Shukto | Bengali Style Mixed Vegetables for Durga Puja

With Durga Puja festivities in the air, Bengali food is on my mind. Today I present Shukto, which is a whole load of vegetables cooked in a mustard and poppy seed paste and milk. The result is a very different tasting vegetable that tastes phenomenal with hot rice and ghee. My colleagues at work polished it off and asked for the recipe immediately. 🙂

What I loved about Shukto was that it used loads and loads of vegetables, just like Avial from Tamil Nadu or Pindi Miriyam from Andhra Pradesh. Also, it is very lightly spiced with just some ginger and Panch Phoran, yet rich because of the Mustard and Poppy Seed paste and milk that is used in cooking.

Here is a Collection of Recipes for Durga Puja that you may want to try!

Shukto | Bengali Recipe for Durga Puja
Shukto | Bengali Recipe for Durga Puja

How to Make Shukto

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

Soaking Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Radish – 75 gms
  2. Thin Long Purple Brinjals – 75 gms
  3. Bitter Gourd, Karela – 75 gms
  4. Raw Banana – 75 gms
  5. Potato – 75 gms
  6. Sweet Potato – 75 gms
  7. Beans – 75 gms
  8. Drumstick – 75 gms
  9. Mung Dal Vadi, Bori – 10 to 15
  10. Milk – 1 Cup
  11. Panch Phoran – 1 tbsp
  12. Mustard Seeds – 1 tbsp
  13. Poppy Seeds – 2 tbsp
  14. Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
  15. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  16. Mustard Oil – 4 to 6 tbsp
  17. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  18. Sugar – 1 tsp
  19. Salt to Taste
  20. Water

Making the Paste

  1. Soak the mustard and poppy seeds together in 1/2 cup warm water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Grind into a smooth paste along with the turmeric.
  3. Set aside.

Preparing the Vegetables

  1. Peel the radish, sweet potato, banana, and potato.
  2. Cut them into 2″ long wedges about 1/4″ thick.
  3. Cut the karela, beans, drumstick, and brinjals into similar 2″ long pieces.
  4. Cut the drumstick into 2″ long pieces.

Frying the Vegetables and Bori

  1. Heat the mustard oil to smoking point and turn white.
  2. Lower the heat and wait for the oil to cool a bit.
  3. Keep the heat to medium.
  4. Fry the moong dal vadi/bori.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Except drumstick, fry each of vegetables one at a time, till they start browning at the edges. Fry the karela at the very end.
  7. Set aside.

Making the Shukto

  1. Over a low to medium flame, heat the ghee.
  2. Add the Panch Phoran.
  3. Stir-fry till aromatic.
  4. Add the grated ginger and fry for a few seconds.
  5. Add the mustard-poppy seed paste.
  6. Stir-fry till the raw smell disappears.
  7. Ensure that the flame is low-medium.
  8. Add milk and bring to a gentle simmer.
  9. Add all vegetables into drumsticks.
  10. Add about 1/2 cup water.
  11. Cover and cook till the vegetables are cooked and the gravy thickens. Add more milk or water, if required.
  12. Turn off the heat.
  13. Add sugar and salt.
  14. Stir well.
  15. Just before serving add the bori and mix well.
  16. Serve the Shukto warm with steamed rice and ghee.

Tips

  • I pan-fried the vegetables on a non-stick using as little oil as possible.
  • Bengalis use Radhuni in the tempering and recommend Panch Phoran as a substitute. Since I did not have Radhuni, I used Panch Phoran.
  • Use mustard oil if possible as it adds a certain Je Ne Sais Quoi to the Shukto.

Shukto from Bengal for Durga Puja

Durga Puja Recipes

I love Navratri in general. It is a time when Mumbai is all aglow with colour, and there is song, and dance in the air. Towards the end of the Navratri period comes this festival of Durga Puja, that is very special to Bengalis and others in East India. This is a collection of  Durga Puja Recipes to celebrate this holy festival.

Bengalis do everything with passion. This reflects in everything they do at Durga Puja; be it the Pujo and Anjali; the way they dress up; and in the food that is served. Food at Durga Puja is simply divine of course, because it is blessed and is Prasad.  It also reflects the richness and the generosity of the Bengali spirit. Each dish is laden with goodness, whether it is the simple Khichuri or the delectable Rosogulla.

