Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Labra / Bengali Mixed Vegetable Curry

For us....and for many Bengali families....rain and khichdi goes hand in hand. If it’s raining outside...the house should and must smell of the nutty aromatic mung dal simmering along the very aromatic....gobindobhog rice. For us...khichdi or as we say it khichuri is not a meal for the sick only...it’s a very satisfying one pot meal for everyone during monsoon. Except the fact that, we Bengalis relish on too much food (our everyday meal consists of at leats 3 course...so you can understand...) only khichuri cannot fulfil the sole purpose of filling the tummy. Because it’s not the stomach we are so concerned about....but the hungry soul. So...”pet bhore kinttu mon bhore na”.

how to cook bengali Labra / Bengali Mixed Vegetable Curry recipe and preparation with step by step photos

So our indulging mothers and grand mothers...fried wafers alongside a special spicy dum aloo if we are eating veg that day, or if there is no restriction over veg, non-veg, then an omelette or fried Hilsa will definitely do it. Or...there can be labra, a dry mixed vegetable curry, which is perfect with khichdi.

how to cook bengali Labra / Bengali Mixed Vegetable Curry recipe and preparation with step by step photos
Wash and blanch the cauliflower florets and leaves.
how to cook bengali Labra / Bengali Mixed Vegetable Curry recipe and preparation with step by step photos
Prepare the veggies,
how to cook bengali Labra / Bengali Mixed Vegetable Curry recipe and preparation with step by step photos
Heat oil and temper with panch foron, dry red chillies and hing / asafoetida.
how to cook bengali Labra / Bengali Mixed Vegetable Curry recipe and preparation with step by step photos
Fry the cauliflower until a little golden.
how to cook bengali Labra / Bengali Mixed Vegetable Curry recipe and preparation with step by step photos
Add the potatoes and fry until alittle golden. Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder.
how to cook bengali Labra / Bengali Mixed Vegetable Curry recipe and preparation with step by step photos
Add red radish.
how to cook bengali Labra / Bengali Mixed Vegetable Curry recipe and preparation with step by step photos
Add the pumpkins and eggplants.
how to cook bengali Labra / Bengali Mixed Vegetable Curry recipe and preparation with step by step photos
Cook everything until all the veggies are cooked and becomes very mushy. Break the veggies a little and simmer till the oil starts to separate.
Labra is a mixed vegetable curry and you can use almost any and every seasonal vegetable to make it. There is no restriction as what you should add or keep aside, except the potatoes, pumpkin and some greens. You can make this non-veg by adding some onions, garlic and fish head. But we call that Chaychra...but it’s another story.

how to cook bengali Labra / Bengali Mixed Vegetable Curry recipe and preparation with step by step photos

Labra / Bengali Mixed Vegetable Curry
Serves 4
 

Ingredients:
1 medium cauliflower – cut into medium florets.
1 potato – peeled and cubed
1 medium eggplant – cut into medium long pieces
1 cup red radish – halved
1 and ½ cup pumpkin – peeled and cubed
A few soft cauliflower leaves and stems
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp panch foron / Bengali five spices
1 tbsp mustard oil
2 dry red chillies
A pinch of hing / asafoetida
Salt
A few fried boris / Bengali sundried sumplings

Method:
Blanch the cauliflower and its leaves in boiling water for 3 minutes. Then drain the water and keep them aside.
In a kadai heat the oil and temper it with panch foron / Bengali five spices, dry red chillies and hing / asafoetida.
Saute for some seconds and then add the cauliflower florets into them.
Sprinkle some salt over them and cook the cauliflowers until they are slightly golden.
Now add the cubed potatoes and add the turmeric powder.
Cook the potatoes for 2 minutes, stirring often until it becomes a little golden and then add the red radish, followed by the pumpkins, eggplants and cauliflower leaf.
Add salt accordingly and mix them well.
Cover and let the vegetables cook in their own moisture. Stir every 2 minutes and if you see the curry is getting too dry them add a dash of water.
Cook until all the vegetables are cooked and the potatoes and pumpkin has become little mushy.
Now press the veggies a little with the back of a spoon or spatula.
Simmer on medium flame until the oil separates.
Taste and adjust the seasonings and put off the flame.
Crush the fried boris with your hand and sprinkle them over the curry before serving.
Serve hot with mainly khichuri / khichdi or dal and rice.


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