Friday, December 19, 2008

Bong Mom's CookBook Recipe Index


My blog Bong Mom's Cookbook is a collection of Bengali Recipes representing the Bengali Cuisine as I know it. It also has those recipes that are non-bengali but which we loved. The measurements are not always exact as I do not treat the kitchen as a lab but as a place where I follow my heart and rely on my senses and instinct. Also they were created to suit mine and my family's tastes, please adjust spices etc. according to your own taste level.

I hope you are able to create a satisfying dish from these recipes and have fun while doing so.

Click on the following titles to see the recipes

FISH from my Blog

CHICKEN or MUTTON from my blog

EGGS from my blog


DAL and SOUPS from my blog

SALAD from my Blog

ONE POT MEALS from my Blog

Savoury Snacks from my Blog

Sweet and Sour Chutney from my Blog

DESSERTS from my Blog

Monday, June 30, 2008

Summer and Yellow for CLICK

Delicious summer is here at last, taking up all my time. Haven't been able to dedicate any time to blogging, so I am just going to post some pics for your viewing pleasure.

Plenty of time at the park...


Carnival at school...


Fun with friends at the Kiddie pool...


Enjoying swim lessons...


Getting S's room done in the hope that she will start sleeping on her own...


And now the two pics I clicked for CLICK


This is a pic of the surprise package that had arrived from Indosungod with lots of love, a huge bar of chocolate and also a packet of raagi as part of the Arusuvai Friendship chain. It has been a while since it arrived and I have been using the gorgeous yellow sambhar powder to spice a lot of dishes. The jewels that it rests on is palm sugar which sweetens my tea. Thanks Indo, the post about what I did with all those stuff is still pending but I thought this would be a fitting tribute for CLICK for Bri, if I am not past the deadline that is.


This is a delicious Kadhi I enjoyed from Hooked on Heat. As usual I deviated from her recipe and molded my Pakodi Kadhi recipe to fit hers. No onion here but the myriad spices used for tempering and the Kasoori Methi added a very distinct taste to the Kadhi.

I was not sure which pic to send for CLICK but decided on the former.

Thanks to all those who tagged me and passed on awards my way, I will try to do a post as soon as I get some time.

Oh, and did I say the parents just arrived ?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

CLICK & Chip In For Bri

This is an appeal on behalf of a group of food bloggers who are friends of Briana Brownlow @ Figs With Bri.

Bri was diagnosed with breast cancer two and half years ago. A mastectomy, chemotherapy and two years of relatively good health later, the cancer is back. It has metastasized to other parts of her body. At the age of 15, Bri lost her 41-year old mother to the disease. Now, she’s waging her own war against breast cancer. More about it here.

She is going through intensive chemo and other treatments and needs to focus single-mindedly on healing and finding what treatment works best for her. Her health insurance, unfortunately, does not cover holistic alternatives which she would like to try. Bri and her husband Marc have enough on their plates right now in addition to worrying about her medical bills.

The team organising the JUNE edition of CLICK at Jugalbandi has organised a fundraiser to help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR.

CLICK is a monthly theme-based photography contest hosted by Jugalbandi. This month’s theme is: YELLOW for Bri

Yellow is the colour of hope. Through the work of the LiveStrong Foundation, it has also come to signify the fight against cancer

The entries can be viewed HERE. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2008. The fundraiser will extend until July 15, 2008.

The target amount is 12,000 U.S. dollars. We appeal to our fellow bloggers and readers to help us achieve this. Bri deserves a chance to explore all options, even if her insurance company thinks otherwise.

There’s a raffle with exciting prizes on offer. After viewing the list, you may make your donation HERE or at the Chip-In button on any participating site.

Your donation can be made securely through credit card or Pay Pal and goes directly to Bri’s account.

This month’s photo contest also has some prizes. Details HERE. Chip In and help Bri fight and win the battle.

You can support this campaign by donating to the fundraiser, by participating in CLICK: the photo event, and by publicising this campaign.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mango Season and Chire-Doi-Aam

aka Beaten Rice(Poha) mixed with Yogurt, sweet mangoes, bananas and jaggery


Dear Mango, Do you Love me as much as I do thee
Do you look forward to summer,to be in your element or are you just sick and bored with all the hype
And what about all the competition, the Langda, the Himsagar, the Hapoos, running the rat race, do you really want to be there
Do you want to be the chosen one to be sent overseas or you would rather get your guts sucked out by the little boy on the dusty road
Do we even care what you think, no wonder you are sour at times but then your sunny soul takes over and you spread your warm yellow sweetness
But Mango, we really love thee.

I am not sure if the above is a food art that deserves to go to Indira for her Mango Manthram, but I will send it over and see.

Talking of mangoes, I love the hot, sweltering, Indian Summer. I am not sure I loved it as much when I actually survived it. But now when my Ma cribs about the temps soaring to the 40’s and it being extremely hot and unbearable, I sympathize with her audibly but secretly I am pining for that heat, for the relief that the whirring fan would bring after a prolonged power cut, the coolness of the watermelon sherbet that waited for me when I reached home after a sweaty bus journey, the cool feel of the marble floor soon after it had been freshly mopped.There is pure pleasure in seeking out comfort instead of it being served on a platter.


Now every summer my Ma would do this particular Puja called “Jai Mangalbar” each Tuesday of some summer month. I do not remember the details, it was kind of a fast or actually a vrata followed by a katha/story and Puja for the Goddess Mangalchandi who I am sure is one of the many embodiments of Durga. Only that it was not fast in the real sense, you went without breakfast in the morning and then at lunch instead of the usual, rice-daal and fish curry you had a special delicious spread taking full advantage of the summer bounty a la Mangoes. So lunch was “Chire Doi Aam” which means beaten rice or poha mixed with yogurt, sweet ripe mangoes, bananas and the whole thing sweetened with sondesh. This was also called “Falar”(Falahar or fruit diet) for some unknown reason as it was not strictly fruits that you ate.

This simple dish was so delicious that after having the Prasad for a a week or two, I decided to go the whole nine yards and jumped into the “Jai Mangalbar” bandwagon. It was summer hols anyway and I woke up late, so skipping breakfast wasn’t a big deal. A quick bath and a few mantras and rituals later I would join my Ma for this special lunch sitting on the cool floor of the Puja Room.

The strange thing is this concoction of Chire, Doi and Aam could be normally had at any day of the week without the “holy” tag and was often offered to me as an evening snack or breakfast during the summer. But there was some kind of a special feel about having it on those particular summer Tuesdays, sitting on the Puja room floor with my Ma & Grandma, the heady smell of the incense and flowers making the dish ethereal.

