Tuesday, 12 June 2018


I was wondering for quite sometime that besides an "niramish echorer dalna".... "echor chingri"..... "echorer kofta".... what else can we do with echor... that is raw jackfruit! It is during this time of the year that Bengal markets are flooded with raw jackfruits.... our mothers used to cut it all by themselves which required great efforts.... These days Kolkata too has made things easier... The sellers sit with a "boti" and cut it for you once you pay.... Our mother is a perfectionist, so she only gets the skin cut and rest of the cutting part she does herself.... We get it here in this island both as a whole and in pieces.... fresh but packaged! Buying whole is economical but I cannot use a "boti" neither our Cristine can.... we both use knife... so I buy fresh, cut ones.... You see even cut raw jackfruit need some treatments before cooking.... the seeds need to be taken out and its skin is to be discarded, the tip of the pieces are to be trimmed! I must tell you and many of you already know that all the effort is worth it. This time I prepared the raw jackfruit with a spice paste which is not so common at Bengali homes. Now, our generation is not so much stuck to authenticity.... we try and test everything that suit our tastebuds! I have seen 'raw jackfruit korma' to 'shahi kathal' in different food groups.... most of the time I do not follow a particular recipe which may require buying ingredients worth 50 dollars........ instead I will buy five jilipis for 5 dollars and then come out sobbing from a clothing store... none of them fit in given the standard of this island.... I have to hug the slogan "saree tomatei purna hoy nari"..... People around also do not love me.... they have to allure me with something I wish to give a blind eye to, say a jilipi!.... Why they cannot share pictures of zucchini salad.... carrot juice... beet smoothie.... uff, I will worship those bodies but cannot have a drop of it.... I will pour the beet smoothie in a wok.... boil to reduce, add kheer / mawa and cardamom powder towards the end and call it beet sandesh / halwa! Anyway, since I will not buy some extra ingredients for one dish, I will prepare this KAJU KISHMISH BATA DIYE ECHOR with available ingredients at home.... I may tell you this is an awesome vegetarian option that you can cook for the family or for your visiting guests as a vegetarian side besides the other non vegetarian items. My men like this as it tastes almost like mutton. I feel happy if they are happy..... like it feels good to see the husband behaving normal. Since Sunday evening he is not only talking work and watching CNN, CNBC, BBC NEWS, those violent shows in FOX CRIME that I cannot tolerate, he is taking interest in normal things like rejoicing at his name been included in his college group. We just met his college friend at our very own Sanak and Nibedita Chattopadhay's home.... they were not in touch and it was so sudden. This lady actually lives in the Bay Area of San Francisco and they were here for two years, now leaving!.... All this while the danseuse Nibedita used to tell me about one Piali Mukherjee who is very nice and helpful, whose kids used to dance in her troop... Nritya Chanda! How do we know that she would be my husband's college mate? I saw my husband very relaxed talking past.... I really wished that they stay here and do not go back. I could have called them this month to our home instead of July! I did not.... I do not understand social media norms but I maintain protocols in real life.... as much as possible or required! Sanak-Nibedita are going to Kolkata and I will wait for them to be back because it is for them that my husband got to meet his friend..... I did not exchange phone number with Piali.... why? Its too early to do that.... it is my husband who is her friend ... I am here to call and treat his friend Piali and her family royally because we do not know if we are going to meet again or not.... they are going back to their present home which is thousands of miles far or may be I do not wish to travel to that land ever 😊. I am happy that I have a month long time to decide on the menu... what should be the starters? the non vegetarian mains? the dessert? should the vegetarian dishes be this KAJU KISHMISH BATA DIYE ECHOR or kancha kolar kofta or dhokar dalna?.... I value all my guests alike! Besides a newly found Piali who managed to include my weird husband in different friends groups, there is also a Nibedita's husband Sanak who omitted the first two letters of my name, added an extra at the end and calls me "maa".... I keep some people in the warmth of my breathe!

