Friday, November 16, 2012
Palong Shaak-er Chorchori – Spinach and other Vegetables - Bengali Vegetable Medley 0.1
A vegetable medley and some Rice is my Father’s staple diet. If you do not make any delicacies, even then he will eat with as much love if you give him some Chorchori. There can be various types of Chorchori’s in a Bengali home, I have seen my Mother preparing bowl full’s of “Drumstick Medley” (Danta Chorchori) and “Spinach medley” (Palong Saak-er Chorchori) all my life.
Spinach is a leafy Vegetable very high in Iron and Calcium content. Its usage is diverse and is a very common vegetable in everyday meals for Indians both vegetarians and non vegetarians. Palong Shaak-er Chorchori (Palong Saak means Spinach btw) is a dish which Kids normally do not like for one simple reason that it is full of soggy mushy vegetables. But as you grow up and probably not lucky enough to get Mom made food everyday is when you will crave for this taste and would fall in love with this dish.
Hence I present to you my ingredients for my Palong Shaak er Chorchori recipe:
(which was close to what my Mother makes :D)
Spinach / Palong Shaak – 1 bunch, cut like shown in the picture and washed thoroughly.
Hyacinth Beans / Sheem – chopped – 1 cup
Pumpkin / Kumro – cubed – 1 cup
Potatoes / Aloo – 1 medium – cubed
Radish / Mulo – 1 medium – cubed
Ridged Gourd / Jhinge – 1 – large – cubed
Eggplants / Begun – 3 – small – cut like shown in the picture
Green / Red Chillies – 5-6 – slit
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar to balance
Dry Red Chillies – 2
Panch Phoron – 1 tsp
Mustard Oil – 3 tbsps
Yellow Mustard Paste (I did not have Yellow Mustard in my stockpile hence I used Black) – 2 tbsp
Dried Lentil Dumplings – a handful (optional – this is a very Bengali thing – not found everywhere)
· Cut the Spinach and wash thoroughly.
· Cut all the Vegetables into pieces like shown in the picture. There is a little leafy end to the Radish normally, wash, cut and add these leaves as well. They are called Mulo Shaak in Bangla.
· Dry grind Mustard seeds in a grinder, add water little by little to a nice thick paste and keep. Yellow Mustard seeds are used here.
· Heat Mustard Oil in a Kadhai and fry the dried Lentil dumplings and keep aside.
· Put the Panch Phoron and dried Red Chillies into the Kadhai and let them sizzle.
· Add all the Vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes so that all the vegetables are a little fried and are coated in Oil.
· Add the Turmeric Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Sugar and Salt and mix well.
· Now add the Spinach and mix.
· Keep mixing the Spinach slowly, no water is added to this preparation, the Spinach will produce enough water for all the Vegetables to cook thoroughly.
· Add the Mustard paste and mix.
· Let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes on medium heat.
· At the end when the Veggies are cooked and the Chorchori has dried up add the Dried Lentil Dumplings. My Mum crushes the dumplings with her spatula, I don’t as I like them whole and crush them while eating.
· Eat with Plain White Rice.