When I got the first ripe mangoes of this season, I was craving this simple dish. I had it for breakfast sitting on the dining table on a regular weekday, not exactly the same effect that the mantra, the katha , the incense and the Langda would induce in this simple dish but it was a joy none the less.

Chire Doi Aam

Soak 1 cup of beaten rice(raw poha) for a minute or so in water. The poha I get here gets soft very quickly and needs minimal soaking, you might need to soak yours longer till it is soft but not mushy. Drain the water completely and transfer to a bowl. Add about ½ cup of plain yogurt. Peel and add the flesh of one ripe, sweet mango. Add half a banana chopped. I added about 1 tbsp of jaggery instead of sondesh to sweeten it. You can add other forms of sweetener too. Mix well, umm... your fingers being the best mode as you can lick off them too. Eat immediately.

This healthy and ideal summery breakfast is my entry for May Mango Madness (WBB #22) hosted by Escapades. I just came across the Beautiful Bones event by Susan at Food Blogga, my Mom suffers from osteoporosis and I might be at risk too though I haven't got tested yet and so I thought this would be a easy simple brekfast that gives you your calcium from yogurt and bananas. Also vitamin B-12 and vitamin K may reduce fracture risk by increasing bone mineral density as well as the improvement of bone microarchitecture and mangoes provide a good source of both.

Trivia: Chandi is one of the most popular folk deities in Bengal, and a number of poems and literary compositions in Bengali called Chandi Mangala Kavyas were written from 13th century to early 19th century. These had the effect of merging the local folk and tribal goddesses with mainstream Hinduism. (The Wiki)
Personally I feel these folk cum religious rituals played a more social than religious part. In an era when the women were deprived of simple pleasures and denied good food, if you notice most of these rituals practiced by women folk of the house had good food as an important part of the process, thus giving the women an excuse to savor the nicer things which they were normally deprived of.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Aloo Methi and Methi in my Dal

aloo methi

I am having a choppy time, not physically but mentally. I always knew I was weird but then I thought everyone was in some way or other so that actually made me normal. Once I knew about hormones I was intelligent enough to assign my weirdness to them of course but the hubby thinks that is just taking advantage of the poor things. What does that have to do with blogging you might ask, nothing but it is just that there are days my interests take a dip and I don’t even want to open Blogger and so you don’t see me around. I still cook and eat though because that keeps me happy. Strange thing is I even take pics of all that food and not even download them. Real world friends (unaware of my blog persona) who happen to peek at them on my camera are convinced I am the weirdest.

Anyway, have you had days when you want go out and eat not because you want to eat something fancy or exotic but just because you are tired to whip up a simple homely meal and that is what you want to eat when you go out. You want to have a decent Indian every day meal and that does not mean a cream laden orange hued paneer butter masala paired with naan and a thick menacing Kali Dhaal. There is nothing wrong with these dishes and they have perfect right to be on the menu card but you go to an Indian restaurant (not a South Indian or Udupi restaurant) in one of USA’s 50 states and chances are you will only see variations of this on the menu.

Why can’t they serve phulkas I ask you, why should it always be Naan or Tandoori Roti ? And why can’t they have simple earthly dishes like alu-methi, bhindi bhaji, a simple toor dal flavored with garlic and red chillies along side the rich cousins? Am I the only one who wants to eat these stuff even if I am eating out or there is a market untapped? As it is there is no Bengali restaurant that I can hog at and there aren’t Indian ones that serve simple North Indian meals either, what is wrong with restaurateurs, I say.

Also the South Indian restaurants serve Thali with side dishes which I do not know the names of but taste like something you would have at a normal South Indian home too. Am I right? Are those dishes same as the ones you would cook for a weekly meal or are they typical special dishes too?

Disgusted with the restaurants and deciding to fend for myself I put the bunch of methi leaves from my Indian Grocery store to good use. I made a Aloo Methi ki Sabji and also added some of the methi leaves to my Dal. Served them with Brown rice cooked in water flavored with Cloves and Cardamom.

Aloo Methi

My Aloo Methi recipe is from here with some slight changes.

Finely pluck (a tedious job) and the wash about a bunch of methi or fenugreek leaves. Then chop them up. Peel and cut about 3 potatoes into small cubes. In a Kadhai/Frying Pan heat the ghee/oil. Temper with 1 tsp cumin seeds followed by half a clove of garlic finely chopped. Add the potatoes, salt, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, 3-4 green chilies and cook till the potatoes are cooked. Keep on stirring it so the potatoes do not get brown. After the potatoes are cooked add the methi (fenugreek) leaves and stir. The leaves will wilt in a couple of minutes. Add about ¼ tsp of Red Chilli Powder and ½ tsp of Kasuri Methi. Stir and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Serve hot.

Red Masoor Dal with Methi Leaves

I made a Red Masoor Dal exactly like my previous recipe here. After frying the onions and tomatoes I added the plucked and chopped methi leaves, sautéed for a couple of minutes and continued with the rest of the steps.

Plain Brown Rice

The Brown Rice, was hated by the husband unless it was a Fried rice he made or the Khichdi, but I am not the one to let go. So to make this rice I boil almost 3 times the water and flavor the water with a pinch of salt, Cardamom, Cloves and Bay Leaves. Cook the rice and drain the excess water. Now he likes the taste he says even if so at gun point.

Lastly Thanks Srivalli and Pooja for passing on such nice awards to me. I know, I know I am not doing tags either but I told you I am weird. For all you wonderful bloggers theres this wonderful music video from Shubha Mudgal featuring Nandita Das. And no I didn't make the video or music, I just loved both so sharing it with you guys.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

with Maggi Noodles and a small picnic.

Friday was Mother’s Day Tea at S’s pre-school. It was a rainy and dull morning but that one hour in her school pepped me up. It has been a year since S has been going to this pre-school and she is comfortable there now, I too know most of her class mates and some Moms unlike last year. So it was a happy one hour accompanied with iced tea and munchkins, it was another thing that S devoured 2 of mine. They then gave us the surprises they had made for us.


I knew about the art, but the cute photo frame made of popsicle sticks and stick-ons with a picture of S in the playground was a real surprise.
A day before S had told me, she has a surprise for me at school and she was not supposed to tell me what it is. In the next 5 minutes she had whispered in my ears, that when her teacher asked, “Why she loves her Mommy”
she had said “’Coz Mommy makes good food for me” :-)
She had drawn me and herself going to the restaurant and eating noodles that apparently I had cooked. Huh ? This girl doesn't want to miss out on the restaurant inspite of Mom's cooking, maybe she likes to have a backup plan.


