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Monday, May 9, 2011

Shukto - An unique Bitter preperation from Bengal

  A belated Mother's Day wish to all mothers I know.
I know I'm late, but I think we should celebrate the devotion of a mother, the love and care a mother shares with her children every day. A special Mother's Day wish to my Mom, World's Best Mom, who always cares and worries for not only me, but also for my children.
   Sorry, I couldn't wish my all blogger moms' on time. I was away from blogging for last 10-12 days, as I had to go through the unavoidable situation of moving, changing my nest from one place to another. Now settled a bit, so couldn't wait to blog again. 

I'll share today the Very famous Bengali recipe of Shukto. For them who doesn't have any idea what I'm talking about, Shukto is a very unique bitter preperation with Bitter gourd and lots of other vegetables cooked together. Even though, Shukto is a mix-vegetable dish, but there are few specific vegetables which go into it, namely bitter gourd(uchche), kanch kala(raw banana), Potato/sweet potato, Brinjal, Broad bean(sim), Drumstick(sajne danta), pointed gourd(parwal/patol), radish(mulo) and dry lentil palatte(bori). These are the main vegetables, ridge gourd(jhinge) and white gourd can also be added. All these vegetables are cool for your body and good for your digestive system. So, it helps to cleanse your palate. That's why shukto is always eaten as a first dish of your meal and at least once a week, we bengalis eat Shukto for its goodness. There are many varieties of shukto recipes available among Bengalis.  Even, I make two sorts of shukto preperations at home, one I learnt from a friend, which doesn't uses mustard-poppy seed paste and another one is this which I going to share, which uses the paste and I learnt it from my mom. Shukto is always eaten at Lunch, may be because it is loaded with vegetables and need time to digest.

Ingredients :
These are the vegetables I
added :
Bitter Gourd(uchche) : 2 (cut into long thin strips) 
Radish : 1 (cut into long thin strips)
White gourd/bottle gourd : 1/2 of 1
Brinjal : 1
Potato/sweet potato : 1
Green papaya : 1/2 of 1
Pumpkin : 1/2 of 1
All the vegetables are to be cut into long pieces

Dry lentil palattes : 7-8 nos.
Ginger paste : 2 tsp.
Green chilli : 1(whole)
Turmeric powder : a pinch
Salt to taste
Sugar : 1 tsp.
Oil : 1-2 tblsp.
Mustard-poppy seed paste : 2 tblsp. (make a semi-coarse paste of 1 tsp. mustard seed and 1 tblsp. poppy seed with a pinch of salt and dissolve in little water)
For tempering :
Dry red chilli : 1
Mustard seed : 1 tsp.
For garnishing :
Ghee(clarified butter) : 1 tsp.
Roasted spice powder : 2 tsp.
To make this spice powder, roast 1 tsp. cumin seed, 1/2 dry red chilli and 1 tsp. panch phoron(is a mixture of cumin seed, black cumin seed, fenugreek seed, mustard seed and fennel seed mixed together in same quantity) until brown and grind into powder. This spice powder can be made before and store in a jar

Method :
  • Smear little turmeric powder and salt on bitter gourd pieces and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan, fry bitter gourd pieces until lightly brown. Keep aside and in the same oil, fry boris until lightly brown from all sides. Keep aside.
  • Take 1 tblsp. oil in another pan, when hot temper with dry red chilli. When chilli starts to brown and you get the aroma, add mustard seed and when it starts to splutter, add all the other vegetables. 
  • Stir fry for 2 minutes with salt and turmeric powder. Add ginger paste and green chilli. Stir for another 2 minutes. Then add about 1 cup of water. When vegetables are half done, add fried bitter gourd pieces and boris. 
  • Add mustard-poppy seed paste now and mix well. When you have a thick gravy and all veges are cooked nicely, add sugar and salt to taste. Add ghee and roasted spice powder. Give it a good stir for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Serve in room temperature or cold.
It goes well with freshly made hot white rice. I shared another sort of Shukto preperation before, i.e., Lau shukto, a bitter preperation of Bottle gourd/white gourd and Bitter gourd. I'm sharing thse two Shukto preperation with Priya's Flavours of Bengal event, event started by Nayna of Simply. Food
Monday, May 09, 2011 / by / 7 Comments


  1. Simple n yummy sabzi...Happy Mother's day!!

  2. New for me and looks so gud ....hope you had a great day

  3. this shukto preparation is in very much demand due to summer. Bhalo hoyeche...
    tumi kothaye shift hole??

    Hamaree Rasoi

  4. This sounds wonderful recipe..delicious,thanks for sharing.

  5. It came out good! Really suitable for the summers...

  6. Simple n yummy sabzi...Happy Mother's day!!

  7. Sukto looks super delicious, interesting..


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