Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Jhinge Posto and Kalai Dal

There is no hiding from my husband’s love for poppy seeds and this one is another addition to the list. Jhinge posto is a very popular dish with jhinge / ridged gourd in Bengal, where jhinge is the main attraction. In other cases, jhinge is added to the curries and dry vegetable curries to add to the taste. Chopped up jhinge and potatoes simmered in a sauce made of poppy seeds over the mustard oil is as delectable as it sounds. And during summer, this is one of the light meals that people opt for.

biulir dal recipe

bengali style urad dal recipe

Pairing any kind of poppy seeds dish with the biulir dal / kolaier dal, which is a Bengali style urad dal is kind of a ritual in Bengal. Plain and simple biulir dal with pure vegetarian jhinge posto makes the dull veg days pass without any complain.

bengali ridged gourd with poppy seeds paste recipe

bengali jhinge posto recipe
Chop up the ridged gourd or jhinga

simple jhinge posto recipe
make a smooth paste using the poppy seeds, green chilli and ginger.

alu diye jhige posto recipe
shallow fry the potatoes in oil

During my childhood I was not much of fan of either jhinge or biulir dal. I used to fish out the pieces of jhinge from the curry and eat only the potatoes. Even I used to pass them away  from the “jhol” as well.

bengali ridges gourd curry with poppy seeds paste recipe
temper the oil and add the chopped jhinge / ridged gourd to them.

aloo jhinge posto recipe
When all the water that oozed out of jhinge / ridged gourd is evaporated add in the poppy seeds paste.

ridged gourd curry with potatoes recipe
Next add the fried potatoes

alu jhinge posto recipe bengali style
Add water, turmeric powder and cook till done.

But  years pass in Abidjan without jhinge, which is too much. So when a fellow Indian was selling his home grown jhinga in the Indian market, my sister-in-law could not resist and bought 3 kgs from him. The she gave me some of them to us, and I was more than just delighted. I knew what I will do with them. And the result is in front of you.

bengali biulir dal recipe
soak the urad dal over night

kalai er dal recipe
boil it in a pressure cooked using turmeric powder and salt.

bengali style urad dal recipe
temper the oil with panch foron and dry red chilli

how to cook biulir dal kalai dal recipe
In the same oil fry the ginger and fennel seeds paste and pour the dal. Simmer till the desired consistency is achieved.

Jhinge Posto
Serves 4

bengali comfort food kalai er dal and jhinge alu posto

3 long jhinge
2 medium potatoes – peeled and cubed
3 tbsp poppy seeds
½ inch stick of ginger
4 whole green chillies
2 dry red chillies – broken
1 and ½  tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of sugar

Lightly peel the jhine and chop up them into small pieces.
Take the poppy seeds and make a fine paste of them with 1 whole green chilli, ginger and a little water. Make sure that no grain remain there. The paste should be velvety smooth.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan / kadai and shallow fry the cubed potatoes in small batches till they are lightly golden from both the sides.
Once done, transfer the potatoes in a separate bowl and keep aside.
In the remaining oil put the dry red chillies.
Sauté for some seconds and then put the chopped jhinge into them.
Sprinkle some salt over them, mix in and cook covered for 5-7 minutes.
Do check in between. Do not add any additional water as jhinge will ooze out lots of water and they will be cooked in their own juices.
When the all the moisture is evaporated, add the prepared poppy seeds paste. Add the turmeric powder and sauté to mix everything.
Cook for 1 minute or until the poppy seeds paste tends to dry up and then add the fried potatoes.
Also add 1 and ½ cup of water and put cover.
Cook for another 7-10 minutes, or till the potatoes are cooked through and the raw poppy seeds flavour is gone.
Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Drizzle the rest of the mustard oil and put the slitted whole green chillies over them.
Wait till all the water is evaporated and the dish reaches a mushy and dry kind of state.
Put off the flame and serve hot with steamed hot rice and dal.

Biulir Dal / Kolaier Dal
Serves 4-6

how to cook bengali kalai er dal

1 cup urad dal
2 tsp turmeric powder
½ inch stick of ginger
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp hing / asafoetida
½ tsp panch foron / Bengali five spices (mixture of cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and nigella seeds)
2-3 tsp mustard oil
2 dry red chillies

Soak and wash the urad dal in enough water overnight or for at least 2-3 hours.
Make a smooth paste of the ginger and the fennel seeds with a little water.
After soaking put the dal in pressure cooker with 3-4 cups of water, turmeric powder and salt and cook on medium heat until the cooker blows 5-6 whistles.
Once done, let the steam come out and then open the cover.
In a kadai / pan heat the oil and add in the dry red chilli powder, hing / asafoetida and panch foron.
As the seeds start to crackle and sizzle, add the prepared fennel and ginger paste to them.
Saute for some seconds and pour in the boiled dal into the kadai / pan.
Mix in and simmer till you get the desired consistency of the dal.
Meantime, with a wire whisk, whisk in the dal to mash the grain and give the dal a creamy and smooth consistency.
When done, taste and adjust the seasoning and put off the flame.

Serve hot with some rice and potato curry.

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