Thursday, December 23, 2010

At home with Moni

So here I am back in Kolkata again. This is my fifth trip here in less than two years and I am beginning to enjoy being here so often. Now most people look forward to going home to their mother's house, especially for all the good food that their mum will cook. Unfortunately my mother hates cooking... and the irony is that she's a great cook. Anyway, since I have just arrived she has enthusiastically shopped and is all set to cook a whole lot of goodies.

My visit here has begun with her signature manghshor jhol. Every Bengali Mom has her own version that her children weep with joy over..and Moni (that's what we call my mum, short for Manisha) made this Bong classic for me. The epitome of comfort food and mother's love all rolled into one, manghshor jhol is one of my all time favourite dishes. And it was simply superb! Mama was sent to the particular mutton shop in Jagu bajar to buy the mutton, mashi brought it over to our house in Dhakuria and Moni marinated it the day before I was to arrive. She cooked it in the morning and I feasted on it at night.

This morning I asked Moni to cook some veggies in the typical Bengali style. So she made Shaak Ghonto. This is essentially palak or spinach cooked with a medley of vegetables. Brinjal, radish, potato and raw banana or plantain along with the spinach were cooked with ginger and 'mouri' or saunf paste. As with most Bengali dishes, a dash of sugar makes an appearance and this dish is finished with milk. Bori or daal vadi is fried and then crushed and sprinkled on top of the finished preparation. The resulting ghanto was simply superb!

I find cooking vegetables extremely tedious, especially with all the precise cutting and chopping involved. But Moni cut everything meticulously into tiny squares and patiently cooked this beautiful medley of vegetables. She might say she doesn't like to cook but I think I disagree :)

Well, I'm here for two weeks and I have lots to look forward to, that's for sure!

4 comments:

The knife said...

wow your mangsho came from Jogu Bajar to Dhakuria...the jhol must have been heavy...or rather hebbe :)

Megha said...

even the vegetarian bengali dishes sounds so yummy....
Enjoy your stay and Merry Christmas!

Rhea Mitra Dalal said...

@ The Knife..my Mum's family is obsessed with good mutton and where to buy it! If she is short of time and has to buy mutton locally, mum always cribs about the quality. And yes..it was hebbe..full of fat and yummy as ever!

Atanu Dey said...

The vegetable dish sounds more like Chorchori than Ghonto!! But then, as the bard had said, what is in a name :) As long as it reaches the tummy, delighting the taste buds in the process - all izzz well.