Thursday, 30 November 2017


Some days I wish to go back to the bygone days and rehearse few scenes..... how actually Sunday mornings had been.... how we got an extra hour to sleep, how we both siblings fought over trivial issues, how beautiful seemed the "khuntir awaj"... the noise coming from the kitchen. The concentration was never on the text books but in what is going to come for the breakfast.... the brother was never a foodie like his sister, but he loved his "didibhai" so much so that he took part in the discussion. I never took interest in the kitchen in those days and our mother too always had to say "rannar shomoy birokto korishna".... do not disturb while I am cooking.... Almost closing the text book, the sister used to ask ... "aaj porota na luchi korchey rey mani? Pa... ki anlo rey bazaar thekey.... jilipi na roshogolla? Ja na bhai rannaghor theke ekta luchi niye aai".... while the brother was totally engrossed in playing with his toy cars...... it is difficult to translate certain feelings and I will not. Saturday or Sunday mornings were never meant for chapatis, Sunday dinners were with hot chapatis and chicken / mutton though. Lunches were simple with less number of dishes as our mother's kids would not eat anything else when they got to smell meat... so lunch spread was rice, shaak [greens], chicken / mutton curry, chutney and off course Sherlock Holmes! I loved watching it as much as reading.... our Pa got me all the volumes by the time I was in middle school. If "Feluda" is our religion, Holmes was / is the temple where I would love to take refuge anytime of the day! Where does text books feature in here? There are people who read, write, cook, speak, work at the same frequency.... but I am always that average who never can multitask. Let us come back to food..... Saturday mornings were for fried rice with leftover rice from the last night, carrot, beet, eggs or a "phyana bhaat"... porridge kind of made with fragrant rice, to be had with boiled eggs, ghee, salt and a green chilli.... The other day I saw a Bengali Blogger had blogged on "maan kochu bata".... I loved it... and thought what the hell I am doing sitting here.... ain't I that Bengali who searches for "kharkol / ghatkol pata" throughout the island and laments... "kotodin kharkol pata bata khaini".... the reason someone got scared and  left many autumns back.....haha.... without even saying a goodbye, neither ever said "hi, whats up?"... perhaps out of the fear that this witch can do some "jadu tona" kind of black magic.... Anyways, I am living with a Captain Haddock for twenty years now who never lets me swim on a bucket of tears. Where was I?... ok, Sunday mornings, we had either "porota-begunbhaja- jilipi" or "luchi-aloor dom-sandesh" or something as this.... GHEETE BHAJA LUCHI O JHINGE KUMRO ALOOR TARKARI.... kalojeerey shuknolonka phoron diye. I keep on doing them for my happy go lucky men.

Sweets and desserts are a regular at our home. Roshogolla / Rasgulla is something I do often which gets near perfect some days and lefts me dissatisfied on some other day with their shapes, sizes and texture. .... Someday they will be perfect for ever..... Extremely poor at artistry.... I am trying to design an amriti / amaretti... on a piece of paper.... isn't doing some GHEETE BHAJA LUCHI O JHINGE KUMRO ALOOR TARKARI .... quicker and easier?... they are... by the time the rasgulla boils in syrup, I am done with the platter... Look at the hotchpotch sequence of the stages of rasgulla making at my kitchen and you will get an idea of my height of illiteracy....

