To enjoy something, it's essential to guard it with the fence of leisure. So come, lets enjoy this beautiful world....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sukto (Bengali dish of karela / bitter gourd)

Sukto is a bengali dish served with white rice. It is a must during summers as the bitter gourd or karela is said to cool down boby :)
This time my mom-in-law taught me the correct method of making sukto which i was unaware...ooops!
well, Sukto is not new to bengalis, it takes consuming recipe but the outcome is really healthy dish :)

what all vegetables can be added in this recipe :
1 Potato
1 White Radish
1 Jhinge / ridge Gourd,
1 KanchaKola or Raw green banana
1 Eggplant/baigan (the slender one),
1 Uchche/karela or Bitter Gourd,
a bunch(about 6-8) of long green beans or string beans
You can also add drumsticks, zucchini etc.

So now lets proceed. Below is what we call in bengali "Bodi". This can be purchased readymade from any bengali kirana store. This is basically sun dried vadis of dal (mostly masoor dal or mixed dal sometimes).

If you have it then fry it till crispy in a little oil and keep it aside, if you don't have it, skip it..

Now cut the vegetables (that is what all you have) in long strips..

Wash all veggies and keep aside.
Next step is Soak and grind 1 tbsp mustard seeds + 1 tsp poppy seeds + little salt, to a paste with little water

This is paste of poppy seeds and mustard
This is poppy seeds

STEP !. In a fry pan, heat 2 spoons of oil and fry all the veggies for 4-5 min (this makes the aroma of all veggies to mix and make the gravy aromatic). Take out and keep it aside. My mom used to fry karela separately and other veggies separately, but i did it together..

STEP 2. Now heat a little more oil, and prepare for tempering (tadka)
1/4tsp Radhuni(optional),
1/4 tsp Methi(fenugreek) seeds,
2 bay leaves,
a pinch of Hing(asafoetida)
Put all the veggies, put salt and turmeric as per taste. 
Add the poppy seeds+mustard paste to the veggies and stir well.
Keep the flame low and close the lid for 5 min and let it cook.

STEP 3. Now grate 1 inch ginger and add it to the kadai. Add the fried vadis also (if you have).
Add 2 cups of water and again close the lid and let it cook for 10 min.

STEP 4. After 10-15 min, it is almost done, now add half cup of milk. Let it come to boil and put the flame off.
Add a pinch of sugar and stir.
NOTE : here one should take care not to boil the milk too much nor it will curdle up!

This is the final look of Sukto...i hope you will like it :)
The gravy tastes very creamy due to milk. It gives all the essential nutrients as many types of veggies are added in it...Bengalis are a fan of sukto, and me too..

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tok Dal (Raw Mango Flavored Dal)

Mango flavored Dal is a simple Dal cooked with raw green Mangoes during the hot summer months in West Bengal. Tok = sour taste / khatta taste! Tok Dal in Bengali means, Dal which is a little sour in taste. Tamarind is not used much in Bengali cuisine so it is the raw mango which is used to achieve this tangy sourness. It is believed that Tok Dal cools down the body and helps in easy digestion in summers.

Ingredients -
1 cup Masoor Dal
2 cup water to cook the dal in pressure cooker
Half Raw Green Mango -chopped into thick slices
3-4 Green Chillies
half tsp Mustard seeds (black mustard)
Turmeric, salt as per taste

How to make it -
Wash the Dal. Put it in pressure cooker with 2 cups water, chillies, salt and turmeric. Let it whistle, put the flame low till 4-5 min (or till you feel dal is boiled), then put off the flame.

Peel the green mango and chop into longitudinal thick pieces.

Heat Oil in a Kadhai.
Add half tsp Mustard seeds.
Let the mustard seeds to sputter, add the mango pieces. Sauté the mango for a couple of minutes.

Whisk the pressure cooked Dal with a whisk and add it to the Kadhai.
Add more water to it as per your desired consistency of dal, cover and cook and boil slowly for a few minutes.
 Have it with White Rice..(plus other veggies of your choice)

sorry i'm not good at photography so kindly excuse me!
nevertheless, enjoy the tangy taste of tok dal this summer.  :)

Note : Preggy ladies will love this dal like anything..  :)