeat if I am on my own again. But yes Mothers do put peels, stems, leaves etc. to good use

    Oh Thanks

    Don't think it will at all go with Poha.

    These are peels of green plantain, the bitterness was not there after cooking

    The peel has to be made into real fine paste. My Magic Bullet did a good job

    You are always kind with your comments :)

    Oh really ? It need not be sweet, sour & tangy ?

    You should start your own Food Blog now. Kancha Kalar Kofta bananor enthu o ache tomar :)
    Ei week khub busy geche with cousins visiting too

    Ha, ha, even my knowledge on this particular dish was zero earlier

    I am not sure about green banana peels. Thanks :D

    You are a Bangals are superb cooks. Oi janya ami oi dalna ta khaini bodh hoy

    I very much agree, as I told Mandira, Bangals are fabulous cooks. Ghotis are better with the snack items, but with vegetarin dishes Bangals are the best

    Ok, Madam :D

    Really ???

    Life got very busy suddenly :(

    Every Week !!!!!!! At our home it is not bought very often.

    Yeah dedalines are bad ;-)

    Don't worry even I hadn't heard about this till last week :)

    OMG one more Bangal. What are you super cooks doing only commenting and not food blogging. Come on bring in the dishes
    Durga Puja prep to temon kichu nai :( Oi Pujar din gulo te mandap e jabo. Looking forward to Mahalaya though


    Ei tao ? Chinese khaoa holo ?

    Yeah it is indeed a good idea. But I will sure throw out the peels when I am on my own :)

    Thanks, your comments perk me up always:)

    Oh No, it isn't that bad. The Ma-in-law is really a nice lady, it is just that if my Ma would have suggested such stuff my retorts would be more spontaneous :)
    But good that I complied. It won't work with yellow banana peels

  40. I almost always have a smile on my face as I read your posts. I always learn something--and I get hungry too!

  41. Nice write-up Sandeepa....Enjoyed your post dear.....and this is a fresh recipe to me....looks very delicious......

  42. This is an interesting recipe indeed! Also nice to know about "Bangal" and "Ghoti" :)

  43. I am a recent discoverer of this blog and have been hungrily reading all the recipes posted here. I am taking time reading the old posts and I must say I am thoroughly enjoying reading all of them. Now being a pure bangal myself I have eaten my share of Banana Pate (I loved just the name - Sandeepa you are a marketing guru in the making if you are not one already) My mom used prepare green banana (not plantain), boiled in water to take the pulp out to make curry, a kofta type dish made with green banana balls cooked heavily laden with spices. The Kosha or the peel will then be grated and a pate will be made as Sandeepa said or even eaten in boiled form (kanch kolar khosha seddho) with rice with a dash of mustard oil and green chilies. I remember eating khosa or skin of parbal (potol), paste of cauliflower greens (fulkopir pata) and cilantro (dhoney pata) cooked in the same way. On a Sunday during winter, with perfectly cooked rice these things were truly heavenly. Happier times!!

  44. Postscripts: Green banana if left undisturbed will one day become ripe banana under right circumstances, while plantain on the other hand will never achieve such status. However in Bengal mostly one variety banana is used for preparing such delicacies which are always eaten green and never allowed them to ripen, at least not by design.

  45. Hi,
    Just saw your blog.Thanks a lot for the recipe.It's a special favorite of mine.Now can you please help me with something else?DO you (or your mom-in-law) knows how to make lau pata bata?I love that dish but the "didi" used to cook that dish in our place have left and my mom does not rem the recipe.

  46. Amar ma ata banato. Ami India te thakte kichu bar baniechi. Kintu USA te smooth paste ta hoi na. Fiber gulo thekei jai.Kono tips thakle bolo.


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