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Monday, 29 November 2010

Rude Food Of Bengal

 Most of the recipes that are talked or written about fall into the category of the exotic and eclectic but beneath the glitz and glamour of -- if I may be allowed to coin a word -- this food-eratti, there lies a wholesome underbelly of tasty, nutritious dishes that is both well known and widely used in the rustic belts of rural Bengal. This is the food that is cooked in the homes of those who are not so wealthy and more importantly have not had the chance to read magazines or watch the TLC on TV ! Someone calls this the "rude food" of Bengal -- that is easy to make, good for your health and yet tasty to eat. Is that a contradiction in terms ? Whatever .. please enjoy ...
Let us start with " Barbecued Brinjal" aka "Begun-Pora" which is very easy to make at home. You should try with Brinjal available in the winter season. Peel off the roasted brinjal and mash it with tomato, onion, green chillies, corriander leaves and of course with salt and a little sugar. Do not forget to sprinkle mustard oil and lemon juice on top. Serve hot with steamed rice and roti!

Generally we eat the fresh winter radish (Mulee/Mulo) and throwaway its leaves. Most of us do not know the foodvalue of this green/leafy part of  raddish but in fact it is full of iron and minerals. You can quite simply cook the finely chopped, well cleaned radish leaves by first boiling them with a pinch of salt and then stir-fry the same in refined oil with splatter of mustard seeds, whole red mirchi, sugar and  a little fresh mustard paste.

If you are suffering from annorexia or having a general reluctance to eating, then neem cooked with brinjal or "Neem-Begun" is a splendid antidote. This is particularly true after a prolonged illness, fever, cold and cough when you do not like to have any food then please start your lunch with Neem-Begun and hot rice.  You can simply marinate neem and  the finely chopped brinjal  with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder. Then fry the neem leaves in refined oil till brown and crispy. Then into the same oil add the brinjal pieces and stirfry till the brinjals becomes crispy. Mix both of them thoroughly and serve with hot rice.

There are different sizes of shrimps available in Bengal. [ Not to be confused with the prawns, the big headed Galda and the feline Bagda ] There are the very small ones called kucho-chingri generally used in fried rice /noodles/ chochhori. But there are even smaller ones, the nano chingri obtained in the fresh water ponds -- and these are called Ghusho-chingri. These are very inexpensive and generally available during winter. If you can buy fresh ghusho chingri from local markets you can make the famous Ghusho-Chingrir Bora generally eaten in rural bengal. This bora ( or vada) is very tasty but you have to be very careful while washing these nano-shrimps because  these are so tiny that and the shells are so thin that it is very difficult to remove them -- you might as well eat the lot. Rinse them several times in rumming water and also by soaking in a bowl of water then squeze out all  the water with your hand -- along with the troublesome mud if any. Mix salt, turmeric powder, finely chopped green chillies, besan, poppy seeds and red mirchi powder. Mash them well, then pat them into small discs and then deep fry in mustard oil. Serve hotwith rice and dal.

The flowers of pumpkin ( Kumro Ful ) is a very good source of Vitamin A, beta carotine. Pumpkin Flower  is not only anti carcinogenic but it is very tasty as well.  You can simply  deep fry them   in oil by coating the flowers with basan, rice flower, poppy seeds , red mirchi powder, salt and kalojeera. Serve hot and crispy Kumro- Ful with rice and dal.

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Jaya said...

No, I dont think these are rude foods, for me these are food close to my heart's being ages I have eaten all of them..sigh!..lovely post..

indira mukerjee (ইন্দিরা মুখার্জি) said...

thanks a lot Jaya !

rita said...

Today for the first time I saw this site and wow! its such a homely one. Could u pl tell how to prepare typical bengali vegetable chop?

indira mukerjee (ইন্দিরা মুখার্জি) said...

Thank you Rita for visting my blog!
I am giving you the link of Bengali Vegetable chop from my blog . hope you will enjoy the recipe and feel free to comment after making the chop in that way !

Jayanta Ghosh said...

I came across your blog while looking for some bengali food recipes and liked a lot. How amazing! I will keep an eye on your post.
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