Today morning, I was expecting a Mothers Day breakfast but I woke up hungry at 6 in the morning and since everyone else was deep asleep I went downstairs, had a bowl of cereal and then came back and promptly went to sleep again.

D and little S let me sleep in late and by the time I freshened up and went downstairs I was expecting a la-di-da breakfast with flowers and what not. There was nothing in view. In fact there was no one in view. Father-daughter were in the basement, the kitchen was bare and no trace of breakfast having cooked could be seen. This soured me considerably and I grumpily sat down with my tea.

Later when D came up and wished me and asked me why I was grumpy, I pointedly asked him that wasn’t he supposed to make me breakfast
“But you already had cereal and we were going to go out for lunch, why do you need breakfast again?”, he asked
“Because it is Mothers Day”, I said, better to make it clear since men are thick in the head and I had no intention of sulking over this the whole day.
“Of course you don’t need that much food” he insisted.
Good that he made up for it by getting me Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth, else I might have bashed his head.


Little S then wanted to go to the park and I didn’t want to go to a crowded restaurant either so we decided on an impromptu picnic. Since there was hardly any time in hand, I made Maggi Noodles with eggs and some veggies, a favorite in our home like Nupur’s and D made some sandwiches with fish sticks, cucumber and mustard and off we went to the nearest state park where the day turned out to be apparently cold and chilly.

S had fun and I always like a green view better than anything, so it was not all that bad and a nice way to spend a lazy Sunday

How I Make Maggi Noodles

Boil the Noodles according to the package direction. Do not add the spices/seasoning in the packet. Drain the noodles and wash off the starch in cold water and toss with a little olive Oil
In a pan, heat Olive oil, add sliced onions and fry till pink. Add chopped tomatoes and sauté till soft. Add an egg and stir to scramble it. Add veggies (carrots, peas, beans or whatever you have, which have been steamed) to this.Add chopped green chillies if your kid is ok with it.
Sauté for a couple of minutes and add half of the Masala/seasoning that comes in the packet. Add salt and the Maggi Noodles.
Mix well and serve with Ketchup.
This serves as a good lunch to be packed for kids too

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Soya Peas Pulao on a PlayDay


Little S’s friend was to come over after school to spend an evening with her. They are in the same pre-school and same class and I do not understand their need to spend still more time after school together. Both of them had been pestering me about visiting each other’s home for some time now and finally I called up her Mom and we decided to do it once a week.

The weather having turned a beautiful warm a week back, I had planned to take them to the park in the afternoon and let them run free. But come the day of the meet and it was chilly, so the poor kids & of course poor me, had to be stuck inside the house. They played on their own though and didn’t bother me except for occasional call for snacks. Four year olds can be angels if they want.

Now this little friend speaks Kannada(language spoken by natives of Karnataka a state in Sothern India) at home and last time she was visiting, she had asked for Rice & Tuppa for dinner. Of course I didn’t understand and had plied her with Rice, dal, vegetables and yogurt. Only later did her mom tell me that she loves rice & ghee and that is what she had wanted.

This time I tried to play safe and asked Little S what her friend liked to eat. The morning of the their play-day she declared “Friend S likes Pulao”

So be it I thought, easy for me and convenient for the kids to eat too. I decided on a Soya Peas Pulao with soya granules instead of the chunks. I loosely followed Tarla Dalal's recipe. Since Friend S was a eggatarian, I served it with boiled eggs which were lightly fried to a golden yellow. This was a complete meal delicious, protein rich and yet very easy. Served with a bowl of plain yogurt on the side, there was little more the kids will ask for. Ideal to be packed for a school lunch also.

Little S finished of her plate happily while I had to force friend S to eat, though she said she liked it. Friend S turned out to be unfamiliar with boiled eggs though and was pretty much taken by the egg white, hated yolk. She likes omlettes, more homework to be done next time.

When little friend S's Mom came to pick her up, she brought me some steaming Upma from her kitchen, now this kind of play days I like.

Soy Peas Pulao

What You Need

Uncooked Rice ~ 1 cup
Soya granules ~ ¼ cup of Nutrela Soya Granules(Note: Next time I am going to up this amount)
Green peas (fresh or frozen) ~ ¼ cup

For tempering

Cumin seeds (jeera) ~ ½ teaspoon
Cinnamon (dalchini) ~ 1/2" stick
Cloves (lavang) ~ 2
Bay leaf ~ 1
Cardamom (elaichi) ~ 2

For masala

Onions ~ ½ cup chopped
Tomatoes ~ ½ cup chopped
Ginger ~ ½ “ grated

Turmeric powder (haldi) ~ ¼ teaspoon

Garam masala ~ ¼ teaspoon
Coriander (dhania) powder ~ ½ tsp (You can use 1 tsp of this, but I kept it low)
Fennel (saunf) Powder ~ ¼ tsp

Oil ~ to cook
Ghee ~ ½ - 1 tsp to smear the rice (optional)
salt to taste

To be ground into a chilli-garlic paste – I did not use this since the pulao was intended for kids

3 cloves garlic
3 whole red chillies

How I Did It

Wash the rice and soak it for 10-30 minutes. Drain the rice after this and smear with ½ tsp of ghee.

Heat Oil in a Frying Pan

Flavor the oil with Bay leaves, whole cardamom, and cinnamon stick

Add ½ tsp of whole cumin seed

When the seeds crackle, add the onions and sauté till the onions turn golden brown.
If you are using chilli-garlic paste add it now

Add finely chopped tomatoes and sauté till they are soft

Add the green peas and soya granules and sauté for a minute

Add the turmeric powder, garam masala, coriander powder, fennel powder and salt and sauté for another couple of minutes

Add the Rice now and mix well with the masala. Sauté for 2 more minutes and add about 2 cups of water and cover and cook. If using a pressure cooker add 2 cups of hot water and pressure cook for 2 whistles

If not using a pressure cooker, check occasionally to see if rice is done. If not and water has dried up add a little more water (very little about ¼ cup might be needed) and cook till rice is done.

You can serve with boiled eggs, which I fried to a golden yellow because Little S likes the color. Also a bowl of yogurt on the side completed the meal.

