Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Kopir Dantar Chachari -- stalking a Cauliflower

This post, the recipe part of it had been written way back when my Mom was here and whipping up such stuff. Then on another day when I was feeling kind of "over-the-top" senti, the prelude to the recipe was jotted down(which you will come upon on further scrolling down).

Well I still feel that way but then today I simply had to write a little about LittleA---stuff totally unrealted to the recipe --- lest I forget and also to appreciate the funny side of her in a time when she is not letting me sleep through the night because of her allergies.You see this thing, the blog, is as much a sketchy weblog for me as it is a recipe archival process and 99.97% of the time the two pesky kids @ home are more important than a "Kopir Dantar Charchari-- a Cauliflower Stalk cooked in mustard paste".

FulkopiData3


So any way in the past few months Big Sis and Li'l A discuss a lot about who was born when a certain event had occurred.

"Remember we went to see R when she was born ? How old was I?". Big Sis asks

"Two"

"And me, how old was I?", Li'l A pipes in

"Well you weren't born the. R is older to you"

"Remember one time we went to P&C's old house which was far", Big Sis says

"I went too", says Li'l A

"Well No. You weren't even born then"

After a series of these discussions in which Li'l A seems to have missed out on all fun memories in life because she has been on earth for only three years, Li'l A gets visibly irritated

"Tahole ami koto din born chilam na (How long was I not born)?" she says in her loud-let's protest kinda voice.

And then in a last moment attempt to gain ground and revel in victory of revenge she tells me "Were you even born when Didi went to XYZ school?" -- XYZ school being Didi's preschool and now hers.

"Well I am her Mom, remember ?", I tell

"Yes, yes, kintu tumi ki born chile (but were you even born then?)", Li'l A insists.

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Maybe what I am going to write next stems from the fact that I was indeed born a long time ago.Recently I have been feeling an urgency, a restlessness, a niggling feeling that time is moving away fast and I need to wrap my arms around it and fill my days learning to cook all the things that I would have never otherwise. And it does not involve a three layer chocolate cake. Nope.

It is more of the mundane-ish stuff like the tel koi, my Mother's fulkopi'r dalna with no written recipe that can make it taste the same, my Dida's ilish maacher tauk which I can no longer learn from the one who made it best, my eldest Mashi's chicken curry cooked with fragrant leaves of the lime tree. It is not so much that I want to eat any of the stuff I mentioned. I am fine with the regular dal-chawal and baked fish for the moment. It is just that I want to know, like String theory, hoping that would solve all my problems, give me peace, make me say "Ha, so that is all it needs to make a tel-koi" and then let me go back to do what I usually love doing.Which largely translates to "Nothing".

I just want to know the process involved, the ingredients chosen, the steps taken, the stories told and then store them away somewhere, neatly folded, waiting.That is all I want to do so that one fine morning if my heart so desires a Kopi'r Dantar Charchari, I need not panic. Instead I can take out the neatly folded recipe, smooth out the creases with a press of my fingers, read through it and heave a sigh of relief that nothing is lost.The assurance that they are there, like the atoms and the quarks and the fermions all a part of the Universe gives me a sense of peace.

FulkopiData1

Okay, this might also be the side effect of finishing off half a bottle of Benadryl. One can never be sure.

But this is a recent development I have noticed. Otherwise I don't care a hoot about cauliflower stalks.
This recipe that I have today is my Mother's and she is solely responsible for it. I never have enough patience to trim cauliflower stalks. One day I will. This recipe is for those days. For now this is how Ma made it.


Read more...






Kopir Dantar Charchari

Save the stalks of a cauliflower. Trim the tougher sides and chop the inner in 2" long finger like thickness. Pressure cook the stalks. Do not add any water during this.

Make a paste of 1 tsp of Mustard Powder in water. I have been using the Cookme Mustard a lot these days and it has made my life very simple. To it add about 1 tbsp of Kasundi. If you do not have kasundi increase the mustard paste.

Now heat Mustard Oil.

Temper the oil with kalonji and green chili. When the spices start popping add the cooked stalks. Fry the stalks for about 3-4 minutes

Next add the mustard+kasundi paste. Add salt to taste. Mix and cook for a couple more minutes. Some fried vadis crumbled on the top can add magic.

