Bengali cuisine is dubbed as a collection of delicious sweet recipes as well as fish & meat recipes. Bengolies mostly love to eat with scores of spices they use to prepare food daily, so its really important to have something less spicy food to nullify the effect of all the rich food.
The most light and less spicy food is Shukto. A bengoli lunch is never complete without shako. Shako is a traditional bengoli dish , typically a vegetable stew with a heady mix of selected vegetables. Bengolies always treat shukto as a special dish and they have it on almost every occasion like marriages, birthday parties, Arnnaprasan etc.
There are many variation of shukto, as it totally depend on the availability of vegetables. You can’t have a Shukto which is not mildly bitter. Without the tangy bitter taste of shukto is tasteless. And the battiness of this dish comes from bitter gourd. Shukto can’t be prepared without Bitter gourd (ucche). This is a vegetable who add their signature taste to Shukto. While Bori (urad dal dumplings) add a unique crunchy bite to this dish.
This is a dish with a hint of bitterness yet so flavorful. The best part is, the bitterness can be balanced to one’s own taste..This dish is the perfect balance of bitter, sweet and savory. This dish is very sophisticated this is a unique dish be mopped clean with plain hot rice.
It derives its distinct flavor from the spices used for making this dish. The whole spices, which is known as panch phoran is made by mixing Mustard seed, Cumin seeds, Fenugreek seeds, Nigella seeds and Fennel seeds in equal quantity.
This dish is incredibly enough to satisfy a person fully. This dish is very interesting which doesn’t contain turmeric, onion garlic, chili or any sour ingredient. But I personally like to temper it with few red chilies. But it’s not compulsory.
Lot of thing I have written about Shukto. Lot of ingredients with lot of spices. But I am assuring you none of the ingredient have overpowered each other. Try this unique traditional dish 7 which will make your lunch more delightful and favorable.
|Prep Time||10 minutes|
|Cook Time||20 minutes|
- 1 no Potato ( Alu)
- 1 medium size Brinjal (Begun)
- 1 no Raw banana (Kanch kola)
- 1 no Radish (mulo)
- 2 no Parwel (potol)
- 3 to 4 no Beans
- 1 medium sized Bitter gourd (ucche)
- 2 no Drumsticks (sojina dantha)
- 1/2 tbsp mustard seed (sorse)
- 1/2 tbsp poppy seed (posto)
- 1 “ piece ginger (ada)
- 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds (gota dhoney)
- 2 no green chilli (kancha lonka)
- 1/2 tsp panch phoran (five spices)
- 2 no red chilies
- 1 no bay leaf
- handful of urad dal dumpling (bori)
- 2 tsp All purpose flour
- 4 tbsp Milk
- 2 tsp panch phoran (five spices)
- 1/2 cup mustard oil
- 2 tsp clarified butter (ghee)
- to taste salt
- Soak the mustsrd seeds and poppy seeds in water for 10 minutes.
- Grind ginger and green chilli , make a smooth paste.
- Blend the mustrd seed , poppy seed add whole coriander and make a smooth paste. Keep aside.
- Wash all the veggies, peel and Cut them into little thick 2” long stips.
- Cut bitter gourd into thin round slices, apply salt and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a kadhai keeping 1tbsp oil aside.
- Deep fry the bittergourd till it turns golden brown in colour.
- Take them out and keep aside.
- Fry the bories to golden in colour and set them aside. Take out excess oil from the pan keeping a little for frying.
- Fry all other veggies separately in batches using a little oil each time.
- Again heat oil and ghee in the same kadhai .
- Add panch phoran , bay leaf and red chillies.
- When panch phoran stops spluttering add ginger green chili paste, soute for 2 minutes.
- Add mustsrd seed, coriander seed and poppy seed paste, fry them for 1-2 minutes.
- Now add all the veggies , salt, mix them well in medium flame.
- Now add 1& ½ cup water, cover it.
- When vegetables are 80% cooked add fried bittergourd and continue cooking.
- In an another pan dry raost the panch phoran till they aromatic, remove from fire and keep aside.
- In the same pan fry 1 tbsp of moida (all purpose flour) to golden in colour.
- Add this roasted flour to the milk and mix well, so that no lumps will form.
- Lower the falme and add this mixture to the gravy and boil for 2 minutes more.
- Make powder of roasted panch phoran.
- Lastly add fried vadies and powdered panch phoran.
- Check the seasoning and switch off the flame.
- The delicious shukto is reday to serve now.
- you can adjust the water as per the consistency of gravy you want.
- while cooking vegetable you can add water if necessary.
- you can skip ghee completely.
- many people add more milk and less water to shukto.
- many skip adding coriander seeds.
- my mother in law add 2 pinches of fennel seeds while grinding the masala.
- Happy cooking .