Nazrul or Rabindrasangeet ?
Ghoti or Bangal ?
Suman or Nachiketa ?
Threading or Brazilian wax ?
Ilish or Chingri ?
Bedouin or HotKathi ?
Goldspot or Limca ?
Soumitro or Uttam ?
Jhaaler jhol or Rasa ?
To each his own, I say.
Jhaaler Jhol is a light dish with lots of vegetables that my friend N makes. When I made it last weekend D said his mother made something similar but with tender stalks and leaves of the pumpkin plant and called it Rasa. Happens. I have nothing of my own to contribute in this discussion though. My Mother never made anything like this, she made a similar dish with Fish but did not call it anything particular.
Undoubtedly the stalks and leaves of pumpkin plant are the best greens for this light dish which totally relies on the freshness and taste of the vegetables for its deliciousness. I did not have any and instead used spinach greens and some swiss chard.
Also I did not have vadi or bori, the tiny dried lentil fritters which fried and crumbled is what this dish needs. So instead I made my Daaler Bora, lentil fritters. This time I baked them instead of frying. I added them to the dish along with a tsp of mustard paste and let it simmer in the light broth almost like in a borar jhaal. The result was delicious. It is not a presumptuous, look-at-me kind of a dish. But on days when you would rather eat lettuce greens I would suggest a Jhaaler Jhol instead.
Jhaaler Jhol or Rasa
Fulkopi/Cauliflower -- half of a medium sized one, chopped in large florets
Pumpkin -- 3 cups chopped in largish cubes
Radish ~ 1 cup of red radish, chopped in half
Eggplant ~ 1 cup. I did not have any.
Spinach or any other green ~ 3 cups, roughly chopped
Greens like pumpkin leaves with stalks are best.
The Daler Bora
Make Bora like I have done before. You can fry the fritters or bake/broil them like I did this time. Grease the tray and put dollops of the paste on it. Bake at 400F for 20-25 mins and then broil for 10 mins. This is my Toaster Oven settings.
Heat 2 tsp of Mustard Oil
When mustard oil is smoking, temper with 1/2 tsp of Kalo Jeera and 3 dry red chili
Next add all the vegetables except the greens.
Saute for a minute.
Add salt and cover with a lid. If you see the vegetables are sticking to the bottom of the kadhai, add a splash of water.Cook till the vegetables have softened a little but are still crunchy.
Now add the greens and cook for a few more minutes till they wilt.
Once the vegetables are cooked but not mushy, you can finish off at this point like my friend does. She adds some fried vadis and serves it with Rice.
I however went ahead. I added 1tsp of Mustard paste and about 3/4 cup of water. Then I added about 5-6 of lentil fritters. Opened the cover and let it simmer for a few minutes till the vegetables are cooked.
Adjust for salt.
Serve with steaming white rice.