This is another delicacy of Jorashako Thakur Bari, the house of Rabindranath Tagore. Also, this is the second recipe of my newly introduced Thakurbarir Ranna series. I proudly and happily can say that I have done a proper justice to this dish and also, given a few twists of my own to this very innovative dish.
Shukto or Shuktani, having its origin in Portuguese cuisine, is a traditional Bengali dish and a star of every Bengali vegetarian kitchen. Shukto can be termed as a very interesting vegetable medley cooked in the paste of mustard and poppy seeds. Both of these seeds are integral parts of Bengali cuisine, and so is Shukto. It is also considered as a sattvic aahar as it contains no onion or garlic.
Our very humble and pure vegetarian Shukto got this non vegetarian twist in the kitchen of Tagores. The medley can be created with any vegetable of your choice. While bitter gourd is almost a must for the vegetarian version, this is not the same with the non vegetarian version. Also, the original recipe has only two vegetables, but, I have added my very favourite potato. Instead of grated ginger, I have used finely chopped ginger and believe me, it turned out to be delicious.
The fun of experimenting with food has its own charm and it’s addictive. Though sometimes this fun costs you and I too have the experience of few kitchen disasters while doing the experiments. But, the obsession of creating something new always drives me crazy and also helps me keep going with my experiments. This recipe is one such. I was very unsure about the result as this is not something I grew up eating. But, after cooking it in my own way and having it I can say that this is a worth trying recipe. Here’s it for you all.
- 4 big slice fish (I used Rohu)
- 3 long brinjal, chopped to 1 inch pieces
- 2 medium sized ridge gourd, chopped to 1 inch pieces
- 2 potato, vertically diced
- 3 table-spoon mustard seeds
- 1 table-spoon poppy seeds
- 1/2 table-spoon panch phoron
- 6 green chillies, slitted from middle
- 2 dried red chillies
- 1 table-spoon chopped ginger
- 2 tea-spoon turmeric powder (1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2)
- 1/2 tea-spoon cumin powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon coriander powder
- 2 table-spoon + as required mustard oil to fry the vegetables & fish
- 1 tea-spoon sugar
- salt, according to taste
- Heat a pan and dry roast mustard seeds, poppy seeds and panch phoron together. Let them cool down and then grind to powder. Add water to the powder mixture and keep aside.
- Rub fish with 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder and salt. Shallow fry in required quantity of oil.
- Now, break the fish pieces and take out the bones carefully. There should not be any bones left. Mash the fish little bit and keep aside.
- Heat required oil again and shallow fry brinjal and ridge gourd together by adding 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder and little salt until the vegetables turn soft. Remove and keep aside.
- Heat oil again and shallow fry potato by adding 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder and little salt. Fry until potato turns golden yellow. Remove and keep aside.
- Now, heat 2 table-spoon oil and temper with dried red chillies and ginger. Allow them to splutter.
- Add cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Sprinkle some water and stir on low flame for 2 minutes.
- Now, add fish and again stir for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the mustard-poppy-panch phoron powder soaked in water to the fish and mix properly. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes on low flame.
- Add the vegetables and green chillies. Give a quick mix.
- Now, add warm water and cover the lid. On a low to medium flame, cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are done properly.
- Check on the consistency. It should be on thicker side. If water remains then cook for some more time after opening the lid. Once it becomes thick, it’s done.
- At last, add sugar and give the whole thing a proper mix. Turn off the flame.
- Your Macher Shukto is ready to be served now.
Serve this hot with gorom bhat (rice) and enjoy this authentic Thakurbarir dish.
Do drop me a comment giving your feedback about this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.