Note: for younger kids you need to fish out the whole garam masala like cardamom, bay leaf, clove and cinnamon stick before serving

Other Recipes with Soya Granules:

Egg Paratha with Soya Stuffing

A recipe that could use soya granules or chunks:

Daliya Pulao

Reading List: Thanks for all of your inputs and enriching my reading list. I recently read Chitra Banerjee Divakurani's Palace Of Illusions, a feminist interpretation of the epic Mahabharata. I also read Cold sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns. Enjoyed both the books. I am currently reading Anne Tyler's Digging To America. I had read her Breathing Lessons earlier, but had totally forgotten about her, thanks to RLM for the suggestion. Sadly the library didn't carry "Tales from FirozSha Baag" by Mistry

Friday, May 02, 2008

RCI Bengal: Round Up Stage II


The second and last RCI-Bengal Round up is the sweetest. This series has Chutney, Dessert, Snack, Drinks and Non-Recipe write ups.


Photo Courtesy: Flickr

As I said earlier for a history of Bengali Cuisine please refer to the article "Bengali Cuisine" from Wikipedia , I found the article very interesting and informative. For many of you who might not be aware of the history of Bengali cuisine, the various terms used and its delicate intricacies this article is a treasure. Even for those who are aware of the cuisne this article throws new light about the historical influences etc.

I would also like to mention that RCI-Bengal was an event where Bloggers cooked and sent their version of recipes of Bengali Food, as they saw it.Many of them might have adapted the original recipe to suit their taste, preference, local ingredients, whatever. So,this is not necessarily a compilation of authentic or original bengali cooking.

I thank everyone for making this event a success.

The Chutney

Anarosher Chaatni -- the only chutney entry, a beautiful pineapple chutney from Bee and Jai at Jugalbandi

Bengali style Raita -- a new dish from Mythreyee at Paajaka recipes

The Dessert

Kesar Badam Sandesh -- a delicious light creamy delicacy from West Bengal made with fresh home made paneer or chenna is from Medhaa at Cook With Love

Rasgulla -- the all time favorite sweet looks so scrumptious that you would love to pick it up right off her blog, from Dhivya at Dhivya's Cuisine

Sandesh -- the pristine white beauties made from paneer/chenna are from Cham at Spice-Club

Kala Jamun -- a gorgeous step-by-step demo of making kala jamuns which is known as Kalo Jaam in Bengali is from Dhivya at Culinary Bazaar

Choco Mava Peda -- delightful looking pedas from Nirmala at Amma's Special

Rasgulla -- sweet, juicy delights from SunshineMom at Tongue Ticklers

Cham Cham -- they look so professional and are so beautifully presented you would want to grab one off the screen, sweet delights from Sandhya at Sandhya's Kitchen

Rasagulla -- sweet, juicy, spongy rasagullas made for her Appa's Birthday and of course RCI from Kamala at Moms Recipes

Bengali Sandesh -- melt in your mouth sandesh from Priya at 365 Days of Pure Vegetarian

Bhapa Doi -- delectable bengali cheesecake flavoured with saffron and cardamom served with dollops of humor from Mallika at Quick indian Cooking

Rasmalai -- a fabulous tasting and definitely great looking dessert from Arundati at Escapades

Mishti doi -- a sweet yogurt, a bengali favorite served with sweeter memories from Sunita at Sunita's World

Jibe Goja /Fried pastry coated with syrup -- a simple yet household favorite from Rinku at Cooking in Westchester

Rasmalai -- a great looking dessert from Swapna at Swapna's Cuisine

Patishapta -- a very traditional Bengali dessert of thin crepes filled with a sweet coconut & kheer stuffing from Archana, mama of twins at Archana's Culinary Adventures

Mishti Doi -- a lovely dessert in a lovely pot from Renuka at Fusion

Rasgulla -Bengali Mithai -- one more dessert with a "eat me up" written all over it explained with detailed steps and tips from Mansi at Fun n Food

Kalakand -- decadent looking sweets from Mallugirl at Malabar Spices

Shrikhand -- this lovely dessert does not have any bengal connection that I know of, but then who am I to give verdict in the larger scheme of things so I am including this beautiful entry here from Jan at Food with a Pinch of Love (Jan had asked me if this dessert could be considered but I am welcoming all entries with open arms)

The Snack or JolKhabar

Jhaal Muri -- with a dash of mustard oil this tasty snack of puffed rice is from Meera at Enjoy Indian Food

Koraishutir Kochuri -- kachuri stuffed with a spicy sweet pea filling, one of the Bengal's winter breakfast or snack favorite is from Raaga at The Singing Chef

Oven baked Paneer Shingaras -- healthy and delicious samosas or shingaras from Siri at Siri's Corner

The Drink

Rasamadhuri Sherbet -- a pretty sherbet with an equally pretty name from Uma at Essence of Andhra

No Not a Recipe

Day 2: 16th March 2008 -- a travelogue on Kolkata with some beautiful Pics from Anjali at Swachchanda. She also shares an article on Haldiram's Food City in Kolkata here.

Traditional Bengali Curries - One Page Cookbook -- an entry from Ramki. This is entirely his version of Bengali Cuisine as he sees it. (But please can we not say "curry" for every dish. Also I am no authority on Bengali or any cuisine but I felt a lot was "Lost in Translation" in this writeup)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

RCI Bengal : Round Up Stage 1


Phew….finally the round up is done. Never did I think that I would slog in the blog world and work late into night to meet deadlines which were not even there. Is this why I took up blogging as a hobby, I lament. No I took it to run away from pressure and deadlines of the real world.

But what do I see, there are tough task masters here too and even without the fear of the pink slip dangling over my head I am bowing down to them. Why am I up late into the night, browsing recipes, reading bloggers who have sent me entries and whom I have not yet chanced upon, jumping from their RCI posts to others which catch my fancy, categorizing hoards of recipes, why oh why then ?

And I realize it's for the love all of them have shown in cooking for an event, for their enthusiasm in trying out something new which might not be to their liking, for their courage in buying unknown spices and giving them a place in their comfortable kitchen, for their effort in digging out authentic recipes and reliving memories.

Thank you all my dear friends for all the enthusiasm and the cooking. Thanks to Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine for strating the event RCI (regional Cuisine of india) and letting me host RCI-Bengal. Thanks to Vani and Rajitha for telling me, I could ping them if I needed help with the round up.

Photo Courtesy : flickr

Wiki says, "Bengali cuisine is a style of food preparation originating in Bengal, a region in the eastern South Asia which is now divided between the Indian state of West Bengal and the independent country of Bangladesh". The style of food preparation varies across various regions of Bengal, from the hills in the North to the Plains by the Ganges, from the east Bengal Kitchen to the one in West Bengal.

For a history of Bengali Cuisine please refer to the article "Bengali Cuisine" from Wikipedia , I found the article very interesting and informative. For many of you who might not be aware of the history of Bengali cuisine, the various terms used and its delicate intricacies this article is a treasure. Even for those who are aware of the cuisne this article throws new light about the historical influences etc.

