Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Lau shaag er chochchori - A traditional Bengali vegan dish

Yum



In Bengali cuisine chochchori is a dish made with different vegetable/fish with different spices like paanchforon, mustard etc. Lau Saager chochchori is one of such traditional Bengali delicacy. It is actually a recipe which is cooked out of availability rather choice. Lau (Bottle gourd) creepers are very common in Bengali households especially in villages. While Lau (Bottle gourd) is cooked as vegetable, the leaves and tender stem left behind is consumed as ‘Chochchori’. This recipe is a good idea to include more greens and fibre in your food. This is a pure vegetarian dish which is vegan too.

Preparation Time: - 15 min

Cooking Time: - 25 min

Servings: - 2~3 persons

Ingredients:-

  1. 1 cup Lauki / Lau leaves with stem (approx. 200 gm)
  2. 1 small Potato cubed ( approx. 100 gm)
  3. 1 small Brinjal (approx. 100 gm)
  4. Pumkin chopped (approx. 100 gm)
  5. 1 tsp Paanchforon / Bengali 5 spices
  6. 1 ½ tsp poppy seed paste
  7. ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  8. 2 Green Chili silted horizontally (you can use additional whole red chilli also according to your preference)
  9. 2 tbsp mustard oil ( This is authentic Bengali cuisine and so I prefer mustard oil – if you find the smell appalling then you can use Sunflower or Canola oil but taste may be less pungent. )
  10. Salt and sugar to taste.

Preparation:-

  1. Chop lau saag leaves and stem finely and wash well under running water.
  2. Cut all the other vegetables in small cubed form and wash. Smaller pieces help faster cooking. 
  3. Boil the saag in a bowl of water and drain. I did this as to soften the lau stems. In dry weather like in Bangalore summer it helps. If you find that the saag is already soft then no need to do this.
  4. Heat mustard oil and add paanch phoron and a green chili.

  5. When the spices crackle add all the vegetables with salt and turmeric powder - sauté for approximately 2 min.
  6. Add the chopped saag and keep on stirring. You may add the saag first if you do not boil them previously.
  7. Stir and mix all well.
  8. Cover and cook till the veggies are soft. Lau shag will have its own juices and soften.
  9. When the juice got dried up add the poppy seed paste and mix well. Stir for few minutes so that poppy seeds gets fried a little bit and the vegetable and saag gets coated with fried poppy seeds.
  10. Put the burner off and put a green chili for garnishing.
Serve this side dish with hot steamed rice and a piece of lemon. 

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.