(Lima) Beans and Delhi Cha(a)t

Sunday, December 25, 2005


Wishing Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all our wonderful readers!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Meme from the Two Worlds

So we got tagged. The You are What you Eat meme has been doing the rounds of the food blogsphere for a while now, and came to us by way of the funny Doc of Gluttony is No Sin (sheesh, can you believe a doc advocating that!!!) and the lovely Lulu of Lulu Loves Manhattan (soon to be London). When both of them tagged Sury, she decided since this is a joint blog, it was only natural that the meme should be a joint exercise as well. So Cesar and Sury got down jogging their food memory cells. Here are the delish results:

Cesar’s Top 10 Favourite Foods:

1. xBerry cheesecake (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry): Nothing like a nice big slice of fresh berry cheesecake. Any berry will do form me. I learnt to appreciate this dessert in my adulthood. Funny, when I was a kid I always wondered what “cheesecake” was all about. I tried it finally and now I can’t have enough.

2. Shrimp Spaghetti!!!!!
Ran into this one in a little seafood restaurant I usually attend with my family. Being a pasta lover my aunt recommended I try one of the spaghetti dishes. Reluctantly I did and now it’s the only thing I eat when I go there. Delicious spaghetti with a generous amount of warm thick shrimp sauce. Mouthwatering even as I type.

3. Pizza (with pineapple or with meat): Yep, fast food junkie here. Well not that much these days but a nice Hawaian Pizza is always well received. We usually go to Pizza Hut on Saturdays after grocery shopping and enjoy one of these. Been a while for me. Can’t wait to have one.

4. Wantan: A crispy delight from our Chifa cuisine. Chifa is the offspring of Chinese food blending with Criollan food here in Lima, Peru. Wantan is a square of pasta dough with pork in the center, folded like a handkerchief and deep fried. With sweet sauce or in Kam Lu Wantan, it’s a vice.

5. Chaufa Rice: Another dish from the Chifa cuisine. You can’t have chifa without at least a little bowl of Chaufa Rice.

6. Trout: This is one of my favorite homemade dishes. Grilled trouts with a parsley and garlic sauce. Perfect for a quiet Sunday afternoon at home.

7. Chicha: Yep. I live in Lima and here nothing is more refreshing than a large glass of cold Chicha. And if there’s some mazamorra beside it, even better.

8. Panetón: Xmas times is here and traditions here are as strong as in the rest of the world. We don’t usually have dinner here at midnight as most families do, since we are just two. However we do get together for some hot chocolate, some cookies and cake and of course, a few slices of our delicious Paneton (Italian fruitcake) with a generous spread of butter.

9. Anticuchos:
You can place your bets and see how many of these you can have on one go. I’ve lost count. Delicious blocks of beef heart on a stick, with spicy sauce. Typical Peruvian food at it’s best. Come to Barranco in the city of Lima and taste some of the best.

10. Tequeños:
Appetizer anyone? Grab the guacamole and dive into these delicious cheese-filled sticks made with the same dough used to make wantan. Excellent while waiting for the main course.

Sury’s Top 10 Favourite Foods:

1. Fish: Regular readers of this blog would know my fish fetish. As a Bengali I have done my community proud at least in this respect—relishing my fish. I love fish in any form, fried, in curry or steamed. Oh, and I prefer freshwater fish to sea fish, probably because I grew up eating the former more. Of all the varieties Bengalis eat, I love Hilsa the most. Easily the king of the fish community, Hilsa when steamed in mustard sauce is a delight I couldn’t ever resist.

2. Biryani & Kabab: A non-vegetarian Indian has to have this on her list, no? The enticing aroma of Biryani and the heavenly taste of the best of kababs like Galawati, which melt in your mouth—this is my idea of a grand lunch or dinner. For me, the Biryani should be just as the masters devised it—fragrant fine rice with tender chunks of meat served steaming hot into your plate. Simply majestic.

3. Chaat: You can probably gauge my love of chaat from the title of this blog, eh? Yes, I make no bones about the fact that I devour chaat. Golgappa is my favourite, followed by sev puri and aloo chaat. Delhi has some delectable chaat-serving places, and if I only had to love the city for this one reason, I would. Incidentally, I also like the Bengali version of golgappa called “phuchka”—it’s a different take on the snack alright, but tickles the taste buds just as good.

