Kala Bou is Lord Ganesha’s wife. Folklore tells us that on the day of Lord Ganesha’s wedding, Lord Ganesha saw his mother Ma Durga eating bowlfuls. He asked “Ma why are you eating so much”. Ma Durga Replied “jodi tor bou aamake khete na deye (what if your new wife does not let me eat enough)”. This angered Lord Ganesha, he went out chopped a banana tree and said “eitai tomar bou" (this is your daughter in law)”. Lord Ganesha was married off to that banana tree in a religious ceremony. Since then, there is always a symbolic Banana Plant decked in crisp tanter sari (in the above pic its the yellow sari) along with Ma Durga and her off springs during Durga Pujo. She is called "Kala-Bou" and that is all we Bengalis know about Ganesha's marital status, and perhaps from this stems the legendary preoccupation of Bong moms and their sons, and food is always the rabble rouser .
Maybe millions of years have passed since then, but things don’t seem to change. You see, I’m a cooking-phobe in front of my mother-in-law. She is usually convinced about whatever I’m going to dish out is simply a bunch of ingredients clumped together in a pan, the color is all due to masalas (spices) in odd quantities and it’s never ever the way puritans make it. You know, like the way vegetables are meant to be cut and cutlets to be shaped. I’m always so wrong.
Anyhow, I so want to hover over my mother in law and watch her cook and perhaps do some learning too, but NO, shouldn't my mother have had taught me everything.
I try to convince myself - perhaps it’s not her- possibly it’s our mythology. Either ways, time for me to go back to the kitchen in my Kala bou mode and make the so inspired Raw Banana Cutlet (Kanch Kolar Cutlet). Who knows, maybe this will do the trick!
Kanch Kolar Cutlet (Raw Banana Cutlet)
4 green raw Bananas
2 medium Tomatoes, skinned and chopped
3-4 stems Fresh coriander leaves
1/2 cup Bread crumbs
Oil and Spices
1 tsp Ginger paste
1/2 tsp Roasted and powdered cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
2 green Chilies
2 Tbsp Vegetable oil
1/2 t Sugar
Salt to taste
Oil for shallow frying
Peel and slit green bananas.Rub bananas with a pinch of turmeric and wee bit salt. Place in a pan with water and cook until soft. drain water and mash the banana pulp.
Heat the 2tbsp oil in a pan and temper with ginger, turmeric and green chillies.In 2-3 minutes add the skinned chopped tomatoes and finally the mashed banana.Mix well and lastly add salt and sugar to taste.
Remove from fire when mixture has browned well, and add the coriander leaves. Now cool and divide mixture into desired shape and coat with bread crumbs.Shallow fry in a pan with 3 tbsp oil till coating is crisp and well browned on both sides.
Remove and drain off.