Edited To Add: In lieu of some of the comments etc. I would like to mention that RCI-Bengal was an event where Bloggers cooked and sent their version of recipes of Bengali Food, as they saw it.
Many of them might have adapted the original recipe to suit their taste, preference, local ingredients, whatever. So,this is not necessarily a compilation of authentic or original bengali cooking.

Now without further ado I will let you jump onto the recipes.
This is Part I of the round up with recipes in the following categories Rice, Veggie Side Dish, Dal, Complete Meal, Seafood, Meat and Eggs.
Part II will have Chutney, Dessert, Snacks, Drink and Non-Recipe write ups

Within each category the recipes are ordered in accordance to their arrival order at my Inbox. If I have missed anyone or any details of your recipes, please leave a note.


RCI-Bengal Round Up -- Part I

The Rice

Bengali Royal Rice (Pushpanna) -- a flavorful Rice Dish from Anu Sriram at Chandrabhaga

Khichudi -- not just rice but a nourishing and tasty mix of rice, dal and veggies, a complete meal if you prefer it that way from SunshineMom at Tongue Ticklers

Bengali Prawn Pulao -- a pulao with rice, moong dal and prawns from DG at DG's blog

Ghee Bhat (Rice with Clarified Butter) -- rice flavored with cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon and ghee from Priyanka at AsanKhana

Bengali Ghee Rice -- one more rice flavored with ghee and spices from Nags at For The Cook In Me

Khichuri -- with a recipe straight from a Bengali friend this comforting medley of rice, lentils and vegetables is from Nupur at One Hot Stove

Khichuri -- a new take on the authentic Khichuri with a very different spice mix from Trupti at Recipe Center

The Veggie Side Dishes

Aloo Posto -- a simple yet bengali household favorite from Gaurav at Gastronome By Choice

Veg Chop Inspired Sabji -- inspired by the delicious Vegetable chop this novel sabji follows the same recipe that goes in making the stuffing for the chop, from Gauri at Guj Food Guide

Alur Dom -- her grandmom made a mean alur dom which was spicy and red hot, recreated for us by Mandira at Ahaar

Paneer and potatoes with panch phoron -- flavored with ground panch-phoron powder this unique new dish is from Linda at Out of The Garden

Begun Bhaja -- a Bengali hot favorite flavored with spices from Trupti at Recipe Central

Saak er Ghonto with Bori -- a very authentic recipe of greens with other veggies and boris made at home from MS at Food Travails

BandhaKopir Ghonto -- another authentic veggie dish of cabbage, potatoes and peas along with a vivid write up from Vineela of Vineela's Cuisine

Dhokaar dalna -- with another recipe from her Bong friend, this delicious & very traditional Bengali dish described as pieces of fried chana dal burfis in a delicious gravy, is from Nupur at One Hot Stove

Dum Aloo -- spicy aloo dum from Divya Vikram at Dil Se

Shukto -- a non-traditional adapted version of Shukto with her own distinct touch of coconut milk from Bhagyashree at Taste Buds.

The Dal

Chollar Dal -- the delicious chana dal garnished with cocnut pieces and cooked the authentic Bengali way is from HomeCooked at HomeCooked

Bengali Dal -- one more tasty take on dal with bengal gram from EasyCrafts at Simple Indian Food

West Bengali Mung Bean and Tomato Soup -- a mung bean and tomato dal with a perfect balance of flavours and fragrances from Lisa at Lisa's Kitchen

Vegetable Dal With Panch Phoron -- a unique & tasty dal flavored with Paanch Phoron from Zlamushka at Zlamushka's Kitchen

Tetor Dal -- a Dal with bitter gourd and yet not bitter from the ever creative Pooja at My Creative Ideas & An attempt to spread love by cooking

Bengali Red Dal -- a gorgeous dal from Maninas at Maninas: Food Matters

Cholar dal -- one more glamorous chana dal from Bhawana at Tastes of India

The Complete Meals

A Delicious Bengali Spread -- ... and this includes delicious Alu-Potoler Dalna (Potato Parwal gravy), Maacher Sorse Jhol (Fish in Mustard gravy), Ghee Bhat (sweetish Bengali rice Pulao), Porota (Flatbread), Lankar Achar (Green chillies pickle)and Patishapta (sweet flour crepe with sweet aromatic coconut filling and topped with Saffron cream). All this from none other than Asha at Foodies Hope

Saffron Rice and Bengali Egg Curry -- a spicy Egg Curry served with Saffron Rice from Namratha at Finger Licking Food

Phulko Luchi ar Aloor Dom with Misti Doi -- puffed up luchis served with spicy alur dom and sweet mishti doi from Srivalli at Cooking 4 all Seasons

Musuri Dal and Alu Posto with Bittergourd Bhaja -- a very comforting and everyday meal in a Bengali Home from Srivalli at Cooking 4 all Seasons

Narkol Bhath and Palang Saag Curry -- rice flavored with coconut and her own spinach creation with Paanch Phoron is from Vani at Mysoorean

Piaj koli, alu piaj tomatar tarkari and Masoor Dal -- a very delightful and homely bengali meal of Masoor Dal with a sabzi of scallions, potatoes and tomato from Nandita at Saffron Trail

Rui aaloo phulkopi,Moog dal served with Rice and Nikhuti Payesh -- Rui aloo phulkopi(carp fish cooked with cauliflower potao and peas),Moog Dal(split green gram cooked and tempered with cumin,bayleaf and red chillies) and Nikhuti Payesh(Cottage cheese Oblongs deep fried and served dipped in flavoured condensed milk) along with some beautiful write up from Saswati at Potpourri

The Egg

Egg Malai Curry -- a very novel & fusion Bengali recipe in the lines of prawn malai curry from Sra at When My Soup Came Alive

The SeaFood

Topshe Macher Bhaja (Fish Fry) -- a favorite in a wedding feast, this delicious batter dipped fry is from Jayashree at Spice and Curry

Doi Maach -- another fish delicacy from Dee and Chai at Two Sisters and Their Culinary Journey

Sorso Bhaate Maach(Fish in Mustard Gravy) -- a delicious fish dish in mustard, poppy seeds and coconut paste from My Comfort Food at My Comfort Food Network

Narkel Chingri -- a very tasty shrimp dish in coconut and mustard paste from Meera at Enjoy Indian Food

Fiery Hot Crab Curry -- this absolutely mouth watering and indeed fiery crab curry made for her family is from Arundhati at Bong Working Mom