I have just a few recipes and hope to grow this collection of Durga Puja Recipes as time goes by.

 Bhoger Khichuri | Niramish Khichuri

Bhoger Khichuri or Bengali Khichuri or Niramish Khichuri with Baigun Bhaja

Begun Bhaja | Bengali Style Pan-Fried Brinjal

Baigun Bhaja or Bengali Pan-Fried Aubergine

 Mishti Doi

Mishti Doi - Caramel Flavoured Sweetened Yogurt - Bengali Speciality

 Bhapa Doi

Bhapa Doi - Sweet Steamed Yogurt from Bengal

Alu Phool Kopir Dalna

Alu Phool Kopir Dalna or Bengali Cauliflower and Potato Curry

 Bandhakopir Torkari

Bandhakopir Torkari or Bengali Cabbage, Peas, and Potato Curry

 Jhinge Posto

Jhinge Posto or Ridge Gourd in Poppy Seed Paste - Bengali Recipe - 2

Patishapta

Patishapta - Ready to Eat

 Tomato Khejur Aamshottor Chutney

Bengali Tomato Khejur Aamshottor Chutney | Bengali Style Tomato, Date, and Mango Leather Chutney

 

 

Bengali Tomato Khejur Aamshottor Chutney | Tomato, Date, Mango Leather Chutney

When I first read about the Bengali Tomato Khejur Aamshottor Chutney, I wanted to try it that instant. Much water has flown under the bridge and I finally got round to mking this delectable Bengali Style Tomato, Date, Mango Leather Chutney this past week.

I also think the timing is perfect because Durga Puja is just around the corner.

As I read the recipe for this chutney I tried to imagine its taste. While I realised that it would be sweet, I was not quite prepared for the tangy-sweet chutney with achari undertones because of the Panch Phoran. Absolutely delightful. I would also recommend that you savour this delicious Bengali Tomato Khejur Aamshottor Chutney a day after it is made so that all the flavours are well-infused.

The Bengali Tomato, Date, Mango Leather Chutney is such delight to the palate and I can only wonder at why I waited this long to try it.

So without much further ado, here is the recipe!

Bengali Style Tomato, Date, Mango Leather Chutney
Bengali Style Tomato, Date, Mango Leather Chutney

How to Make Bengali Tomato Khejur Aamshottor Chutney | Tomato, Date, Mango Leather Chutney

  1. Finely Chopped Tomatoes – 1.25 Cups
  2. Finely Chopped Mango Leather (Aam Shotto, Aam Papdi) – 1/4 Cup
  3. Thinly Slices Dates/Khejur – 1/4 Cup
  4. Golden Raisins – 1/8 Cup
  5. Grated Palm Sugar or Sugar – 1/3 Cup (more if you want you chutney to be sweet)
  6. Panch Phoran – 1.25 tsp
    1. Saunf, Fennel Seeds – 0.25 tsp
    2. Jeera, Cumin – 0.25 tsp
    3. Methi Dana, Fenugreek Seeds – 0.25 tsp
    4. Kalonji, Nigella Seeds – 0.25 tsp
    5. Rai, Mustard Seeds – 0.25 tsp
  7. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  8. Red Chillies – 1 or 2
  9. Oil – 1 tbsp
  10. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Over medium flame, heat the oil.
  2. Add the panch phoran.
  3. Stir-fry for a few seconds till the aromas of panch phoran are released.
  4. Add split red chillies and stir-fry for a couple of seconds.
  5. Add the tomatoes.
  6. Stir-fry till stewed.
  7. Add the chopped dates, raisins, and turmeric.
  8. Add about 1/4 cup water.
  9. Over medium flame, cook covered till the dates and raisins are cooked. Stir occasionally.
  10. Add sugar and salt.
  11. Mix well.
  12. Cook on low flame till the sugar has melted.
  13. Turn off the heat.
  14. Enjoy Bengali Tomato Khejur Aamshottor Chutney by itself or with rotis (as I did).

Tips

  • You can also make this chutney without the Aamshotto or Mango Leather. In this case, you may want to increase the amount of dates a bit.
  • As I said earlier, this chutney tastes better the next day. 🙂
  • There are variations of this recipe that used powdered Panch Phoran as the final step (instead of whole Panch Phoran as tempering). Do try it that way as well.
Bengali Tomato Khejur Aamshottor Chutney
Bengali Tomato Khejur Aamshottor Chutney

 

Mishti Doi – Durga Puja Special Recipe

Mishti Doi - Caramel Flavoured Sweetened Yogurt - Bengali Speciality

Mishti Doi is one of my favourite Bengali desserts. Yes, I love the Payesh, Rosogulla, Kancha Gola, and more, but there is something about the caramel-flavoured Mishti Doi that I cannot resist.

