Friday, 3 May 2019

KOLKATA ROADSIDE STYLE POROTA O ALOO MOTORER TORKARI


It has been a recent wish to recreate this Kolkata roadside stall like "porota o holud motorer torkari" at home and share the recipe with my loving readers. As you all know that our mother never allowed us to have outside food, so we craved for them. Until age 17, I did not even taste the "feriwala's tetul o kul er achar".... she would say that they are not cleaned and washed properly, "ora poka kul aar tetul beche felena." She always strived towards perfection and did have the right to say. It was in college that I tasted freedom, earned 1200-1500 rupees per month giving tuitions back in 1988-1992. So, me along with my friends took the liberty of eating out and watching movies often. 1988 did see fourteen of us notorious teens of Scottish Church College occupying a full row at Light House or New Empire watching "Blue Lagoon." The entire time span, I was in tension because my mother used to visit the New Market area often on lazy afternoons. In such a situation, Chandrayee's consolation was "once the movie is over, cover your face with the "dupatta" until you get on to the bus back to the college." I could still get away but Chandrayee would have been buried alive by her mother if caught. Now, the mothers are different na? No no, I mean Kakima, our kind of mothers are obsolete today, "kakima morey bechechey".... I will share her recipe of  "shabur khichuri and chingrir bora" some day. Coming to this mother, she feels helpless when the son watches anything and everything sitting right beside her .... this Netflix needs some censorship. Well, I am good you see.... I still enjoy watching the Brooks around me, I just cannot be one because I too much like such platters like this vegetarian combo meal KOLKATA ROADSIDE STYLE POROTA O ALOO MOTORER TORKARI. Coming to the college, we had five years of total fun and forgot to concentrate on an important aspect of life.... "text books".... regrets in life would have been less. When I was engrossed in Brook's vital statistics, Nishi was seen sitting in the library.... later who did a Phd on something related to the Medieval British poets? I cannot even write a synopsis on Shakespeare. My mantra for those concerned today is .... "time that goes never comes back"..... Okay, on a lighter note, our team leader for the "Blue Lagoon" venture was a thin, short guy... "Pancha".... had he have tried in Tollywood, he could have been the protege of Chinmoy Roy or Robi Ghosh .... no one however can be a Bhanu Babu! So, when I discovered Pancha in Facebook, I was not willing to send him a friend's request.... I do not know this husband or father of someone.... I cannot be friends with any Panchanan Bhandari! Our vast fraternity of college is spread world wide, only  one tenth of my college pals are there in my contact list ....do they still feel what & how I feel?.... that Capri sold the best "Bangla Chinese" food, that Sanatan Da's "roll and pan" is an unavoidable, lifetime nostalgia, that sharing a plate of "medu bora" with your friend in the shop just opposite the 11A bus stand near the college had immense pleasure, that Caledonia, Basanta Cabin has seen the maximum number of promises and that Hedua Swimming Pool stands tall  as a  witness for  the maximum number of broken promises and heart breaks? When I see many a long lost faces all around social media, in friends' or friends of friend's spaces.... I feel like " arey yeh to different story lag rahi hai," I saw something else at the college lawn, canteen.... at Basanta Cabin. I am at the wrong side of "Basanta".... but the eternal bird inside sings spring at all times , which the husband relates to some uncanny, abnormal traces in me. I counter, "how does it affect the world economy or anyone's home?".... I still have a friend in The Labyrinth's protagonist, the writer must have drawn inspiration from an earthly being while sketching the character.... I will not set out to look for him, I will just draw strength from my partner and tell each other  not to be silly because no one bothers.

So, where was I? Okay, however lost I am, I am in total control when I cook. Whatever little I know, I do it pretty well. The picture of this KOLKATA ROADSIDE STYLE POROTA O ALOO MOTORER TORKARI may not support my claim. I accept, I am not good at clicks. After I was done with the photography, I felt that I should have used steel plates, newspapers.... oh no! it was 9pm and I was too tired after a 8.6km of walk in the afternoon, thereafter having some watermelon even at dinner time is not a crime. It was nine at night, the husband was still not at home, how I wished to serve him fresh, warm food. At 10.20pm I enquire and he was still at office. At 11.15pm I had to reheat the food and ate together our dinner. Do you think, oats can get a Brook out of me?.... neither will I have dinner at 7pm leaving them. This morning, I cooled down after having one "bashi porota with cha"....