Chitol muithas -- a very intricate and immensely delicious recipe made with a fresh water fish called Chitol from Mallika aka Eve's Lungs of The Wok of Life

Doi Maach -- delicious looking yogurt based fish curry from Mallika at Quick Indian Cooking

Maach Charchari -- a dry fish dish with potatoes and eggplants from Sandeepa of Bong Mom's CookBook

Alu-Kopi diye Macher Jhol -- a simple and light fish curry with potatoes and cauliflowers from Sandeepa of Bong Mom's CookBook

The Meat

Country Captain and Khichuri -- an Anglo-Indian chicken dish which originated in Calcutta and has stayed there is served with nourishing Khichuri by Maya at Konkan World

Mutton Rezzala -- a delicious and decadent meat dish from SJ of A Pinch of Spice

Murg Kalia -- a fiery looking chicken dish which she claims is easy-breezy from Sig at Live To Eat

Friday, April 25, 2008

CLICK: Che Guava


Hot summer afternoon
Shutters down tight, the fan whirring trying to stir the hot air around
The house silent, everyone is taking a siesta
The young girl, slowly creeps out into the backyard, her anklets making that faint tinkle
She looks up shading her eyes, the hot afternoon sun catching her jhumkas
She looks at the green above, hitches up her skirt and deftly climbs the tree
The green guavas wait for her touch
She plucks the ones that are smooth, green and not ripe yet, caresses them and takes a bite.
The sweetness fills her mouth but no she wants something more
She brings out rock salt and red chilli powder wrapped in a paper from her skirt’s waistband, dips the guavas in it and takes another bite.
Ahhhhhhh, this is bliss, the sweetness balanced with the sharp, hot and salty

Guavas my entry for CLICK : Au Naturel hosted at Jugalbandi to celebrate abundance and elegance in the produce aisle

As we celebrate nature's abundance let us be thankful for the food we bring to the table for the family in the face of the rising grain prices and food shortages. Learn to honor, respect and celebrate food.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

CatFish er Maach Charchari


My love affair with fish started when we moved to this small township on the banks of the river Ganga sometimes in between my tween & teen years.

A small quiet town, far from the trappings of the city, still untouched by the glamorous modern world, peaceful and serene it was. Life was slow, mornings were not merely a time to just gulp coffee and rush, people had enough time in their hands to stop by for a quick chat on their morning market routine. Grocery was not just relegated to weekends, fresh veggies and fish were brought home every morning from the haat or local market, a place whose sole purpose was not just to sell but also build a community.

A little later in the day when the sun was high and the day had fallen into its pace to be broken only by the calls of the ghughoo (a kind of bird) in the mango tree, the odd fisherman with gleaming silver in his basket would do the rounds to sell his remaining catch. My Ma if not satisfied with the morning haul would call him over and haggle over the tangra, mourala or whatever he had on the front verandah. After much amiable chit-chat both woud be happy and the househelp would be called to settle down with the “boti” and fish in the back yard.
So most days, there would be at least two kinds of fish being cooked for lunch or dinner.

During the rainy season, when the river ran high, the house help’s little boy who would spend most evenings at our home under my Ma’s tutelage, would spend his afternoons at the river catching fish with his gamcha (a thin cotton towel) instead of breaking head over his fractions or algebra. His extra catch, mostly shrimp aka kucho chingri or small fish like khoira, punti would find home in Ma’s kitchen. They would be fried crisp and had with dal or a spicy dry dish made of them.

Eating so many varieties of fresh fish in all sorts of jhol, jhaal , charchari and what not every day, I fell in love with fish. I also fell in love with the small town which we had to leave eventually but my love for such small towns remain and I never feel at home in a big city.


The macher charchari is originally done with fish like tangra (smaller variety), mourala or other such small fish which are eaten whole with their head and tail on. When I can’t make myself to eat baked cat fish fillet any more, I fry the fillet and make a similar charchari with it. Tastes nowhere near but you got to compromise. On the rare occasions that I get good tangra from the Bangladeshi fish seller, I have a feast.
You can also try this with shrimp if you do not eat any of the above fish


What You Need

Cat Fish Fillet ~ I had about ½ lb. You can use fish like smaller variety of tangra, mourala etc. If you get cat fish nuggets you can use that instead of the fillet too.

Onion ~ ½ of a medium red one chopped fine and small
Garlic ~ ½ tsp of finely chopped garlic. Me not being a big garlic lover, I use even less than this
Ginger ~ 3/4” grated fresh

Potatoes ~ 2 small sized or 1 medium chopped longitudinally. (by small I don't mean the baby potatoes)
Eggplant ~ about 2 cups of cubed eggplants
Green Chillies ~ 4-5 slit. Get the hot Indian chillies and not the ones with a flat taste. If you don't get these use red chilli powder

For tempering

Panch Phoran ~ 1 tsp lightly packed
Dried Red Chillies ~ 2-3

Turmeric ~ ½ tsp
Roasted Cumin Powder ~ 1/4 tsp(optional)
Mustard Oil ~ DO NOT scrimp on oil, more the merrier

How I Did It

Wash & Cut the cat fish fillet in small bite size pieces. Mix with a little sprinkle of turmeric & salt and keep aside

Lightly fry the fish pieces till they are golden brown. For cat fish you need not deep fry but for other fish you need to deep fry. Remove and keep aside

Fry the potato pieces with a little turmeric till they are a light golden yellow in color. Remove and keep aside.

Temper the hot oil with panch-phoran, red chillies and garlic

Add the chopped onion and green chillies and fry till the onion is soft, and translucent

Add the cubed eggplants, add about ¼ tsp of turmeric and fry the eggplant.

When the eggplant turns a little soft add the potatoes. Saute with a little sprinkle of water.

Add salt, grated ginger and mix well. If you want extra hot add red chilli powder according to taste. Add about 1/4 tsp of dry roasted Cumin Powder. This is optional but lends a good taste.You may need to add very little water at this point. Cover and cook with intermittent stirring till the veggies are cooked. The eggplant will be very soft, tending towards mushy and the potatoes cooked by now.

Add the fish pieces and fry for couple more minutes. Add a little mustard oil at this point and give it a good stir

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves if the fish smell bothers you

Serve with steaming hot rice yet again

This is my second entry for RCI-Bengal

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fish n Fish for RCI Bengal


Yes, I have done it. I am late for my own event. I had never hosted an event since I started food blogging. I spend enough time chasing Moms at DMC to host a theme every month and the rest of the time chasing life, so I never thought I would have time to host a Food Blog Event, how much ever I love it.