4. Chettinad chicken with appam:
I got introduced to this wonderful combination when a friend I was visiting in Mumbai took me to a South Indian restaurant there. Till then, I had no idea that there were any meat preparations from down south (yes, you can beat my ignorant self for that), since we always had idly, dosas and utthapams in South Indian restaurants. So I can’t thank my Mumbai friend enough for introducing me to this awesome chicken dish…and to appam. This has to rank as one of my all-time favourite foods.

5. Luchi with anything:
I sinfully love luchi. This is a fried soft flour pancake; much like puris, except only white flour or maida (and no atta) is used for this. It’s a delicacy in Bengal, a must-to-serve item during special occasions and when guests are over. I can have luchi with just about anything—mutton curry, alur-dom (potato curried gravy), or even begun bhaja (fried eggplants). If you ever invite me for luchi, please forget to keep a count on how many you serve me. Because I invariably lose count while eating these. :P

6. Momo: I remember we were in college when a couple of our batch mates asked us to try these at one of the momo joints nearby. A group of us went to test out this strange-sounding food item and came back disappointed. Yes, we tried both the steamed and fried versions of momos (flour dumplings filled with minced chicken/mutton/pork) and didn’t like the taste of either. In fact, we bought some fresh cucumber for changing the bad taste. How and when this momo aversion got reversed, I don’t remember, but now it is something, I can never grow tired of. Hot steamed chicken or pork momos are my favourite, served with hot red chili sauce and steaming soup. Ahh, perfect for a winter day!

7. Eggs: In any form, except raw perhaps. This was my favourite food in my childhood days. I had a friend in school who got a boiled egg as part of her lunch every day and it was an unsaid pact between us that we would exchange our tiffin boxes during lunchtime. She was a generous soul that thought nothing of parting with her egg daily in lieu of my non-eggy (and thus boring for me) lunch. Hard boiled or soft, poached or omeletted, in curry or in egg rolls, this supremely versatile and lip-smacking food item ranks very highly in my scheme of things.

8. Orange: A small childhood episode made orange my favourite fruit forever. I was having a delicious apple offered by an aunt who came visiting us. A toddler then, I was enjoying every bit of my apple while prancing around the front porch, when my brother, a couple of years older to me, came by. Seeing me enjoy so merrily, he wanted an apple too, but sadly, aunt had given the last one she had to me. So just to pacify my on-the-brink-of-crying brother, my aunt gave him an orange. And would you believe, as he peeled that off to get the luscious fruit out, the smell captivated me for a lifetime. Every winter, I eagerly wait for this wonderful citrus to come to the markets and its refreshing scent and delightful taste always keep me craving for more.

9. Gulab jamoon/jalebi:
Incorrigibly sinful. That’s what I become when faced with the prospect of eating these two Indian sweets. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but hot gulab jamoons and jalebis served with thick, creamy rabri—these are surely not meant to be resisted or refrained from. Nah, not at all. And so I won’t, no matter what the weighing machine tells me!

10. Cheesecake: So yes, there’s something common in Sury and Cesar’s favourite food list. The first time I tasted cheesecake was when brother brought home a slice for me some years back. “But where is the cake in this?” I wondered as I dug into the creamy enigma. I have since graduated in my appreciation of cheesecakes and settled on blueberry as my favourite. Every bite a mesmerizing delight—to be savoured slowly and softly…I haven’t tasted raspberry yet, so that’s something Cesar can always treat me to. Hint, hint!

That then is our You are What you Eat meme. You now know what to organize for when inviting us, don’t you? Lol. Well, it was a whole lot of fun for us putting together this meme. Hope you liked it too :) Now, we have to tag five more foodie bloggers, so here we go: Jeanne of World on a Plate (our first food blogger friend), Marc of Mental Masala, Parna of Foodie’s Bar, Farid of Algerian Cuisine, and Prabir Ghose of Indian Sweets. Tell us about your favourite foods you all, we want to dig right in!

Cesar & Sury

Monday, December 19, 2005

Tuna Pasta

Hi again! Following with Pasta Month here is a very simple one that can get you out of a fix. For this dish you will need a special type of pasta called "bowties". The reason for this is... well they are shaped like so.

So this being a quick ad easy dish, let's not wait any more and get right to it ;)


1/2 kg bowtie pasta (small bowties)
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
salt & pepper
1 tomato (peeled and chopped)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can of tuna
1 cup of evaporated milk
3/4 cup parmesan cheese


- Take a pan and melt butter, then fry the onion with oregano, tomato paste, tomato, salt and pepper.

