I was a little surprised ... but happy.
Especially when Jhimly said "... your niramish are lip smacking."
Bengali cuisine has lots of vegetarian dishes, but making a vegetarian dish tasty is a little challenging.
And especially since I use very little masalas, I am very glad that people like my vegetarian recipes too.
The last week was a little nerve wracking for me.
B was away on work and I had much plans on how I will be using this free time ... making a long list of pending works, some stitching to catch up on, some non vegetarian recipes to be cooked and photographed, catch a few movies, have long baths, read, sleep,
load the dish washer exactly as I wanted to ... with nobody to correct me or rearrange it ..... and so on.
Basically, to relax, do nothing and watch the days go by in slo mo.
But easier said than done. Given it is the worrier me.
Staying with a person, who works from home and is around you 24 / 7 has its own implications.
In ways one cannot even start to imagine.
One day into being alone and I got into the lazy mode. While that was my intention all along, not cooking at all or not making the bed or not doing the laundry and definitely not eating was never a part of my plans.
One more day and I got into the anxiety mode.
Double locked the doors and the balcony and stayed up like an owl the whole night.
On any other night, I would have happily settled down with a book.
Or let Jagjit Singh take over.
But not this time.
Even the littlest of sounds made me anxious.
I kept the lights as well as the tv running all through the nights.
And never slept a wink.
I even tried to calm myself down with some Phuchka for dinner a couple of nights.
Did not work much, I must say.
As for the rest of the days and nights ... I might as well not say anything at all.
Since I did not have to take care of a vegetarian meal too, I rustled them up,
clicked and then ate them as my lunch or brunch ... when I had thoughtful friends who had
come over to give me company.
But since my readers wanted niramish or vegetarian, I am posting this vegetarian Bengali recipe first.
I have used the leaves and the stems of the Pui that I had planted last year.
With summer making its approach, this dish has a touch of raw mangoes too.
A few boris thrown in and it makes for a perfect accompaniment to your vegetarian summer lunch.
Pui / Malabar spinach leaves and stems - washed and chopped , around 250 gms
Raw mango pieces - depending on the level of tartness you like
Bori / dried lentil dumplings - 6 to 7 pieces
Mustard seeds - 2 tbsp, soaked for around 3 hours ( I use a mix of black and yellow seeds )
Green chillies - 3
Nigella seeds / Kalo jeere / Kalaunji - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Mustard oil - 1 tbsp
Potato - 1 medium, sliced
Onion - 1 medium, sliced
Salt - to taste
How to :
In a mixer, make a paste of the raw mango + mustard seeds + 2 green chillies.
Odiyas would add garlic, which I sometimes do too. But not this time.
You can try if you want to, though.
Heat a heavy kadahi / wok.
Add the mustard oil and heat it well.
Add the boris and fry on low heat till golden brown.
Remove and keep aside.
In the same oil, add the kalo jeere + broken green chilli.
Next, add the onions and fry on low heat for a minute.
Then add the potatoes and the turmeric powder and cover and cook till the potatoes are almost done.
Remove cover and add the chopped pui leaves + stems.
Give a good mix cover and cook for around 5 minutes.
When the leaves are cooked, add the mustard paste + salt + the fried bori.
Cover and cook till everything comes together and is done.
Remove cover and raise heat till all water dries up.
Remember to keep stirring.
Remove from heat and keep it covered for a minute.
This pairs very well with Tauker dal, bhaat and Ucche bhaja on the side to make that perfectly light, summer lunch.
On non vegetarian days, you can add the Maacher bhorta or makha on the side too.