I am not sure if Bengali Labra has anything to do with this time of the season but I find myself making it more during these months than any other. I do try cooking a mixed vegetable dish at least twice a month, throwing in a variety of veggies and thus ensuring that my veggie intake is avergaed out but most often it gets done with a bag of frozen vegetables from Costco which is largely dominated by broccoli and zucchini. And then I throw in some pumpkin, some carrot a dash of kasundi to sweeten up the deal.
For the labra though I specifically buy the vegetables with "labra" in mind. This is an antithesis to my Mother's labra cooking where the dish would be made with bits of pieces of vegetables left over in the veggie basket from the day before.
But me ? I made a list "To make Labra" and on Saturday even went out of the way to get something like mulo, which I categorically hate, to be put in the labra. Now the good part of having the blog to post the recipes is there is always some reader or the other telling me how a dish could be done better, or different or their version of the same thing. This time taking cue from the comments in my last Labra post, I made sure to keep the cauliflower leaves and stems to be added to the dish.
The cooking of the dish is very very simple as you all know. All it does is tries to utilize the best of the seasonal vegetables using a bit of this and bit of that. There is minimum of spices like paanchphoron, hing and ginger and majority of the flavor comes from the vegetables alone. The dish tastes better when some time is allowed for the flavors to mingle and is served traditionally with Khichuri on Saraswati Pujo or a light dal, rice and slice of lime for a homey meal.
For the Labra follow the old recipe -- Labra for Saraswati Pujo -- which is now updated with more pictures.
Instead in this post, I will take you for a tour around the vegetable market in my neighborhood in Kolkata which are shimmering with orange, purple, red and green at this time of the year.
Photographs by my Dad @Kolkata
|Oranges better known as Clementines are a winter fruit in Kolkata. They come to the plains either from orchards in Nagpur or from the hills of Darjeeling|
|Rec Carrots, Methi Greens, Sweet Peas and Cauliflower are some of the winter veggies that entice you with their beautiful colors|
|Cauliflower with their large leaves, the kind perfect to put in a Labra|
For more pictures of Indian market see my previous posts
Haat e Bajaar e -- to the Market(I)
Haat e Bajaar e -- to the Market (II)