- Add the tuna (be sure to shred it with a fork after taking it out of the can so it's not in chunks) and milk. Mix with the pasta and serve with plenty parmesan.

Told ya it was easy! Dig in and pass it on!!


Friday, December 16, 2005

Explosions in the Kitchen and the Explosive Green Noodle

I am so glad I started this blog. It was a spur-of-the-moment, whimsical idea that occurred one morning as Cesar (it was nighttime for him) and I were having our umpteenth chat on food. The idea was just to keep a record of the food-talk we shared; hence, the blog.

Little did I know that within six months of its creation, I would take a 180 degree turn from being kitchen shy to being obsessed about cooking and discovering hidden joys in it. For this, I must thank the vast community of food bloggers from across the globe who, with their words, images, and passion, have introduced me to the euphoria and epiphanies of culinary adventures.

So I saw it as a sweet coincidence that soon after I started frequenting the kitchen to cook up the new recipes I learned from the various wonderful blogs I read everyday, a new toy entered our kitchen premises.

A simple mixer-grinder; no big deal. But I was thrilled to the bits nevertheless. This is the first time this immensely talented gadget has entered our house, since all these years, my mother staunchly opposed buying it, vouching for her time-tested grinding stone. My mother has an exceptional ability to prevent her life from getting easier, or she is phobic to gadgets—either way, for years, my and my brother’s requests to let us buy a mixer-grinder were vetoed. And we meekly obeyed…Until this November, when my brother decided to defy Ma’s marching orders anyway and came home with this brand new toy for me.

I had been looking to put the machine to good use, and along came a recipe that asked me to do exactly that! Cesar’s (find adjective/s later) Pesto Pasta recipe! I like spinach a lot, so I could sense I was going to like the dish. Cooking spaghetti was completely new to me though, and I did take step-by-step instructions from my patient Peruvian friend for the same.

Okay, so for my Pesto, I changed a few things. First, instead of pecans, which I didn’t have, I used cashew nuts. Second, I went a little easy (only a little) on the cheese, and finally, I used ordinary (liquid) milk instead of evaporated milk. As I put the milk and nuts into the blender and turned on the switch, I was aghast. The thundering uproar created by the machine was no less than explosions in my kitchen. A novice who was using this gadget for the first time, the booming sound made me wonder if the lid wouldn’t actually pop off the blender and fly across like a disc…My imagination was stopped in the tracks for good when I turned it off to look for the result. Wow. A thick green, fresh sauce with a warm, cheese smell. Next, I cooked the spaghetti to perfection (must be sheer chance).

As I grabbed my plate of pesto spaghetti (named “Green Noodle” by the 10-year old nephew of my friend who, too made it a few days after me) and tasted the first forkful, I was delighted. It was a wonderful salty, cheese-ey, spinach taste that gave a whole new dimension to the pasta. My friend found it delicious too.

Not only that, I went on to make a salad using the sauce as a dressing. For this, I just stir fried some carrots, cauliflower, spring onions and garlic with a little salt and pepper and poured the green sauce over it. Tasted great (never mind the fuzzy picture).

I had a great time with Pesto and I definitely recommend it to all pasta lovers. To Cesar, I have just one question: Isn’t my green greener than yours? :P


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Small Note of Apology

A couple of days back, I had deactivated the Comment Moderation option and turned on the Word Verification feature on this blog. The idea is not to block comments, only to prevent unnecessary spam. However, just now I discovered that the new settings wasn't allowing comments to show at all! I tried posting a comment, but it didn't show up. That's when I turned off the Word Verification feature and posted my comment again. This time, it did show up. Could it be that the Blogger settings are not fully compatible with this template? I have no idea.

My apologies to anyone who tried posting comments to the blog in the past few days. It seems all is fine now, so do feel free to shower us with your bouquets or brickbats. We love to hear from you :)


PS: In case you still face a problem, please drop us an email and we'll try to fix the problem asap.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Little Fishful Indulgence

Here in New Delhi, we don’t get to see all the four seasons as clearly as perhaps in some other parts of the world. However, two seasons are most pronounced here, and are felt to the extreme: summer and winter. Although I was born in the middle of scorching Delhi summer, I dread the heat around that time. A winter in Delhi however, is a different story. I enjoy this season a lot. For all the chill and biting cold wave it brings, it also offers a lot of sunshine, opportunities for spending time outdoors (you can’t even imagine doing that in the volcanic Delhi summer), and…and…ha, you guessed it—loads of good food.