I would often be awed by everyone who hosts these food blog events by their diligence and time management. I would wonder that if I ever host one, would I be running late in doing the round up or would I be lacking in leaving a comment for everyone who contributes for the event or would I be the last one to contribute for my own event. Well, I needn’t have wondered, I am kind of doing all of them it seems.

Today is the last day and I had to simply had to post my dish by today. I have not been doing my best in the health department as I had said earlier and as a result have been cooking real simple meals. On top of that little S was down with stomach flu over the weekend and throwing up like a fountain, which reduced simple meals to mashed potato and rice. Today, I roped in the hubby and he chopped the veggies while I made two real simple fish dishes.

So fish it is from me who craves fish and fish it is from the hubby who sadly doesn’t crave any

Fishy we are but not as much as the Bong guy who said “Pleesh come to my house, I make very good piish, you shiit and I make piish for you”


I have two fish dishes for RCI-Bengal both of which I love immensely. Somehow I end up cooking stuff that I love most of the time. Call me selfish

One is CatFish Charchari, it is a dry dish with fish, potatoes and brinjal. The original fish of choice for Macher Charchari is Tangra or Mourala but I make do with the cat fish fillet when I don’t get these. This recipe I am going to post tomorrow.


The other one is a Alu-Kopi diye Macher Jhol. This again is a simple light curry best suited for everyday meal and I mean really every day.


My Ma makes awesome fish curry with potatoes and cauliflowers. It is a light curry, a patla jhol as we say in Bengali, to be had with rice and is served for homely meals as opposed to meals served in a wedding or on special occasions. Given a choice I prefer light fish curries to the rich ones and would happily have them at weddings but sadly that is not done. These curries taste good when the fish is fresh and sweet. i.e. fresh water fish is a better choice for these kind of gravies.

So when I got this fish called croaker at the American grocery and it looked very fresh I thought to satiate my craving for alu-kopi’r patla jhol with it. My good friend N, suggested a little different way of tempering and I followed that this time. It was a very satisfying jhol and with steaming hot rice took me a step closer to heaven.


Alu Kopi diye Macher Jhol/Fish in a light Gravy with Vegetables

What You Need

The fish curry was sufficient for only 2 persons, maybe 3 at the most

Croaker Fish ~ You can use any other variety of fresh water fish. Get the fish cut in steak pieces. The fish I had was a medium sized one and made 5-6 small pieces

The Veggies

Cauliflower ~ 7 – 8 medium sized cauliflower florets, size as in the gravy pic
Potato ~ 2 medium sized chopped in quarters
Green Chillies ~ 4 slit through the middle
Tomatoes ~ 2 small sized canned & peeled tomatoes or a medium sized fresh one finely chopped

For tempering

Hing/Asafoetida ~ a pinch
Jeera/Whole Cumin seeds ~ 1 tsp loosely packed

For masala

Dhania Powder/Corriander Powder ~ 1 tsp
Ginger paste ~ ½ tsp

Turmeric ~ ½ tsp

How I Did It

Wash the fish pieces in warm water, pat dry & and mix them with a teaspoon of turmeric powder and salt.

Heat Oil till it is smoking. Fry the fish in oil, till it is a nice golden brown color on both sides. The only draw back of this is most of the oil goes to waste as you discard most of the oil after frying.

Heat Oil again in a Kadhai

Separately fry the potatoes and cauliflower florets with a sprinkling of turmeric till they take on a light golden hue. Keep them aside. They should be just lightly fried

Temper Oil with Asafoetida and Whole Cumin Seeds

Add the chopped tomatoes and fry till they are mushy

Add the ginger paste, the Corriander powder and Green Chillies and fry the masala with a sprinkle of water

Add the potatoes and the cauliflower

Add salt and sauté till the masala coats the veggies

Add about 2 and ½ cups of water and cover and cook till veggies are done. Take care that the cauliflower florets are not over cooked

Add the fried fish pieces and let it cook for 4-5 minutes. The gravy will be light and have a soupy texture

Serve with steaming hot rice and a lemon wedge on the side

I am posting Pacific time if you insist. But for late comers like me, I give you one more day to post your recipes for RCI-Bengal

Monday, April 14, 2008

Shubho Naboborsho


Wishing you all a very Happy New Year

* The Hindu solar calendar based on the Surya Siddhanta commences in mid-April of the Gregorian year. The first day of this calendar is celebrated as the traditional New Year in Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Manipur, Nepal, Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Tripura.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Goduma Dosa -- quick, easy, wheat dosa


I love Dosa, no not all kinds, but Masala Dosa and paper Masala Dosa and oh yes, Mysore Masala Dosa. Growing up we ate a fair amount of Masala Dosa, not at home, but on our ritual Sunday outings. It might sound strange because it is not something a typical Bong family would do. The hubby insists they ate, Dhakai Parota & Kasha Mangsho, Moghlai and such on their weekend outings. I guess because those days we lived in Bihar where these delicacies were not available, we settled for Masala Dosa on most days we ate out, no one is complaining though because we loved it.

Dosa at home was a rarity though. My Ma couldn’t whip up the perfect thin crispy Dosa like the restaurants, I liked my Dosa to be paper thin and my Ma’s would be thick and I did not like that. So many a times she would make utthapam instead.

However during the summer months, when we would have morning school and eventually long leisurely summer holidays we would have Masala dosas as a treat on weekdays too, courtesy the Dosawala. The Dosawala with his mobile cart, the huge black iron griddle and glistening steel containers of Dosa batter, sambhar, coconut chutney and potato stuffing would do rounds of our neighborhood every Tuesday evening. Come dusk, the far cry of his metallic spatula hitting the iron griddle would reverberate in the neighborhood. I don’t remember if he shouted out his wares like other peddlers but that “tong-tong” sound of the spatula was enough to make us scurry to the gates with a steel tiffin-carrier and boxes for the hot crisp Masala Dosa and chutney.


My Dosa making skills are zero or maybe even sub-zero. I lack the paraphernalia to grind the batter, or the finesse to flip one and anyway it has been always easier to pop into the nearest Dosa place when I am craving for one.

When I saw the Goduma Dosa at Nupur’s, I felt my confidence soar. This is something I can easily do, I told myself and tweaked this recipe to my taste. I added onions and chillies to the batter, substituted part water with yogurt. I also took cue from Sra and added some pickle to some of them while other I had with potato masala stuffing. It was wonderful, nothing like the Crisp thin Masala Dosas but good to eat none the less.

