This is a gem from the house of Tagores. Apart from being a writer, Rabindranath Tagore was a foodie too. His love for food resulted in the formation of many innovative recipes in Jorasanko Thakur Bari kitchen. Many Bengali vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes had their […]
Born in Sylhet district of Undivided India, now Bangladesh, and later migrated to India after partition, Baba carries his land in his heart. I have grown up hearing the stories of his land, its culture and food from Baba. He is a great story-teller and […]
Lai Shak aka Mustard Greens are widely used in the cuisines of Northeastern part of India. This is also famous in Bangladesh, specially in Sylhet. My ancestors hailed from that part of the globe an thus, many dishes that we prepare have the influence of Bangladeshi cuisine. As a Sylheti by blood and soul, my heart always longs for authentic Sylheti cuisine, far away from home. Yes, we eat Shutki mach (dry fish), Shidol (fermented fish) and also we eat lot of green leafy vegetables. Among all the other leaves, Mustard Greens are Baba‘s favourite, and mine too. Back home, Maa prepares a lot of interesting dishes with this leaf – from stir fry to bhorta (mash), from fish curry to bhaja (fry). Maa‘s kitchen has an ample of green leafs in stock every time, specially during winters.
In my kitchen, which is far away from my native, I often try to recreate Maa‘s magic. Atleast once or twice a week if I don’t make something typical Sylheti I feel super restless. My shutki-shidol loving soul often cries in solitude as it misses home and the food badly. Yes, I do prepare shutki often, but don’t get shidol here. But yes, whatever I get I make the best use of it. Just like Maa, I too use green leaves in many preparation and today’s dish is one such.
High in fiber and antioxidant, mustard greens help to keep cholesterol under control. These leaves are also storehouses of minerals and vitamins. In short, they are super food with huge health benefits. Fish, on the other hand, is excellent for heart and brain and has huge health benefits too. So, when these two super food mingle together, wonder happens. For these preparation, I used small sized whole Telapia aka Tilapia. If you want you can use any fish and if whole fish is not available, you can use cut pieces too. Here’s the recipe for you all.
- 500 gms lai shak, separated from steam and chopped
- 6 small sized whole telapia
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 green chillies, slitted from middle
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
- 1/2 tea-spoon cumin seeds
- 1.5 tea-spoon turmeric powder (1 + 1/2)
- 1/2 tea-spoon cumin powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon coriander powder
- 4 table-spoon mustard oil (2 + 2)
- 1 cup warm water
- salt, according to taste
- Rub the fish with 1 tea-spoon turmeric powder and salt.
- Heat 2 table-spoon oil in a pan and shallow fry the fish. Remove and keep aside.
- Heat the remaining oil and temper with cumin seeds. Allow them to splutter.
- Add onion, garlic and ginger and sautè until the onion turns light golden brown.
- Now, add tomato, remaining turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt. Sprinkle little water and stir until the tomato becomes mushy.
- Add the chopped lai shak and mix well. Cover the lid and on medium flame cook for around 10 minutes or until the lai shak starts discharging water and 3/4th cooked.
- Open the lid and check. If the water is less, add 1 cup warm water. There should be runny gravy.
- Now, add the fish and give a quick mix. Cover the lid and cook for another 10 minutes on low flame.
- Open the lid and your Lai Shak diye Telapia is ready to be served now.
Have this with steamed rice and squeeze a piece of lemon while eating to enhance the taste. Also, lai shak is hard to digest and thus, adding lemon juice is a kind of must wile eating.
Enjoy this authentic Sylheti style fish curry and 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. Happy eating!
“Bajare kochi patha pawai jay na ajkal” (it’s hard to get tender mutton in the market now-a-days) says Baba. Instantly Maa replies “eto deri kore bajare gele ki kochi patha boshe thakbe tomar jonne” (you will not get tender mutton if you go so late […]
It’s a sweet affair. When heart longs for sweet and it’s winter, nothing can be more satisfying than a bowl full of Patali Gurer Payesh. This is not just a dish, but a long lasting Bengali tradition that every Bengali relish wearing their full sleeve […]
I am obsessed with Pitha-puli and this Poush Parbon I am literally on my toe. Friends are visiting almost everyday and with all new demands. Today morning one of my friends called me and demanded for Patishapta. I usually make normal one, one with all purpose flour, that every Bengali makes during Poush Sankranti. But, today thought of making the same in a different way. Growing up, I saw Maa making Chaler Patishapta which is made with rice paste and grated coconut. I love that variation of Patishapta and thus, though of surprising my friend with this. The Pitha turned out to be super soft and yummy. It feels great when your creation is appreciated by your dear ones. Happy me 🙂
Chaler Patishapta is made by soaking Gobindobhog rice and than making a fine paste of it, stuffed with Patali gur infused grated coconut. This is a very delicate Pitha and need to be handled with great care, else it will break. It is also a little more fluffy and wholesome than the usual Patishapta and creamy from inside. The wrap is thick than the usual one as rice flour paste won’t spread much and thus it takes a little longer time to get cooked from inside out. Here’s is recipe for you all.
For The Wrap:
- 1 cup gobindobhog rice
- 1/2 tea-spoon salt
For The Stuffing:
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 1/2 cup patali gur (date palm jaggery)
- Soak the rice in water for around 1-2 hours.
- Drain the water and make a fine paste of the rice.
- As the paste will be very thick, add some water to make it little diluted. Keep aside.
