Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Sounds of Diwali - Shorshe Bhindi (Mustardy okra)

Sitting on my computer, early morning on the Diwali day , the sound of a few patakhas --mostly bombs bursted by over excited kids is the most reassuring, familiar, festival sound to me. It just takes me back to my chilhood days when I would join the gang of boys , and after lot of hankeing, pestering and courage gathering, they would 'allow' me to burn a few mirchi bombs. Although scared of all sorts of bomb sounds , I still did it just to show it off to my brother, who eight years younger to me would stand in one corner and clap hands at the brevity of his didi.

The patakha sound still reminds of the chaos in the evening with our house swamped with family friends and how my mother would panic in the kitchen. Which me left to do the menial task of serving the guests and setting the table etc. and my brother used to wait impatiently in the parking area to start the ceremony of bursting crackers. The smoky dizzying smell of the crackers, the smoke infused ghee laddus and nimkis, savoured in-between the baji-porano session and my brothers reluctance to let the day end ...I think i'm still cabapble of living each moment of those days minute by minute.

Today the only thing I can do to faintly match the sound of patakhas is the whistle of the pressure cooker, which I intend on playing in a overdrive mode, just to ensure that the festivity which almost began in the kichten in my childhood home may always remain. But strangely though, I had never been a cook , I was a food aficionado at best . Ma would insist that I learn something, but I would listen inattentively , lurking in the kitchen only to take one bite of that fresh hot pakora. Or assist with rounding the laddus just to pop in a few in my mouth on the pretext of them being craggy edged!

Cut to today, with a kitchen and a fussy eater as a husband -- to myself, I seem to have discovered the joys of cooking! the festive sounds are so resonant with the memories of the yesteryears than anything else. Reminding me of all-- that was Diwali.

Tangy Creamy Bhindi (Coconut-mustard Okra)

Mustard paste is a delicacy in almost every Bengali household.Mustard is typically hand grinded with a little salt and green chillies and added to potato/vegetables/fish, mixed with parboiled rice and eaten. Okra being a very versatile vegetable is very delicious when cooked into this mustard-coconut and curd paste, along with a typical south Indian tadka gives a fresh twist which makes it simply mmmm.

150 gms Okra(bindi)
1/2 cup set curd
1tbsp fresh Mustard paste
1 cup grated coconut
salt to taste
1tpsb mustard oil
2-3 slit green chillies
2-3 sprigs meethi neem(karipatta)

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard oil and then once its smoky add 1 tsp mustard seeds and let them pop, add leaves toss for a half a minute till the flavors come out and take care not to burn them.Now add the slit salted and green chillis and saute for a minute. Cook covered on medium flame for 10 minutes or until done and browned.

Now in a mixer add the mustard paste, or soaked remaining mustard seeds (if you are making a fresh paste). Grind mustard well until smooth.Add green chillies and salt and little water if required and grind again. Now add coconut and curd and a little water and make a smooth paste.

Now add the paste to the okra mixture with approx half cup of water. Bring to a boil and reduce flame and cover with lid. Let it cook for 5-6 mts till the gravy thickens slightly.Once cooked, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.
Post a Comment

You might also Love

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share This