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