Rosogolla ... rasmalai ... sandesh ... mishti doi ... malpoa ... cham cham ... *drool* ... bengali sweets rock! I love making them, love eating them, love writing about them ... Wait! This blog doesn't have a bengali dessert post yet! That sucks!
Note to self:
Make some yummy rasmalai this week just so I can write about it!
Ok, so this post isn't about bengali sweets. Sorry! But it comes close. It does involve bengali spices and a multitude of vegetables, all goodness. I haven't cooked much bong food, so it was fun to pick up one of those simple postcard cookbooks - this time Bangla Ranna was my choice. It has a slew of bengali recipes - reasonably well written out. I particularly like the fact that the author Satarupa Banerjee dedicated this book to the countless housewives in Bengal who keep the tradition of Bengali cuisine alive. Got to love that :)
As I flipped the pages, page 75 caught my eye - Paanch Mishuli - a vegetable medley that uses a choice of vegetables that are in season. Hmm ... I could extend that to apply to the vegetables that are in season and available in my fridge, right? :)
So, that's what we went with - a medley of acorn squash, plantain, bitter gourd, edamame, beans and snap peas - *lots* of green goodness!
1 acorn squash
1 bitter gourd - deseeded and chopped
1/4 lb green beans - chopped into 1" pieces
1 cup of shelled green peas
1 plantain - grated
1 cup edamame
a small ball of tamarind soaked in 1 cup of boiling water
2 t Paanch phoran (recipe below)
3 green chillies - sliced long
1 " ginger - ground into a paste
2 T mustard oil
1 t turmeric powder
1 T brown sugar
Soak the bitter gourd pieces in the tamarind water for atleast 30 minutes.
Cut the acorn squash in half, place the cut faces down in a pan filled with 1/2" of water.
Bake the squash for 10 minutes at 400 F.
Once the squash is cooked, scoop out the meat with a spoon and discard the skin.
Heat the oil in a wok and toss in the paanch phoran.
Stir in the ginger paste.
Add the grated plantain and saute for 4-5 minutes.
Throw in the rest of the vegetables - beans, peas, edamame and bitter gourd (after discarding the water) and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Now add the squash, salt, turmeric, sugar and green chillies.
Stir and cook covered on low till the vegetables are almost done.
Now, cook uncovered till most of the moisture evaporates - this should be a moist, but not runny curry.
This medley goes well with most indian breads or rice.
Paanch Phoran Recipe
This is usually a combination of 5 whole spices, though I've encountered a few variations.
1 t cumin
1 t kalo jeera
1 t mustard
1 t fennel
1 t fenugreek
Lightly roast the spices before grinding to a powder.
The paanch phoran flavours rock! I honestly don't know how the traditional mishuli is supposed to taste, but this medley with some garlic naan made for a terrific dinner!
I'm dedicating this post to Sandeepa, the awesome Bong Mom whose blog is inspiring me to try more Bengali recipes - we haven't seen her post in a while, I'm waiting for her to come back :)