Thursday, 25 May 2017


Bori Narcol Diye Chichinge / Snake Gourd with Lentil Fritters and Shredded Coconut ...... does not sound like a weekend kind of dish right? Come on I love my family.... there will obviously be a dal.... a fritter..... and a mutton curry or ilish / hilsa / salmon with chilli mustard paste or a baked or grilled fish kind of thing. Ahh now it sounds sane... right? Do you think my men will leave me if I feed them all vegetarian... they will send me back to Kolkata. However nicely they were treated by Cristine, they all missed me when I was away. The maa-in-law never accepts when people say your daughter-in-law cooks a lot but within the four walls of our home, she appreciates what and how I serve her. She is definitely not a critical examiner like my mother... oh that is a kind of relief. That is family.... it will never pull you down unless it has real devils in it. It is also true about 'actual friends.' We will have differences of opinion in social, political and religious matters, but we are friends at the end of the day. I am just unable to take any kind of false exhibition of love or unnecessary advices from people who I have stopped considering my friend. Then again my dearest of pals say stop reacting to everything and everyone.... just ignore. So far my virtual friends / counterparts are concerned... we are with each other with all our differences if only you can tolerate the whimsical me. Oh yes.... I must answer to a query.... I simply love going public with my life so long it is within "limits of decency." My life is an open book and I like to keep it as that. I take advice from people who mean and who follow what they advice or preach. Some are right when they ask me to ignore.

My brother is not visiting my space.... may be because I am not blogging on a mutton dish. I need some time for that. Let me get myself fully under control. My mother said you know in our last trip to Puri in February 2017.... your father got some mutton from the market and said I wished to have it. Every year in February they visit Puri as per my mother's wish and stay their for 15 days. My mother is not the kind who will eat outside for 15 days. What wonders me is that daddy was not having mutton much for a couple of years due to health reasons.... but he loved it... he would have two pieces whenever maa prepared ....... with roti / paratha. Puri is a place where you get a variety of fish.... and eat a lot. Do we feel before we leave our loved ones.They said it right that S you will see he will be with you all even more than before now onward. Each day I wake up and get entangled in flashback of memories with him. I am sure my family is going through the same. A 70 year old woman tells her near 50 daughter.... you know when I was cleaning him... there was no bad smell... how come so many things went wrong inside?.... The daughter whispers.... "love need not necessarily be dove... its far more deep.... intense." I am coming momma very soon. My brother has shifted away from his political allegiance.... I am hurt... but do we stop loving each other... just not possible. They need me... more need is of my son... they will be happy to see him.

So, let us share a healthy, non-spicy vegetarian dish this weekend that is quick and easy to do and good to eat. I am fairly influenced by a recipe shared on a Bengali Food Magazine...." Hyangla Hneshel " for this recipe. They actually shared a similar dish with ridge gourd and I never clicked to check on the recipe. I had a look at the picture and went ahead with my own. At our home, snake gourd is cooked either with small prawns or a vegetarian one with a simple tempering of nigella seeds, dry red chilli and slitted green chilli. Come let us prepare this no frill, vegetarian side dish with snake gourd, shredded coconut and dried lentil fries. We usually have it with steamed rice but it should go well with South Asian Breads too.

Snake Gourd : 3-4
Shredded Coconut : 1medium cup
Dried Lentil Ball / Bori : 10-15
Green Chilli : 3-4 [slitted]
Dry Red Chilli : 2-3
Nigella seeds : 1/4tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Salt : As Required
Sugar : 1/4tsp
Oil : 3tbsp +2tbsp

Cut the two ends of each of the chichinge or snake gourd. We will carefully scratch of the skin with the back of a knife and never peel. Wash them.

Cut half and then further into smaller pieces. Add some salt and turmeric and keep aside for 10 minutes.

Heat 3tbsp oil in a wok and fry the dried lentil balls or bori as we call it. Take out and reserve.

Add 2tbsp oil as the lentil balls soak oil while frying. Once hot.... temper oil with nigella seeds, dry red chillies which should be halved.

Add the shredded coconut. Stir fry till they turn little brown. Squeeze the excess water from the snake gourd pieces and add to the wok. Fold in well. Fry at high heat for 2 minutes. Lower heat now. This helps retain the colour.

Add the rest of the salt [if required], turmeric powder, cumin powder. Fold in well and cover.

Open cover after 3-4 minutes. Give a stir. Add the sugar, fried lentil fritters and slitted green chillies. Stir gently and let cook for 2-3 minutes uncovered.... else it lose colour.

Serve hot with steamed rice or South Asian / Indian bread.