Sometimes I do crave for an elaborate Bengali lunch ... but since a typical Bengali lunch consists of a lot of items ... like a lot of vegetable fries, at least one saag / leafy vegetable dish, one bitter vegetable like karela / saag like gima, mixed vegetables chorchori, at least one vegetable curry, and then fish curry / chicken curry.
Then there will be ambol (something sour) , either vegetarian or non vegetarian ... to wind up with. I definitely don't feel like cooking the whole list only for one person ....my lonely self. ;-)
Had some Tyangra maach in the freezer and decided to make a simple jhol.Then sliced up a baingan and chopped some karelas for bhaja(fry). The rest of the karelas were made ...but differently.Made some masoor dal with lau (lauki).
Missed saag bhaja, chorchori , ambol.....but still this turned out to be a decent baangali lunch ... :-) A little Aamer chaatni and lebu (lemon) and kancha lonka (green chilli) worked well as accompaniments.
Learnt this from my cousin didi. This is a very simple recipe ...but tastes great.Goes very well with hot rice.
Tyangra maacher jhol
Need : Tyangra fish, kalaunji (kalo jeera / nigella seeds) , green chillies,
chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, salt, mustard oil, haldi / turmeric powder,
freshly ground black pepper , fresh coriander (dhania) leaves chopped,
water to cook.
How to : Clean the fish.
Apply tumeric powder and salt. Heat mustard oil and fry the fish.
Remove from oil and keep aside.
In the same oil add kalaunji, whole green chillies (make a small cut in them so that they don't burst) and chopped onions.
Fry well .... but do not brown.
Add the chopped tomatoes, haldi and salt.
Add water,cover and bring to a boil.
Now add the fish, cover and cook. Just before removing from heat add black pepper powder and chopped coriander leaves.
Begun bhaja (Brinjal fry)
Need : Black brinjal (the big variety), haldi / turmeric powder, salt, mustard oil(for deep frying).
How to : Cut brinjals into half inches thick roundels.
Apply salt and haldi.
Heat mustard oil well. Fry the brinjals till well done and brown on both sides.
Drain and serve when still crisp ....else they tend to get soggy very soon.
( A more recent Begun Bhaja is here. )
Ucche Bhaja (Karela fry)
Need: Karelas (bitter gourd), haldi powder, salt, mustard oil.
How to : Cut karelas in small pieces (or chop them).
Heat mustard oil. Fry the karelas with a pinch of haldi powder and salt to taste.
Cover and cook.When done remove cover and cook till crispy.
Lau Daal ( Dal with lauki / Bottle gourd)
Need : Masoor dal(washed and soaked), lauki chopped in to small pieces, chopped
onions, chopped tomatoes, paanch phoron, green chillies, haldi, salt, cooking
oil,a little ghee.
How to : Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the paanch phoron and green chillies.
Then add the onions and fry for sometime.
Add the chopped lauki and stir. Add haldi, salt and then the tomatoes.
Fry for some time and then add the dal.
Stir well and add enough water. Cook for 2-3 whistles on slow flame.
Wait for the pressure to release, open cooker and add a dash of ghee.