47 comments:

  1. wow.. I gotta try is, My cauliflower stems usually get pickled in a chile & crushed brown mustard..
    PS: WHats 'Kasundi'?

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    1. It is a Bengali Mustard Relish---if described in English :) I usually buy it but there are recipes out there to make it at home

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  2. Shaara sheetkaal kopir dnanta'r chochhori khelam . Come to Kolkata - for tel koi - another winter staple :) Along with boal maachh

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    1. Ore baba sara sheetkal mane to tin din ;-) Ami korini eta, Ma korechilo ar kono din repeat try o korini !
      Boal maach khai na :( Tel Koi ekta korechilam eibar, ekhankar koi diye

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  3. It's so hard for little kids to accept that there was life before them!
    The recipe sounds good, but the memories are even better. That's what makes your blog so special!

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    1. Thanks Dipali. You are too kind :)

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  4. The Kopi Datar torkari sounds great, but I was still digesting cute lil A's logic!!! :-) So sweet... She does have a point, see you could not conclusively prove to her (at her level) that tumi born chile when Big Sis went to XYZ school!! The defense rests!! :-)

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  5. oh yeah i remember eating this back home at kolkata and absolutely loving it..if i remember correctly that dish also had fish head (machh er matha) in it :-)
    thanks for bringing back those sweet memories :-)

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    1. Maach er matha, hotei pare, kanta -charchari

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  6. Hi ! I just love your blog. I have commented in the past but have been lurking for a while again. This post of yours made me want to chit-chat !

    To be honest, I can completely relate with your words. I live in Sydney and am old enough to have kids now but still cry over the phone asking Ma why I can't make shorche-bata jhol or charchari like hers ! It is impossible. That feeling when it strikes refuses to go away !

    I like your idea of having a nice little book with all the recipes written down. Which makes me want to call my dida middle of day and ask her about that Jhinge-Posto she makes. Just magical !

    Rupa

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    1. Good idea na, go ahead and make one where you can record all of those

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  7. Hi,

    Kopir dnataa makes me nostalgic. My Mother was very fond of matar daal with Kopir dnata, and may be some strips of mulo. She liked Olkopir dalna. We sisters, always differed on almost all the things, barring our dislike for both the dishes. I could not believe myself when I earnestly kept looking for Matar dal in shop after shop to do the sabji diye daal. I did it, I liked it but can not deny the lump in my throat when I remember the disghust, dislike, hatred I always had for the same, years ago, in my childhood....Ha...I have accepted...this must be called ageing....may be as I too feel a big clock ticking somewhere telling me, Time is short time is flowing by....I want to do so many things in life...Will I get time to do the same?

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    1. Amio Motor Da e di BWM ar ota khub bhalo lage. Time pabe thik i kintu sottiy koto kichu korar thake na

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  8. Lovely. I live in mumbai with my Punjabi in-laws. It took me 3 months to teach them that spring onions can be made into a vegetable, the green stalks used to be thrown away otherwise.
    And for the last 2 times the phulkopir data that I have saved have been thrown away by them or the maid, because its assumed they are waste. I am slowly teaching them that they can turn into delicious chorchori!

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    1. Sorry Indiashoes, it's good that u r teaching your in-laws not to waste nature's bounty but U can not simply blame them just b'coz they r punjabis & bong like u....what part of veggie goes in the trash has nothing to do with the culture.....In this post itself so many bloggers accepted that they throw the stalk as for me I always saw my mom making the best dish out of these & spring onions in my house were always eaten as salad or part of chutney....& FYI i'm not bangali....sorry BongMom I'm leaving this kinda comment on your space....no offence to anybody....

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    2. correction....i meant "& Not bong like U"

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    3. Not going into the debate but "what part of a veggie goes into trash" does have to do with culture, even when you take it globally. Closer to home in my in-law's home, the green plantain peel is made into a pate, in mine not done so and both are Bengali families from different parts.
      That said I myself throw out the stalks most of the time but not so if Mom is here.
      But spring onion, I thought is a more common vegetable throughout

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    4. So, does that make U "non-bengali" ??? just b'coz she is living with one family who throw there food doesn't mean she need to categorized the whole culture for that....may be she need to brag about her good food habits(as per her) at some other place like her own blog.

