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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

A Bengali Thali on the occassion of Durga Puja/Navratri

   On the occasion of Navratri, presenting you a pure traditional Bengali Thali with lots of nutritious n delicious dishes served with rice. This is a full-course meal for an any-day lunch meal for any Bengali household. I've already shared some dishes from this spread on this blog.
Ok, let's check out what dishes are there on the plate. On the top of the white rice, ghee is served to start the meal along with some Kakrol or teasel gourd fry, then Malabar Spinach or some green is served, then some lentil, then comes fish curry and lastly chutney is served.

1. Kakrol or kantola Fry
2. Pui Saaker ghonto chingri diye
3. Tetor Dal
4. Aar Fish Curry
5. Tomato-dates chutney

1. Kakrol Bhaja (Crispy Teasel Gourd Fry)

2. Pui Saaker Ghonto (Malabar Spinach mishmash)
Malabar Spinach or Pui Saak is a beloved green among Bengalis. It often cooked with some potato, pumpkin and brinjal added with just a tempering and almost no spice. In this recipe, medium size prawns are added but it can be omitted and make it a vegetarian dish. Here is what you need,

You Need ::
Malabar Spinach(Pui Saag) : few stalks
Potato : 1-2, cut into cubes
Pumpkin : few pieces, cut into cubes
Brinjal : few pieces, cut into cubes
Medium size Prawns : 10-15 nos.
Tomato : few pieces
Green chillies : 2-3, slitted from middle
Panch phoron: 2 tsp.
Turmeric Powder : 2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Mustard oil : 1 tblsp.

How To ::
  • Separate the leaves and stalks. Cut the stalks into 2 inch pieces and then cut each piece into 4. Chop the leaves roughly. Cut all the vegetables into cube like pieces. Wash the greens well under running water. Marinate the prawn pieces with little salt and turmeric powder for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the prawn pieces for couple of minutes from both sides. Remove from heat. in the same oil, temper it with panch phoron, add all the vegetables and with a salt and turmeric powder. Stir fry for couple of minutes and then add leaves and stalks of the greens, slitted green chillies and chopped tomatoes.
  • When tomatoes softens, mix well with veggies and add about 1 cup of water and covered with a lid let the veggies cook. When veggies are almost cooked, add the fried prawns and cook covered till all the veggies are cooked and water evaporated. check the seasoning and give everything a good stir. Remove from heat. 
  • Note :: You can omit the prawns and cook the greens as above, without prawn also, this green taste just divine with hot white rice. 
3. Tetor dal(Mung Dal cooked with Bitter Gourd)

4. Aar ( in Bengali)/Aiyer Fish Curry :
It's a very simple but very tasteful fish curry, tastes best with hot freshly made rice. If you're not familiar with this fish, you must know this fact that as this fish is scaleless, it tends to splutter a lot while frying. So always marinate the fish pieces with little oil along with little turmeric powder and salt and fry the fish with lid covered to avoid some unwanted accidents.

You Need :
Aar fish : 5-6 chunks
Potato : 1, cut lengthwise in big pieces
Tomato : 2, chopped
Ginger paste : 1 tblsp.
Green Chilli : 2-3, slitted from middle
Black cumin seed/kala Jeera : 1 tsp. 
Turmeric Powder : 2 tsp.(for cooking) + 1 tsp.(for marinating the fish)
Red chilli Powder : 1 tsp.
Cumin powder : 2 tsp.
Coriander Powder : 2 tsp.
Fresh Coriander leaves, chopped

How To ::
  • Heat 2-3 tblsp. oil in a pan and fry the fish pieces till golden brown from both sides (read instruction for frying in description area). Remove from oil and in the same pan, fry the potato slices till golden brown and remove. Keep aside. 
  • In the same pan, heat 1 and 1/2 tblsp. oil, add black cumin seeds and chopped green chillies. Take all the powdered spices(turmeric, red chilli, cumin and coriander Powder) in a bowl and mix with 2 tblsp. water. Add in the pan along with ginger paste and chopped tomatoes. Mix all the spices well. 
  • Then add 1 cup of water. Season with salt. Add fried fish pieces and potato pieces in the curry. Covered with a lid, let it cook for 7-8 minutes till potatoes are cooked and you have your desired consistency of gravy. 
  • When potatoes are cooked, sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves and turn off the gas.
  • Serve immediately.
5. Tomato-Khejur(Dates) Chutney ::

You need ::
Tomato : 250-300 gms.
Dates : 7-8 pcs, chopped into bitesize pieces
Sugar : 3-4 tblsp.
Oil : 1 tsp.
Dry Red Chilli : 1, broken into two
Panch phoron(five spice mix) : 1 tsp.
Salt : a pinch
Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp.

How To ::
  • Chop the tomatoes in cubes, also chop the dates. 
  • Heat Oil in a pan, add dry red chilli and panch phoron.When seeds crackle, add chopped tomatoes and dates. Stir fry the tomatoes, it will loose some moisture. 
  • Add turmeric powder and salt. Mix well. Add 1 cup of water. Cover with a lid, when tomatoes are half done, add sugar according to your taste. This chutney can be sweet or semi-sweet, depends on individual's taste. 
  • When water dries up and you have a chutney-like consistency, remove the pan from heat. Serve cooled. 

So, Finally, You have a full-meal to serve to any Bengali Food Lover or try them at your kitchen for your family.

HAPPY DUSSHERA to everyone and Shuvo Bijoya Dashami to all who are celebrating.

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