I will not only suggest but insist that this particular porota / flatbread that has only refined flour and baking soda in it tends to get hard soon.... a combination of refined flour and wheat flour gives you softer porota. Do not the roadside stalls in Bengal / Kolkata do it this way?.... you bet I could get that  taste. Only that their's smell excess of baking soda, if you do at home it may not be so. When I use too much of oil in the dough, my porota shapes do not satisfy me but I have seen them doing it this way. The potato and yellow peas curry at the roadside has less of yellow peas and more of potato. They do not divulge the secrets of their recipes whoever says what, I replicated as much as I saw, the "bhaja mosholar guro".... dry roasted ground spices is my addition. I was totally bowled over by the "kancha aam-kancha lankar chutney" that much even Brook in a swimming costume could not get me.... "main kya khak slim hungi?".... Please excuse my below average Hindi and get me some  genuine inspirations for a healthier, slimmer me....

Similar recipes you may wish to browse in this Blog are  NARKOL DIYE CHOLAR DALLUCHI O CHOLAR DAL



INGREDIENTS : [FOR THE POROTA / FLATBREAD]

REFINED FLOUR : 2-3COFFEE MUG
BAKING SODA : 1/4 TSP
OIL : 3TBSP + 1/2SMALL TEA CUP
WATER : AS REQUIRED FOR A NEITHER TOO SOFT OR TOO HARD DOUGH
SALT : 1/2TSP
SUGAR : 1TSP

INGREDIENTS : [FOR THE BHAJA MOSHOLAR GURO / DRY GROUNDED ROASTED SPICE MIX]

CUMIN SEED : 1TSP
CORIANDER SEED : 1TSP
CINNAMON STICK : 2-3 STICKS TOE FINGER SIZED
CLOVE : 3-4
GREEN CARDAMOM : 3-4
DRY RED CHILLI : 2-3

INGREDIENTS : [FOR THE ALOO MOTORER TORKARI / YELLOW PEAS POTATO CURRY]

POTATO : 1BIG
YELLOW PEA : 1SMALL TEA CUP
CRUSHED GINGER : 1TBSP
CHOPPED GREEN CHILLI : 1/2TSP + 1/2TSP TO GARNISH
CHOPPED ONION : 1TSP TO GARNISH
CUMIN SEED : 1/4TSP
CUMIN POWDER : 1/2TSP
RED CHILLI POWDER : 1/2TSP
TURMERIC POWDER : 1TSP
THE ROASTED & GROUND SPICES : 11/2TSP
SALT : AS REQUIRED
LEMON JUICE : 1TBSP
OIL : 2-3TBSP

PROCEDURE :

Let us prepare the chutney first and let it chill for an hour. 





I had cut 1/4th of a big raw mango, reserved the skin. To it I added 2 green chillies, 1/4tsp salt, 1/2tsp sugar, 2tbsp water. I blended the mixture to a smooth paste and got something with a heavenly taste and flavour.

We need to wash and soak the dried yellow peas / holud motor in hot water for 2-3 hours or in cold water overnight. Thereafter we will pressure cook it at low up to 2 whistles adding more amount of water, a little of salt and half of the turmeric powder.





The Kolkata roadside stalls keep them a little hard, so I followed. Now peel few pieces of ginger, wash and crush. We will also chop the onion and green chillies, wash them.

We will dry roast all the ingredients mentioned under "BHAJA MOSHOLAR GURO" for a minute, let cool and grind them to coarse paste.

Actually, I have seen them crushing the ginger and green chilli together. 

Peel, cube and wash the potatoes. Add little salt & turmeric. Keep aside for not more than 5 minutes.






Heat oil in a wok, temper with the cumin seeds and the crushed ginger. 





Add the potatoes.





Give a stir, cover cook at the minimal heat for 3-4 minutes stirring in between.





Open cover, add the boiled dried yellow peas, cumin + red chilli + little of turmeric powders. 




Cover cook at the lowest heat for 8-10 minutes.



Open cover, add the bhaja mosholar gura, lemon juice, adjust the salt. We should be done.

They do not add so variety of spices, not at least our neighbourhood ones but I did.




For the dough, we will take the refined flour, salt, baking soda & sugar in a wide mouthed bowl. 




We will mix well the ingredients.



We will add water little by little to prepare a smooth dough. When 70% done, we will add 3tbsp oil.




We will knead for another 3-4 minutes, Cristine did it for me.

We will cover it for a pretty 20 minutes. Remove the cover, knead the dough for 2-3 minutes and tear off portions in accordance with the thickness and size your desired porota / flat bread.

We must somoothen them in between our palm.



Heat a pan. Dip each ball in that bowl of oil and roll out roundels. Okay, when ever I use this much oil in the dough, I am unable to roll them round.... dusting with flour works well for me.





Cook them well, toast? before you add 11/2tsp oil for each of the breads. They will be white in colour with light brown patches.




The chilled watermelon and the raw mango-green chilli chutney are such a bliss for a weather like ours.




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