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    5. Anon

      To be fair and let me make it clear that I have no clue who "indiashoes" is, how do you know that she is "bengali" or "non-bengali"? She(the commenter) neither speaks of her own identity nor does she say anything about any culture. All she said is about her in-laws who happen to be Punjabi. When she says "them" I read it specifically as HER in-laws and nothing else and I think she meant it that way too.
      Now if you know her that is another thing and I guess you should sort it out with her elsewhere.

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  9. I have prepared pakoras with this stalks,they turned out super crispy and addictive..Super delicious dish..

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  10. This is an interesting dish. I save the stalks and stem of Phool Gobi for making Konkani style Sambhar. Why waste nature's bounty?

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    1. Yes, putting in a sambhar is what I would do too rather than make a separate sabzi like my Mom :)

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  11. Very interesting! I love ur recipes! What is cookme mustard? where can i get it?

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    1. Okay, that one is a store brand which you can get only in India. Other wise you can try a Korean Mustard powder or make your own mustard paste by soaking and grinding mustard seeds

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  12. Little A discussion reminds something- pointing our wedding picture my son asked where I am ? why I am missing ...
    I never thought the stalks are edible - are they juicy...very interesting one .

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    1. yes they are Cham, don't use the dry ones

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  13. This cauliflower stem curry sounds and looks delicious.

    DH made spinach with mustard paste (the store bought jar kind) and it was delicious. I have to use more mustard paste in my cooking. Delhi aunty who visted us a while back scolded me for throwing away the stalk. I think of her every single time but still throw it away. :(

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    1. Indo, name/Brand of the mustard paste please

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  14. Last time I threw out the caulflower stalks my mom told me that she was saving it for charchari... I just have to have her make it for the same reasons you mentioned. Lovely post. Allergy season is hitting us too :(

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  15. Beautiful dish and a sweet post as always.

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  16. What a great way to use up those stalks! Would you have the recipe for kasundi by any chance? Let me know!

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    1. I don't have one. But google for it, there should be some

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  17. Sandeepa,
    These little things in life (the conversation you wrote) are actually the BIG things of life, right?
    keep writing...

    cheers,
    d

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    1. And I better not forget that. needs reminding.

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  18. Lol....were you even born then San?!! I was recently cleaning out and my daughter flipped thru' 15-20 pictures of us before she was born and asked "Mummy A not there in any photo!" "Who clicked the pictures?" I asked, and she was satisfied that she was indeed the photographer :)

    I usually discard cauliflower stalk but I've seen my inlaws cook with them.

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    1. ha, ha you are too clever to have made her the photographer :)

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  19. Love the conversation part with kids..and I do throw the stalks most of the times.Kinto onek samay mon holey many a times make them in to a charchari with mulo/gajor/aloo/kumro..eyi recipe ta kasundi diye aro mukh-rochak hobe :-)..hugs and smiles

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    1. Kasundi thakle khub subidha hoy ami maach o diye bake kori

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  20. Though they don't have two-way conversations as yet, M is always telling S "you won;t know this because you were not born then but let me tell you..." :)
    Did not think of using gobi stalks in dishes before. Hmmm..

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    1. I like the "Let me tell you..." :-D --- such big sis attitude

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  21. The good old simple pleasures of life...*Sigh*
    I was never a huge fan of kopi-r dNaTa until I stopped getting a daily supply of it in daal and chawchhawris.:-(

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  22. During the daily chores of life, we gradually drift apart from what we are made of. The memories are an integral part of our life. It is only when the river of life slows to stagnation for some moments, we finally get time to look to our past and cherish the memories and find that we are alive.
    It is your blog that provides the stagnation, good.


    I do not know you, but we share the same culture,

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  23. Hi,
    Your recipies are amazing.Could you tell me how to make mustard paste?I see mustard paste in the shelves(the same ones that is put in burgers).Is it a different one that you use?
    Swagata

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