Ghee luchi is not anything unique but the aroma you get is out of the world and it is crisper perhaps... Before dalda entered a Bengali kitchen, "nuchi" was always made with ghee and served with ... with.... tell me what not?.... from begun bhaja, aloo chocchori, domer aloo, murgir jhol to bonde, roshogolla and this simple, no spice dish of "jhinge kumro aloor torkari".... done with ridge gourd, pumpkin and potatoes. This platter is so much easy that I actually do it singing "bachna aai haseeno".... Such songs takes me to the early 90's... me and Chandrayee on way back to home from coaching classes.... all of a sudden, we would buy night show tickets for a Bollywood movie... Tanushree never joined in such ventures as she lived in that neighbourhood. At the interval.... I used to scream ..... Chandrayee... its 9:30 pm .... who will save us from our mothers?... Two girls leave the movie halfway, and run to catch a homebound bus.... did some boys say anything at the back?... yes "Hathibaganey akhono hathi paoa jai..." we both being fatso. Till date, we both fight apparently, we do not bother at all... I may suddenly call her one evening.... Chandreyee "tor buk folano dada ke money achey?".... there was one senior guy in our college who hardly mingled with anyone... he perhaps concentrated more on body building.... which was not so common in those days.... These two fat girls had to discuss him... sitting at "Basanta Cabin".... S just tore off a portion of "chicken kobiraji" and dipped it in "kashundi".... Chandrayee "shon, buk folano dada ki khai rey?.... chola bhejano?"..... This day I have a container full of "chola".... kala chana waiting to be soaked and eaten with greens... instead I call Cristine and discuss the dinner menu.... how about some butter naan, ghee rice and paneer tonight.... Ever since Rujuta Diwekar prescribed ghee as safe... I am literally taking a shower with ghee.... she does not know while at gym or at walk... I dream of food... To share this recipe of GHEETE BHAJA LUCHI O JHINGE KUMRO ALOOR TARKARI with my readers, I postponed my workouts. I  also have the plan to prepare some "Bonde" today.... why on earth "Bonde" is considered a typo error and lands down to Bond.... Ok, for all our James Bond movie ventures during college days, we had a particular childhood friend from school accompanying us to the movie halls to protect us from the "dushtu loks".... This guy married our classmate.... the Bollywood style while we were just 20.... that story some other day, if he permits! When the degree of nostalgia is such today, an authentic Bengali recipe is a must.

Refined Flour : 2big cups
Salt : 1/4tsp
Sugar : 1tsp
Ghee : 11/2tbsp + 100-150ml to fry the luchi / poori
Water : As required for a soft, yet firm dough

Ridge Gourd : 2-3standard size
Pumpkin : 1/4 of a medium sized
Potato : 2big
Nigella Seed : 1/2tsp [kalonji / kalojeerey]
Dry Red Chilli : 2[halved]
Green Chilli : 2-3[slitted]
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Sugar : 1tsp
Oil : 2tbsp


Peel, wash and cut the potatoes, ridge gourd and pumpkin into cubes and wash thoroughly. Keep each of them in separate bowls and rub with salt and turmeric, let them rest for 6-8 minutes.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with the nigella seeds and halved dry red chillies. Add the marinated potato pieces, fold in well and cover. Let it cook at low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Open cover, add the marinated pumpkin and ridge gourd pieces along with the marinade. Fold in well and let it cook for 4-5 minutes at low heat.

Open cover and add the sugar and slitted green chillies. Fold in well and let it cook for another minute. We are done. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Now let us prepare the ghee the bhaja luchi.

For the luchi / refined flour poori, we need to take the refined flour in a wide mouthed bowl.... to it we will add 11/2tbsp ghee, salt and sugar.

We will rub all the ingredients for 2-3 minutes.

We will add warm / cold water little by little and keep kneading till a soft and smooth dough is formed. I did not have time to cover, but you can keep the dough covered for 15 minutes.

Take out small portions from the dough and smoothen between palms.

With help of rolling pin, roll out the balls into poori shapes.

Heat Ghee in a deep, round wok.

Gently place each luchi / poori at a time. Fry one side and flip over to fry the other side. The fluffiness of luchi / poori depends on how we control the temperature of our gas oven.

We will serve the combo meal of GHEETE BHAJA LUCHI O JHINGE KUMRO ALOOR TARKARI with any kind of sweets.... be it sandesh or roshogolla!


  1. Varieties of veggies and spices had given this dish tastiness and deliciousness.