For this vegetarian bliss called KAJU KISHMISH BATA DIYE ECHOR, I used "charmogoj".... melon seeds, cashew nut, raisins in the paste, a generous amount of tomato paste.... So you can see it is neither korma nor a shahi item.... its just itself.... a pleasure to have with steamed rice and should go very well with roti / prata! The senior loved it, the son had it too given mumma mixed it well with the rice with few drops of lemon juice added. At every meal with rice, we have to have lemon. I read somewhere, smokers should have more of lemon juice.... ever since his rice plate has to have a big piece.... Lemon juice also helps to prevent cough & cold often. The latter is a proven fact.... earlier when the son would catch cold... I used to feed him a table spoonful of lemon juice mixed with 2 pinches of pepper powder and 1tsp honey... 3 times a day! It works wonder, I did not depend much on cough syrups! Now that the toddler has turned in to a tailed teen, he does not listen to me at all.... Both men are weird of whom the junior is more.... he keeps his bedroom window closed at all times not letting natural air and light coming in..... he will not go for outdoor games.... the father will not say anything.... hence, he catches cold every month. I am a total failure as a mother.... or a wife..... How about you? You have built disciplined homes I believe where people go by certain rules! You can well include this vegetarian side KAJU KISHMISH BATA DIYE ECHOR in your family menu plan or for your visiting guests. You can see I also cooked some chicken, 'beulir dal' and 'laal shaaker ghonto'..... Had it being for visiting guests, I would have changed the daal to "fulkopi-motorshuti diye moong dal".... chicken to "dahi murg" or "doi mutton".... a prawn or "shorshe bata salmon".... chutney, two more veggie dishes and off course 3-4 starters, 2 desserts!.... Its a food blogger's home which should have the word food written in the walls.... Besides cooking, this lady knows nothing.... she cannot make pot pies either for her guests.... what if Bianca visits her home some day? Instant Idli, butter chicken with naan, salads and wine of her choice "can can lah!".... She cannot go from this home insulting fish... so she has to have macher chop and baked fish or I may force her to have a "fish fillet er kalia"..... though I know she will not take the risk of getting me "hasher tatka dim" from her farm... If you allow me to talk, I may not stop... so lets cook and share. This semi-dry curry is quite easy to cook but getting the jackfruit ready to cook takes some time..... I do not stay in that "bahargaon".... so I will not buy tinned food.... How is it so that a country do not have enough wet markets .... then buy from the farmer's market... When Piali's husband told "we at times drive 20-25 miles to dine at a restaurant".... I was about to faint... and whispered "dada e jonmey aar apner bari dekha holona"....


Raw Jackfruit : 500gm [buy skin off but fresh if possible]
Cashew Nut : 8-10
Raisin : 6-8
Melon Seed : 1tsp
Ginger Paste : 2tsp
Onion Paste : 2tbsp
Tomato Paste : 1small cup
Red Chilli Powder : 2tsp
Cinnamon Stick : 2-3 two inch stick
Clove : 3-4
Green Cardamom : 2-3
Bay Leaf : 1
Sugar : 1/2tsp [optional]
Salt : As Required
Oil : 3-4tbsp


I definitely had to provide pictures for the jackfruit cleaning process, but it was cooked on a Saturday morning.... I cook 8-10 other dishes too!

Ok, I always buy fresh but packaged jackfruit. You still need to spend some time to clean and cut it into shapes.

The first thing we will do is to apply mustard oil on our two palms and the knife, else the juice released can give trouble to be removed.

Cut the jackfruit pieces further into smaller, square shapes. Take out the seeds and get rid of the skin... its yellowish. Trim the tip of each piece. Oh! my English... so horrible!

When we are cutting the jackfruit, we will sit with a vessel full of water. Just cut and drop them in the vessel.... else they get pale and black may be.

This will take some 20 minutes. Wash and pass the water through a strainer.

Fill the vessel again with water. Add the jackfruit pieces, salt and turmeric!

Boil at medium heat, covered for 7-8 minutes. Let cool and throw the water... use a strainer... raw jackfruit is precious for us... not a piece to be wasted.

Heat oil in a wok! Rub the boiled jackfruit pieces with little salt and turmeric and fry lightly in batches... take out!

Temper oil with a bayleaf, cinnamon sticks, green cardamoms and cloves! Add the onion paste and stir for 2 minutes.

Add the ginger paste and fry for a minute or little more. Add the tomato paste and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes. When the oil separates from the spice mixture.... add some salt, turmeric and the chilli powder. Mix very well and stir for a minute.

Add the lightly fried jackfruit pieces and fold in well. Cover the wok and put the oven at minimum heat.

Wash the melon seeds, cashew nuts and raisins taking in a strainer. Adding little water, blend them together to a paste.

After 5 minutes, remove cover and add 11/2 medium cup of water to the wok and give a quick stir. Cover cook at the lowest heat for 3-4 minutes.

Open cover and add the cashew nut-raisin and melon seed paste, sugar. Fold in well and cook covered for another 3-4 minutes at minimum heat.

Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with steamed rice or roti / prata / paratha.

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