So when I saw the theme for the From My Rasoi event hosted by Meena of Hooked on Heat was Winter, I knew I had chanced upon a very valid reason to become a sinful foodie. Thanks, Meena!

What I came up with for the event is made of something I religiously love eating—fish. This incredibly tasty snack is called Fish Chop and is something of a specialty in Calcutta (now Kolkata). Chop is basically an oval-shaped deep fried snack, the outer layer of which has potato, and the inner layer or stuffing can have anything—fish, meat, or vegetables. The one we make today has a fish filling sure to get the taste buds of all fish lovers tickling. So without further ado, let’s get cooking!

Fish Chop:


The Outer Layer (Cover):

Potatoes: 4-6 medium (boiled)
Bread: 4-5 slices
Salt: To taste
Pepper: To taste
Eggs: 3-4 (beaten)
Bread Crumbs

The Inner Layer (Filling):

Fish: 500 gms (Sea fish, with only a spine works the best. Try Bhetki or Pomfret)
Onion: 2 medium
Garlic: 8-10 cloves
Ginger: Small block
Green chilli: 4-5
(Grind the above four ingredients into a paste)
Tomato Puree: 1 Tablespoon
Garam Masala Powder: 1 teaspoon


1. Mash the boiled potatoes. Dip the bread slices in milk and mix with the mashed potatoes. Add salt and pepper and knead into a dough. Keep aside.
2. Boil the de-scaled fish. De-skin and remove the bones. Mash it nicely.
3. Heat oil in a skillet. Put the ginger-garlic-onion-chili paste and fry until it turns colour a bit. Add some salt, tomato puree, garam masala powder and mix well. Fry for a few more minutes.
4. Now add the mashed fish into this spice mix and cook nicely, stirring until the oil starts separating. Keep stirring to prevent the fish from sticking to the bottom of the skillet.
5. When the fish mixture turns dry, turn off the heat. Your filling is ready.
6. Take a small ball-sized portion of the potato dough in your palms, press and make a cavity.
7. Fill in the cavity with the fish filling and close the ends of the dough.
8. Give it an oval shape using your hands.
9. Dip the chop into the beaten eggs and roll it over the bread crumbs.
10. Deep fry the chop.
11. Garnish with tomato and onion rings.
12. Serve hot!

Mmmm…simply impossible to resist. Just typing out the recipe makes me crave a couple of chops. Lol, I did say it had some sinful connotations to it. But then that’s what winter is all about—living it up with sinfully tasteful food!

This then is my contribution to From My Rasoi this month. Freshly fried fish chops with a cup of adrak chai (ginger tea).

Can you possibly resist that? :P


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Carbonara Spaghetti

All right, pasta lovers!

Since I received kudos on my previous post I decided to make December pasta month and thus will bring a different recipe every week. I hope you enjoyed pesto sauce, one of my personal favorites. This time I bring one even easier to make, a treat for those who want a little meat on their plate.

The star of today's show is bacon. Yup, those crispy strips we love to have on Sunday morning. The secret of this sauce is that you don't need oil. The sauce uses the natural grease which the bacon releases when heated up.

So without further delay... grab your cook hat and "I'm Tryin'" apron and let's get busy...

Spaghetti with Carbonara Sauce


1/2 kg. Spaghetti
150 gr Bacon strips (raw)
3 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup chopped onion (chopped really tiny)
1/2 white wine
2/3 cup cream (we call it milk cream or sour cream)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 eggs
1 dash nutmeg


Put the bacon in a cold skillet, along with garlic (the cloves should be whole, not chopped) and onion. Remember you won't need oil. Heat up until it turns brownish then remove the cloves with a fork.

Separately, mix in a bowl eggs, milk cream and pepper. Pour this mix in the skillet and add the wine. Stir a bit till it turns creamy.

The tricky part is to calculate your time so that both your spaghetti and the sauce are ready approximately at the same time. The next step is simply to join the spaghetti and the sauce, use two forks to mix them well. And that's it!! Add nutmeg and serve with lots of parmesan cheese.