One of the best places to find great Mishti Doi is at Durga Puja. It is one of my favourite festivals and I make it to Anjali at least once during the festivities; and of course, the Bhog. I absolutely love the Bhoger Khichuri or Niramish Khichuri and Begun Bhaja combination that is often served at the Bhog. Now that I have mastered these dishes I make them often at home on non-Pujo occasions as well. 🙂 I try to round-off the Bhog with Mishti Doi, which I made at home from scratch yesterday.

It turned out to be quite simple and very delicious. I wonder why I did not try it sooner. Mishti Doi is nothing but sweetened yogurt made with reduced milk to which caramelized sugar is added. The result is a wonderful dessert that I could eat all day long.

You can also try Bhapa Doi (Steamed Yogurt).

How to Make Mishti Doi

Serves: 4

Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Full-fat Milk – 1 litre
  2. Sugar – 1/2 Cup +1/4 Cup
  3. Yogurt – 2 tbsp

Method to Make Mishti Doi

  1. Set aside 1/4 cup sugar.
  2. Boil the milk till it reduces by one-third. Stir continuously to ensure it does not burn.
  3. Add 1/2 Cup sugar and simmer till the milk reduces to about 1/2 litre. Stir continuously to ensure it does not burn.
  4. Turn off the heat. Ensure that the milk remains hot.
  5. Caramalize the 1/4 cup sugar by heating it with about 2 tsp water.
  6. When the sugar turns brown, add it to the hot milk.
  7. Stir-well to ensure that the milk and caramel are assimilated and you have a dusky pink colour.
  8. Let the milk cool a bit till it is just above lukewarm.
  9. Beat the yogurt well and add to the warm milk.
  10. Mix well.
  11. Set aside for 4 to 6 hours to set.
  12. Enjoy chilled!
Mishti Doi - Bengali Durga Pujo Special Recipe
Mishti Doi – Bengali Durga Pujo Special Recipe

 

Bhapa Doi – Steamed Sweet Yogurt

It is my greatest pleasure that I am able to do this super simple yet super delicious guest post for Dimple of ShivaayDelights.com. Dimple was one of my earliest blogging friends and one with a 1000-watt smile that can light up the whole world. I love Dimple’s recipes because they are infused with same joie de vivre, and are so simple yet so flavourful.

Dimple always had nothing but kind and encouraging words for me. When I asked her to do a guest post for me, she agreed readily and came up with this delicious Sweet Corn and Spinach Curry? and I have only just got around to doing this post for her.
Of the choices I gave her, Dimple chose Bhapa Doi, a dessert that looks deceptively plain but is chockablock of tastes. This Bengali dessert is nothing but Sweet Steamed Yogurt that is oh-so-creamy and just the right kind of sweet; not overpowering yet has a lovely lingering after taste.
What I love best is the fact that it gets done super fast (though one has to wait for it to chill, sigh!) and is simply super delicious.
Truth be told, I am loathe to share Bhapa Doi with anyone. 🙂 So without much ado, I invite you to read the recipe at Dimple’s website where she has posted it as Ice Cream Bhapa Doi.

How to Make Bhapa Doi or Steamed Sweet Yogurt

Serves: 4 (If you want to share :-))

Cooking Time: 30 Mins

Chilling Time: 3 hours

Ingredients

  1. Sweetened Condensed Milk – 400 gms
  2. Thick Yogurt – 250 ml
  3. Milk – 250 ml

Method

  1. Blend together the condensed milk, yogurt, and milk.
  2. Pour into a steel vessel.
  3. Cover well with a foil or a heavy lid. Anything that will prevent water from entering the vessel.
  4. Steam in a pressure cooker without the weight for 15 minutes.
  5. Let the cooker cool completely to room temperature.
  6. Chill the Bhapa Doi for 3 to 4 hours.
  7. Enjoy!
Bhapa Doi - Sweet Steamed Yogurt from Bengal
Bhapa Doi – Sweet Steamed Yogurt