Easy-to-cook Bengali Specialties

Easy-to-cook Bengali Specialties

Food is such an integral part of every culture. These two Indian recipes require ingredients which are available in most Indian kitchens. Indulge in some comfort food.


NIRAMISH MANGSHOR JHAL-JHOL- LAMB MUTTON WITHOUT ONION AND GARLIC

Ingredients:

  • 500-600 gm of lamb meat or mutton
  • 2 inch fresh ginger or equivalent ginger paste
  • 3-5 hot green chillies
  • 18-20 blanched almonds
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • 2-3 tbsp grated coconut (fresh or dried)
  • 3-4 big Tulsi leaves or 1 tsp dried basil leaves (as an alternative)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 5 tbsp coriander powder
  • 15 green cardamoms
  • Two generous pinches of hing/asafoetida
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4-5 bay leaves
  • 4-5 whole black peppers
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 small strand of mace- javitri
  • 1 black cardamom – boro elaichi
  •  5-6 tbsp of mustard oil or any other cooking oil
  • 1 tsp ghee 

 

Preparation Method:

Take ghee and white oil (half n half) in a wok.  Once the oil heats up, add the following ingredients – cardamom, cloves, whole black pepper, mace, big elaichi, bay leaves, asafoetida and cinnamon.   Once the spices have cooked, add the ginger paste and cook further.  The next step is to add the coriander powder, red chilli flakes, coconut and turmeric powder.  Mix well and let cook for a minute before adding the meat.  Fold in carefully to ensure that the spices coat the meat well.  Add salt to taste.  Add water to cover the meat and cover.  Let the meat cook through completely, then cook uncovered till all the water dries out.  Serve over steamed rice.

 

PAANCH MISHALI WITH SORSHE BATA (MIXED VEGETABLES WITH MUSTARD PASTE)

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 500-750 gms of a whole mix of cubed veggies - potatoes…flat beans…yellow pumpkin….raw banana….brinjal….cabbage…..drumsticks. All veggies need to be cut in big chunks as they have to withstand a long steam cooking method
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp jeera powder (cumin)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • 1tsp Bengali paanch phoron (a staple bengali spice mix consisting of an equal mix of jeera seeds, fennel seeds (saunf), nigella seeds, mustard seeds, methi seeds)
  • 3-4 green chillies slit into half
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp mustard paste
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Mustard oil

 

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Preparation Method:

 

Heat oil in a wok.  Bengali food doesn’t taste quite the same without mustard oil. 

Add the bay leaf, paanch phoron, ginger paste and slit green chillies.  Make sure the heat is set on high.  Once the spices have been fried well, add the veggies.  Don’t stir the mixture for a few minutes. 

 

Next, add the haldi, salt, jeera powder and sugar.  After about 5 minutes, without reducing the heat, stir everything carefully to make sure that the veggies keep their shape.  You don’t want them to be mushy by the end of the cooking process

Once everything has been mixed carefully, cover and cook on medium-low heat till the veggies are done.  Especially at this stage, stir very carefully so that the veggies don’t get mashed.  Add the milk and mix well.  After 2 to 3 minutes, add the mustard paste.  Continue cooking for another couple of minutes.

 

Take it off the fire and keep the lid on for 7-10 minutes without stirring.  Serve with rice or loochis.

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