Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Peyaj Koli bhaja / Stir fried onion stalks

 "Maa .. can I have one more cigarette fry?"
"Kakima ... I want some more cigarette fry."
And so on.
Followed by giggles and wink wink smiles and suppressed laughter.
The dining table would be filled with us children of all ages. 
Ma, Kakima, Jethima pottered around ... feeding, supervising, serving food.  
"Mmmhhmmm." One of them would growl.
Another would make big eyes at us ... a sign of "I am angry .. you are about to get a scolding".
We were supposed to be afraid of that look.
But no ...
It was that look and scolding that we looked forward to. 
Proof that we had successfully done something forbidden.

Another round of request. Followed by more giggles. 
"Omon bolte neyi." They would admonish.
"Tora eto beyaadob hoyechis ... Dadu shunte paaben ... chup kor".
Yes ... we would be totally beyaadob ... disrespectful.
And I till date have no idea if Dadu heard us or not.
Considering his room was just in front of the huge dining room ... am sure he did.
 And must have chuckled to himself ... as he always did ... at his grand children's impudence.
And that is the kind of power we felt when we cousins were together.
Do or say something forbidden and enjoy seeing the elders cringe. 

And I guess ... just for that forbidden fun ... we would want more helpings of the veggie ... 
that too one that did not come with fish or chicken wrapped around it.
Have no memory of eating it  up all, too. 

But that is irrelevant.
What I am talking of here is the Peyaj koli bhaja.
Peyaj koli is Onion buds.
The stalks with the buds at the tip are called the Peyaj koli.
And because it holds so much of water, it stays stiff even after stir frying.
So we kids would pick up a piece and pretend it is a cigarette ...
 blowing through the hollow middle, giggling.

Winter brings this fresh vegetable along with it  ... lasts only for around a month 
and then poof ... gone from the markets.
Stir fried with potatoes ... they make a simple but flavourful dish.
To be enjoyed with rotis on winter nights.
Or rice if made for lunch.

Winter nights were biting cold where I have grown up.
And to that I associate the smell of hot rotis off the tawa,
 peyaj koli bhaja 
and hot milk on the side.
Jethima or any one Kakima would have the duty of feeding us dozing kids ... tired after a whole day of pranks and fun.

Like most people, I had to make do with the Spring onions stalks to make any peyaj koli dish.
But this time, I got the real ... real peyaj koli!
So  went overboard with my photography.
As did I by cooking a lot of dishes with this.
Right now, it will be the bhaja.
The rest will come up soon.

To make this simple bhaja, all you need is some Peyaj koli and aloo.
And some very fine ground black pepper.
Yes ... that is my favourite addition to dry bhajas.
Gives such a wonderful flavour ... very rustic. Very back to roots.
And I always fry in cast iron kadahi.
Of course any other vessel will do.
But the cast iron kadahi imparts a special taste ... as does the mustard oil.

Need :

Peyaj Koli / Onion stalks - washed and cut as in the photo
Aloo - cut the same length as the peyaj koli
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Fine black pepper powder - a sprinkle
Salt - to taste
Mustard oil - to stir fry

How to :

Heat the oil. You can use any white oil too.
Let in the potatoes ... while on high flame.
Stir for a while.
Add salt and cover and cook till the potatoes are done.
Remove cover.
Add the Peyaj koli and keep stirring and tossing.
Check seasoning ... add some more salt if needed.
The peyaj koli is naturally sweet ... so do not try to balance them with salt ... you will end up with a very salty dish. And they would still taste sweet.

And they hold a lot of moisture ... so will release a lot of water.
Do not cover ... keep the heat on high and fry well.
Lastly, sprinkle the black pepper powder and fry in high for some more time.
Remove and serve hot ... if possible, immediately.
Goes great on the side with rotis or rice.
Enjoy the winter ... while the peyaj koli lasts. :-)


  1. My fav one. Jive jol ese galo....too yummy.

    today's recipe:

  2. LOVED reading this post. Amar choto bela r joint family r kotha monay pore gelo :) ki oshombhobh fresh pnyaj koli gulo!! haven't seen them in a long time. ar no substitute for the flavor it takes when cooked in loha r koda along with mustard oil. simple and delicious winter comfort food.

    1. Soma .. lohar korai te bhaja on a koylar unoon ... ekhono naake gondho lege ache. :-)

  3. amaro ki ichhe korche cigerette bhaja khete. chotobelay amrao mukhe die omon kore tantam...;-)

    1. Sayantani ... ki boka e na bokto Thamma ..."meyeder eshob ki olukkhune goon!!!" ;-)

  4. Love Piyajkoli bhaja... Onek din holo khai na... just cannot substiture green onions for them! Love the story to...

    1. Progna ... true ... amio toh onek bochor pore realgulo pelam :-)

  5. Tomar post ta amar blog er blog roll e dekhei, mone pore gechhilo chhotobelar gorom gorom ruti die alu-peyaj koli bhajaa khawar kotha . "eshe" dekhi tomar recipe'r shonge shonge puro post tai nostalgia makhaano.....
    love this simple & rustic dish!!

    1. Chotobelar kotha e alada tai na Sharmistha? :-)


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