Sunday, 2 April 2017


Last few days had been really busy, and its really so for people whose men have severe allergy  on even noticing whats going on in the home front. In such scenario, there is obviously not much romantic conversations that goes on in the house hold. It is rather otherwise.... Bossy.... this week can you go to the market or at least accompany me to the market?.... I always know the answer but I have to ask and hear the same old answer..... S.... I am really not in the mood to have any elaborate spread this week, we can manage with aloo sheddo, dal, omelette [mashed potato, dal, omelette] or khichuri & aloo bhaja [rice and lentil hotch potch with fried potatoes].... you need not go to the market this week, take rest. That there is a teen age boy at home, who needs a variety of food at different times of the day is not in his head.... he is so engrossed in candy crush or CNBC or CNN or a Sports Channel and off course our weekend marathon movies at Netflix or otherwise. Then there is my indulgent paa-in-law who would say it is all my fault as I have not let him do anything been choosy. That is true too, I cannot  accept another person standing in the kitchen, getting it messy using five bowls and three spoons while making an omelette. I am naughty too.... but naughtier him knows the wifey will not serve him potato and rice and will surely go to the market until she is down with fever. It is also true that he will not utter a word if I serve him a humble platter of rice, lentil and boiled potato. Won't you love to serve such people?... you definitely will...

There were some dear friends yesterday at home, off course I did not feed them this Barnyard Millet Khichuri and Kumro Aloo diye Lau Shaak. Besides the appetisers and other mains, I prepared mutton rezala and prawn curry. Cooking for family and guests is always a pleasure..... if there is one Avish Sengupta, who is a citizen of this island, yet a typical Bengali too and we have a common dream of opening a cosy, Bengali eatery in the island. His wife... the very bubbly, sweet but half-mad, sister like Roshmi hates cooking... but never is a miser when it comes to appreciating other people's effort. Who else was there? ..... well... a fabulous cook and the best mutton biryani maker in the town.... Sanak Chottopadhay.... a very good human being though not so good with his words at times. Why do I love him so much?... he is the one who cooked for my husband for more than six months long back in the 90's while they were staying in Mumbai preparing for their exams, motivated him to get where he is today, makes such public announcement that S is my second mother and does not allow any one to speak negative about me in his presence. If his beautiful wife Nibedita, who was attending another party yesterday reads this post by chance, you can see her updating an all bare profile picture by tonight to irritate me, haha it is nothing about good or bad.... may be I am still that primitive teen when someone said I do not come anywhere near the very happening Pricilla, teacher with a convent in the late 80's. I did come back home and ask my mother why she puts so much oil on my hair but the wild horse inside said be exactly what you are, wear what you are comfortable in.... so should my friends too. We need not like each other in all matters, we still can stay in love.

I keep my blog like me... that simple next door girl... easy to mingle. Sama Chal / Barnyard Millet / Swang Chawal is something I have seen my mother eating during her fasting days. For the little me, fasting days for my mother and grand mother were much awaited.... I got to eat.. 'Shabu Makha'... tapioca pearls soaked in water for hours, drained and mixed with milk, banana, mango and sandesh, all mashed together and served. I can smell my didu [maternal grandmom], sitting in this far off land.... I spent my entire childhood on her lap. I got a packet of barnyard millet and wished to see how it tastes if cooked with moong dal. We usually cook lau shaak / lauki or bottle gourd leaves with shrimps or poppy seed paste. I preferred doing it with pumpkin and potato without using any spice. If you are a veggie lover, you will like it. Whether on a fasting day or for a humble feast... this combination fits in. Sundays I do not cook much. Before I make some chapatis to serve them with yesterday's rezala, and pamper myself with some fruit chaat or any kind of chatpata.... I thought of sharing this combined recipe of Sama Chaler Khichuri and Kumro Aloo Diye Lau Shaak with you all. Come, let us prepare this all vegetarian dish together which is done within an hour.

INGREDIENTS : [ Sama Chaler Khichuri ]

Sama Chal / Barnyard Millet : 1 small cup
Moong Dal / Skinless Split Yellow Dal : 1/2 - 1/3 small cup
Cumin Seed : 1/4tsp
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Dry Red Chilli : 2 [halved]
Bayleaf : 1
Green Chilli : 2 [slitted]
Sugar : 1tsp
Salt : As Required [alternatively rock salt]
Oil : 2tbsp

INGREDIENTS : [ Kumro Aloo Diye Lau Shaak ]

Lau Shaak / Bottle Gourd Leaves : A Bunch
Pumpkin : 1/4 of a small, ripe one
Potato : 1big
Nigella Seed / Kalonji : 1/4tsp
Bayleaf : 1
Dry Red Chilli : 2 [halved]
Green Chilli : 3-4 [slitted]
Sugar : 1/2tsp [optional]
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As Required [ alternatively rock salt]
Ghee / Clarified Butter : 2tsp
Oil : 2tbsp


Let us prepare the vegetable first.

The bottle gourd leaves with stem looks as below.

 We will roughly chop the leaves and cut the stem lengthwise, peeling off the thin outer layer and those ring. Wash thoroughly.

Discard the skin and inner layer of the pumpkin with seeds. Cut further into cubes. Peel, wash and cut the potato into cubes. Take both in separate bowls and rub with little salt and turmeric.

Heat oil in a wok. Temper with nigella seeds, bayleaf and halved red chillies. Add the potatoes first. Once they are half done, add the pumpkin pieces. Fold in well and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add the bottle gourd leaves and stem and stir at high heat for a minute. Reduce heat, add slitted green chillies and let cook for about 4 minutes stirring in between. Add the sugar and little salt if required. Fold in well, we will take down once the water dries up yet not making it too dry.

Now we will do the Sama Chal and Moong Dal Khichuri / Khichdi.

Dry roast the yellow lentil, wash and pressure cook up to one whistle adding a big cup water, salt and little turmeric. Let cool.

Take the barnyard millet in a heavy bottomed vessel and wash 2-3 times. Add 1 1/2 big cup water. Put for boil adding some water.

It will take barely 3-4 minutes to be 80% done. Add the boiled lentils at this stage. Fold in well. Let cook at very low heat.

Heat oil in a pan. Temper with cumin seeds, bayleaf and halved dry red chillies. Add the ginger paste and fry for 2 minutes.

Add cumin powder, turmeric powder, salt. Fold in well and add the whole thing to the rice and dal mix. Add the sugar too. Fold in well. Garnish with a dollop of ghee.

Enjoy hot with the veggie !!


  1. I've never cooked with bottle gourd leaves before. Actually I didn't these leaves can be cooked too. Of course the next time I buy gourds, the leaves will treasured into this aloo dish. Nice vegetarian pleasurable meal.

    1. Thank you Navaneetham... you will definitely like...