Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sim Beguner Chorchori / Bengali Hyacinth Beans and Eggplant Stir Fry

Chorchori is more of a stir fry of mixed vegetables in the Bengali cuisine and there are no particular recipe for this preparation. You can add as many different veggies as you like, as long as you are not ruining the taste of the dish. Sim / hyacinth beans, mulo / raddish, eggplant..these are the main veggies that are added in making chorchori. Also you have to add a green leafy veggi in chorchori. That can be the simple spinach leaves and its stems or Malabar spinach leaves or puti sak or whatever you feel like. Chorchori can also be made amish / non-veg by adding some shrimp, fish heads and small fishes, which we call chuno mach or puti mach.

Since there are no particular recipes, chorchori can be as simple as this one, i.e. cooking with salt, sugar and turmeric powder and red chilli powder or you can add mustard paste to enhance the taste as well. One important note in reference to chorchori is that you do not add water. Water will make the veggies soggy and will give the dish more of a “ghonto” like texture. In a perfect chorchori you will always be able to see the different veggies and they will be cooked to the perfection, yet soft and firm enough to retain their shape and texture. So when you eat chorchori, in every bite there will be a feast of taste,  flavours and textures in your mouth and that is what makes "chorchori" special. So here it is, my masi’s Sim Beguner Chorchori, a perfect dish to start your meal.

Cut the veggies in proper shape.
Heat the mustard oil.
Add nigella seeds/ kalo zeera and let them sizzle.
As the seeds start to sizzle add all the veggies.
Add salt, turmeric powder.
Add sugar and red chilli powder.
Stir to mix all the spices and seasonings with the veggies and cover to cook on low to medium flame. Check every 2-3 minutes.
Cook until the moisture is almost evaporated.
Stir and cook when the veggies are all dry and the oil starts to separate.

Sim Beguner Chorchori / Bengali Hyacinth Beans and Eggplant stir fry
Serves 6

1 medium potato – cut into wedges and then halved
6-7 sim / hyacinth beans – cut both the pointy ends and then cut into 4-5 small pieces
1 medium eggplant – cut into small cubes
A bunch of coriander leaves with their branches
1 green chilli – chopped
1 tsp nigella seeds / kalo zeera
2 tbsp pure virgin mustard oil
A pinch of sugar
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder

Heat the oil and add the nigella seeds / kalo zeera.
As the seeds start to sizzle add all the vegetables into the kadai.
Add the salt, sugar, turmeric powder and red chilli powder.
Stir to mix the spices, salt and sugar evenly with the veggies.
Cover the pan / kadai and let the veggies cook. The veggies will ooze out water and they will be cooked in it.
Check and stir the veggies after every 3 minutes.
When the moisture almost is almost evaporated, open the cover and stir until the veggies are dry.
When the veggies become dry and the oil starts to separate, switch off the flame.

Transfer the veggies in a clean serving bowl and serve hot as a starter with simple plain hot rice.

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