5 years and I am still the same. Not really same-same but same as in my paranoia about pre-school teachers remains exactly same as when BigSis started school 5 years ago. While my faith and absolute regard has gone up for elementary school teachers my trust on pre-school teachers hovers around the bottom of the curve. Of course once I get to know them and 3 months have passed I love them like soul sisters but that takes time.
Here, I should take a breath and say, if you are a pre-school teacher, do not take this to heart, you are doing a fine job, it is me the Mother who is weird. After all I come from a lineage or rather entire culture of mothers who spent a better part of their life standing outside the gates of their kid's schools. These were people who thought it was totally cool to stand outside exam halls with pale green tender coconuts, straw et al for their hormonal, teenaged kids taking the Madhyamik.
I am not like that but might become one, who knows, genealogy is difficult to beat.
For now I am only concerned about pre-school for the littlest one. I think it takes a lot of guts for a tiny 3 year old to go into an unknown environment even if it has dinosaurs and pint size refrigerators. For the life of me I couldn't leave her alone, so there I sat with her in class whole of her first day in school. Actually only half-day. Though I enrolled her for full day, I couldn't bear to sit around in kiddie size small chairs and play kitchen anymore. It hurt, those chairs. So around 11:30, I said enough and got her home. In my short time in the class, I managed to tell the teacher how she should handle kids, so you know what a gala time they had in the staff room on that day. I also have this weird idea wherein I tend to have more trust on pre-school teachers who are all bosom-y and slightly overweight. The kid's teacher is reed thin and hence I am all the more worried. She seemed nice though and I thought it might be impolite to suggest a diet of burger and fries to her.
Next day, it was the Dad's turn who of course dropped LS off and came back. The kid bawled and the school might just put up a "No Entry" sign, the next time they see us.
This week, I again plan to do the "sit-in-class" dharna. I have even taken half a day off.Wish me luck, well the teacher needs it actually.
The third grader started school too but she is a pro now. Of course she has much more after school work to do now and things get really hectic once I get back home. In between all this I eat and read and cook and made this Kumro'r Chakka last week. Oh and I also waste a lot of time catching snatches of "Rojgere Ginni" on my mint condition ETV Bangla. That deserves its own post though.
Back to Kumro'r Chokka now. I had sweet Indian pumpkin, bright, happy, orange in my crisper. The temperature outside had just dropped from hot summer to a chill-in-the-air Fall. Pumpkin seemed most apt for such happenings. My Ma would disagree though, Kumro or Pumpkin is more of a summer or monsoon vegetable in India and has nothing to do with winter. If you don't get Indian Pumpkin where you live, you can use butternut squash instead.It should be fine.
The recipe here is how my Mother makes the kumror chakka with a phoron(tempering) of methi and hing, completely vegetarian with no onion or garlic. My Mother also adds potol to this dish and makes it a little more liquid than I do.My friend uses a phoron of Kalo Jeera/Kalonji seeds and green chili. Sometimes I have used PaanchPhoron and dry Red Chili and in that case Mustard Oil. It all depends. A little change in spices brings a whole new taste to the same dish. So find your own muse and make your own Kumro'r Chakka.
Soak about 1/3 cup of Kala Chana overnight. Pressure cook with salt till soft.
Indian Pumpkin ~ 1 small pie, peeled and chopped in cubes (about 2 cups) OR 1 small Butternut Squash
Potato ~ 1 large, chopped in cubes
Cut B. Squah through the center. Scoop out the seeds. Chop in large chunks. Put in a large bowl, add little water and microwave for 4 minutes. The B.squash will now be easy to peel.
With Indian Pumpkin, skip the MW. Peel and chop in small cubes, same as potatoes.
Heat White Oil in a Kadhai/Saute pan
Temper the oil with
1/2 tsp of whole methi seeds
1/4 tsp of Hing
2-3 cracked dried red chili
When the spices sputter add the cubed potatoes. Sprinkle a little turmeric and fry them light golden.
Add 1/2 tsp of Dry Roasted Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp of Dry Roasted Corriander Powder
1 tsp of grated ginger
couple of hot Indian green chlli, slit
With a sprinkle of water fry the masalas
Next goes in the pumpkin/b.squash.Saute for a minute till the masalas are mixed well with the pumpkin. Add salt to taste. If using B.squash or if pumpkin is not sweet, you might need to add a little sugar too.
Cover and cook. Usually you do not need to add water but check in between and give a good stir. Add a little water if necessary. Cook till both potatoes and the squash is done.
Add about 1/3rd cup of the cooked Kala Chana and mix well.Note: if you do not have Kala Chana, use Garbanzo or even green peas.
Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of Garam masala on top, add 1/2 tsp of ghee, switch off flame and let it sit. Garnish with grated coconut is another tip I learned from a FB fan and I am waiting to do that next.
Serve hot with Roti,Paratha or Luchi
Note: You can use different tempering for this dish like Kalonji and green chili or Paanch Phoron and dry red chili. In that case use Mustard Oil to cook this dish.
There is a different take on Kumror Chakka at IFR with garlic which I might soon try to put a spin on my age old version
There is a Kumro Chingri botti that my Ma-in-law makes which is NOT a chokka but an interesting dish with Pumpkin