The Goduma Dosa goes to Dosa Mela at Srivalli's

Goduma or Wheat Dosa

What You Need

Whole Wheat Flour ~ ½ cup
Rice Flour ~ ½ cup
Jeera powder ~ 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder ~ depending on your spice level
Red onion ~ ½ of a medium finely chopped
Green Chillies ~ 3-4 finely chopped
Curry leaves ~ 5-6 finely chopped
Yogurt ~ about 1 cup diluted with water
Water ~ almost 2 cup
Salt ~ according to taste

How I Did It

I simply made the batter with all of the above ingredients and let it sit for half an hour.
Then heated the griddle and followed Nupur’s instructions. Mine was not lacy as hers though, maybe I just need more practice or my batter needs to be more thin
Tasted really good with potato masala.

Remember last date for RCI-Bengal is April 15th midnight

Trivia: The eminent food scientist Dr. K.T. Achaya. points out authoritatively that while Dosai and Vadai have a hoary two-thousand-year history in Tamil country, Idli is a foreign import. Huh, really ? Check this

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Uchche Posto Jhuri or Bitter Gourd and...


The little girl has learned to read…yehhhhhhhh. So next time I am hibernating, I shall ask her to blog hop.
She has been reading small words and such for a while now but now she is onto books and she can read one on her own now. Ok, now don’t get me wrong, by “a book” I strictly mean simple books meant to be read by 4 year olds and not the Wodehouse out of my shelf.

I never gave her reading achievement much attention because I was sure that kids in India probably read and write critical appreciation by 4, until the other day at the library this Indian lady comes up to me and says
“She reads? How old is she?”
“Four”, I said “but she reads the easy ones like Dr.Seuss and Level 1 readers and store signs and…”
She goes on, “My daughter is 4 too and she is not reading yet. My husband says I have to get her to read soon. How do I do that?”
Huh your husband says that, why can’t he spend some time reading with the little one then, strange people.

Now, I have never really pushed S to read just for reaching a milestone, what I actually wanted her to have is a love for reading rather than just reading. Kids learn to read by a certain age anyhow, maybe a few months early or late, but eventually they do. Many of them do not develop a love towards reading though, and then again many who do slowly loose it when other things in life demand more time.

For me books have been great friends always, though it’s mostly fiction that I am attracted to. A perfectly bad day could have a happy ending for me, if I had a good book to go back to.

Lately however with life taking over, I rarely got time to read for pleasure. There aren’t many people around with whom I could discuss books either, because there was no one who spent time reading fiction. On my trips to the library I am not sure what to pick up, I want to read more fiction from other countries and culture and I do not know what other recent international authors I could read.

I am reading “The House of Sand and Fog” right now and I am loving it. What are some of your favorite books that could go on my reading list? Pray Share.


The Uchche Posto Jhuri is a simple bitter gourd recipe that I picked out from this almost famous Bengali Magazine Sananda. Sananda is to Bengal what Femina is to India. Within the slim covers of this mag you can get a good dose of advise on how to handle your MIL on your honeymoon, the best gift to give your boss on vacation, what-to-tell your maid when she wants go on a vacation and hundreds of tips on keeping your underarms sweat free and hair glistening. Armed with such knowledge, do you need anything more to confront life?

Other than this there are some good recipes and a whiff of Bengal in this far off land. Thanks to my lovely friends who gifted me a subscription of this mag on my last birthday, I am totally updated on glitzy happenings around Kolkata, even if my Ma has no clue about them.

Uchche or BitterGourd is a favorite among Bengalis and as I had mentioned earlier they like to eat it bitter, they will do absolutely nothing to mask the bitterness, even if you grovel and beg. This dish has a smattering of posto (poppy seed paste) and that makes it pretty good, though bitter it still is.
This goes to ever enthu Pooja at My Creative Ideas for her Vegetable of the Week -- Bitter Gourd


What You Need
The original recipe used about 10 uchche (the smaller variety that I don’t see here) and 3 tbsp of poppy seed paste. I took liberty and did this

Bitter Gourd ~ 1 medium sized
Poppy Seed ~ 1 tbsp heaped. Dry grind this in a coffee grinder or a spice grinder

For Tempering
Mustard seeds ~ ½ tsp loosely packed
Dry Red Chillies ~ 2-3


How I Did It
Chop the bitter gourd in small pieces

Dry grind the poppy seeds. If you want to wet grind, do so but do not make the paste watery

Heat Oil in a Kadhai/Frying Pan

Temper with mustard seeds and Dry Red Chilli

When the spices crackle add the bitter gourd pieces, add salt and cover & sauté over medium flame.

Add a sprinkle of turmeric powder for the color.

When the bitter gourd appears cooked, add the ground poppy seeds. If you are using the dry powder, sprinkle a little water. If you have made a wet paste you are fine

Stir till done. The end result should be dry with the poppy seed paste dry coating the bitter gourd.

Updated on Jan, 2018 with a mix of steps from BitterGourd Kismur

Ucche Posto Jhuri -- Version 2.0

Wash 2 medium sized ucche aka bitter gourd. Chop into thin slices or small pieces.

Next step is to roast the bitter gourd. You could do that on the stove top but I prefer microwave or oven.

Microwave: Take a microwave safe glass plate and add the chopped bitter gourd pieces. Sprinkle some salt and oil and microwave for 2 minutes. Take the plate out, add some more oil and toss it around. Microwave for another 2-3 minutes. After it is done, it should be evenly browned and not burnt. Microwave suggestion is from blog Red Chilies.

Oven: Preheat Oven to 350F. Toss the bittergourd with olive oil, red chili powder. Now put them in an oven safe tray in single layer and bake for 20-25 minutes until you see they are crisp. I use this version mostly.

Heat Mustard Oil in a Kadhai/Frying Pan

Temper with 1/4th tsp of Kalonji or Kalo Jeera (Nigella seeds)

Add 1/2 of a red onion very finely chopped
2-3 green chili finely chopped
Saute until onion is soft

Add the roasted bitter gourd, that you have already cooked.

Dry grind 3 tbsp of Poppy Seeds in a coffee grinder or a spice grinder

Saute for a couple of minutes and add the ground poppy seeds. If you are using the dry powder, sprinkle a little water. If you have made a wet paste you are fine

Stir till done. The end result should be dry with the poppy seed paste dry coating the bitter gourd.

One the poppy seed paste is cooked take it out in a serving bowl.

Before serving add
some red onion very finely chopped
1 green chili finely chopped
Lime juice
a little shredded coconut
salt to taste
Mix thoroughly

Adjust lime juice and salt.

Serve immediately to retain the crispiness.

Trivia: Bitter gourd is revered in ayurveda as a cleansing and purifying vegetable. It helps purify blood tissue, enhances digestion, and stimulates the liver.