- Heat a pan and add all the ingredients mentioned in For Stuffing section. On a low flame, stir until the ingredients mix properly and the coconut is little fried.
- The stuffing should be sticky such that if you compress, it should stick together. Once it’s done, add ghee and give a quick mix. Remove it from the flame and keep aside.
- Heat a tawa and coat it’s surface with a little oil.
- Pour a portion of rice paste (4 table-spoon approx) on the tawa and spread it to make a circular shape.
- Once the spread is little dried up, put the stuffing on the spread vertically.
- Roll the spread with the help of a spatula and press mildly and cook for few second.
- Remove it from the tawa and serve hot.
Chaler Patishapta tastes best when you serve it hot. You can also keep it for 1 day. Keep it covered and do not store in refrigerator. This is quite an unusual variety of Pathishapta and I love it.
Don’t forget to drop me a comment telling how you like it. You can also tag me on Instagram by using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks. Happy winter and Happy festivities!!!
Manda Pitha is Odisha’s traditional pitha which is made of rice flour and is steamed with coconut filling. Singh Aunty introduced this pitha to Maa and since it is super easy to prepare, Maa makes it often. Just with some basic ingredients, this is a […]
As I always say, I love fish, just like many other Bengalis. We utilize actually the whole of it – from head to tail and even the eggs and other edible parts. Coming to me, more than fish, I love the fish head. But, it […]
My family, like many other Bengali families, has a real deal with fish – we eat fish almost everyday. And when we eat, we have it for lunch as well as for dinner. When there is an occasion, we eat fish. When we have nothing else to eat, we eat fish. When there is plenty of other things to eat, we still eat fish. My Jethu (dad’s elder brother) used to say “paate mach e jodi na porlo to khawa hoy ki kore” (apparently it means “the meal is not complete without fish”) and believe me, my Jethimoni (Jethu’s wife) used to cook not less than 2-3 varieties of fish each day – that was a custom at their house. I can recollect so many dishes of different fishes cooked by my Jethimoni, but I can hardly recollect any dish of Telapia. This fish was not a good choice for my Jethu’s family.
Coming to my home, Telapia has never been a hit either. Talk to Baba about Telapia and he will say “telapia baje mach, ekdom shaad na” (tilapia has no taste, it’s not a good fish). Back home, my Maa used to cook this fish on rare of the rarest occasion. Maa loves Telapia, and so do I. But, Maa usually cooks the dishes that Baba loves – it’s not forced to her, I guess it’s love 🙂 So, since Baba doesn’t prefer this fish, it has never managed to get a good place at Maa’s kitchen.
But, my kitchen is totally under my control and I cook Telapia with all my love and passion. Last night I ordered Telapia online and today morning when it got delivered, I called Maa and she suggested “begun diye jhal bana” (cook a spicy curry with eggplant) and here I am ready with this utterly delicious dish. Baba, in his usual manner said, “telapia na kine ilish kinle parte” (you could have bought Hilsa instead of Tilapia) 😀
All said all done, the end story is, I bought Telapia and cooked a spicy curry with eggplant and it tasted delicious. So, here’s the step-by-step recipe for you all.
- 6 pieces of Tilapia
- 4-5 filipino eggplant, cut into long pieces (approx 1 inch)
- 1 big sized onion, roughly chopped
- 1 big sized tomato, chopped
- 5 green chillies, (3 roughly cut and 2 slitted from middle)
- 1 tea-spoon ginger paste
- 1 tea-spoon garlic paste
- 1/2 tea-spoon cumin seeds (gota jeera/sabut jeera)
- 1 & 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder (haldi) (1+1/2)
- 1 tea-spoon cumin powder (jeera)
- 1 tea-spoon coriander powder (dhaniya)
- 1/2 tea-spoon red chilli powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1/2 tea-spoon garam masala powder
- 4-5 table-spoon mustard oil (2+2)
- a handful of chopped coriander leaves
- 1/2 tea-spoon sugar
- salt (according to taste)
- 1 & 1/2 cup warm water
- Make a fine paste of chopped onion and 3 green chilles together and keep aside.
- Rub the fish pieces with salt and 1 tea-spoon turmeric powder.
- Heat 2 table-spoon oil in a pan and shallow fry the pieces until they turn light golden in colour. Remove and keep aside.
- Heat oil again and shallow fry the eggplant pieces add little salt and turmeric powder. Remove and keep aside.
- Heat the remaining oil and add cumin seeds. Allow them to splutter.
- Now, add onion paste, ginger paste and garlic paste. Sautè until the oil leaves the mixture.
- Add the slitted green chillies, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and red chilli powder. Sprinkle a little water and stir for 1-2 minutes on low flame.
- Add chopped tomato and stir until it turns mushy.
- Now, add salt and warm water and cover the lid. Bring it to a boil.
- Open the lid and carefully add fish and eggplant pieces. Give a quick mix and cover the lid. Cook on medium to low flame for 10 minutes or until the fish is properly cooked and the gravy is thick.
- Once you get the desired consistency, turn off the flame and add sugar and chopped coriander leaves. Cover the lid again.
- Let it set for 10 minutes. Your Begun diye Telapia Jhal is ready to be served now.
Please note, Tilapia is a delicate fish and need to be fried and cooked carefully else the pieces can break.
Serve this dish with hot steamed rice and enjoy a delicious Bengali meal with your love ones. Happy eating!