A brief word on spaghetti:

Some of our foreign friends have asked me about preparing the spaghetti itself. The process is very simple. Boil 4-6 cups of water (with about a teaspoon of salt). Once the water is boiling put the spaghetti in the pot. DO NOT BREAK THEM. As they heat up they will bend. Help them with a kitchen fork by stirring slowly. Make sure your water is boiling all the time. Sometimes when you add the spaghetti, the water stops bubbling. Raise the temperature a bit, and then lower it once you get it boiling again. You should cook the spaghetti at medium temperature average. Depending on how cooked yo want your spaghetti, this takes place in 9-11 minutes. Most people prefer "al dente". Thsi means, that point where the pasta is not raw anymore but still has a nice hard contexture. Once the time is passed, rinse to get rid of the water. Voilá!

And a tip. If some spaghetti is leftover (better if it hasn't been mixed with sauce) you can later boil some water and drop in this prepared pasta for 5 minutes. It will taste as freshly made.

Enjoy and tell us about it :)


Thursday, December 08, 2005

View from Kitchen

Our kitchen overlooks our humble backyard, which we carelessly tend to. I love working on the counter, looking out to the basil, curry leaves plant and other assortment of green friends basking in the morning glow of the sun.


Monday, December 05, 2005

Pesto Time

Ok, pasta lovers, this one is for you. Lately we've been talking about herbs in the blog so how about we continue doing so. For those who already know what pesto is, you know which one I will mention. For those who don't... well... I'm talking about basil. Taht's right. Behind every pesto sauce is basil (in some regions this is called albahaca or St. Joseph's wart) as well as it's close relative, spinach. What is pesto? Well it's a green sauce for spaghetti. If you are tired of your pomarolla (tomato-based) sauce give this a try, I guarantee you will enjoy the new flavor.


1/2 kg. Spaghetti
3 tablespoons oil
1 chopped white onion
salt & pepper
1/2 tbsp. garlic
1/4 kg. spinach ()
100 gr. fresh cheese (white cheese)
1 small tie of basil
10 brazilian nuts (we also use pecans)
1/2 cup of evaporated milk (the one you need to add water to)


First of all, boil some water and then put both the basil and spinach into this water. Leave there for less than a minute and take them out. This is called "bleaching". (they will not actually turn white but that is the name) ;)

In a pan put the oil, onion and garlic. Fry till they turn brownish.

In a blender (if you have the small plastic container for the blender do it there instead of in the the large glass container) put the milk and nuts and blend. Then add the cheese, the spinach, basil, the mix of garlic and onion, salt and pepper. Blend again. The result will be a thick green mix. Pour this mix on your spaghetti and make sure you add lots of parmesan.

That's it! Easy and delicious. Try it and let us know :) Enjoy!


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Weekend Herb Blogging: GINGER

This post is of special significance. It’s our first participation in a blog event. Kalyn, of Kalyn’s Kitchen holds this wonderful weekly event called Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB) in which bloggers from all over the world write about herbs and post recipes using those herbs. Isn’t that a cool idea?

This week, I have come with the powerful and flavourful root—ginger. I belong to the state of Bengal in eastern India and in our cuisine, ginger has a very important place. In fact, most of the diverse Indian cuisines use the ginger root. Kashmiri cuisine uses dry ginger and its powder extensively in its array of mouth-watering dishes. Going by the range of benefits ginger packs within itself, I am not complaining.

According to an ancient Indian saying, all good things are found in ginger. Quite a bit of truth in that. During winters, ginger works as a magic herb to fight nasty cold attacks across many Indian homes. Grated ginger with honey and freshly-crushed black pepper, ginger and basil juice, and my favourite milk-sugar tea (or chai as we call it) with a dash of ginger in it—all these are part of the cold-busting arsenal in Indian households.

Ginger is also effective against digestive disorders, respiratory disorders, aches and pains, skin disorders, and motion sickness. Read more on this wonder root here.

For this week’s WHB, I am presenting a simple yet great tasting ginger pickle. Pretty easy to make once you’ve julienned it fine.

Ginger Pickle in Lime Juice:


Ginger – 300 gms
Lime - 300 gms
Salt – 50 gms (the salt is both for taste as well as for preserving the pickle).


1. Julinne the ginger real fine and put in a bowl.
2. Add the juice of the limes to the ginger.
3. Add salt.

Voila! Your pickle is ready. Store in a jar and keep in sunlight for a few days for the ginger to nicely soak in the lime juice.

This pickle is very popular at our home and goes well with any and every kind of meal. The lime juice lends it a refreshing touch and also tempers the strong flavour of ginger.

This has to be one of those (rare) healthy pickles. So do try it out if you can. You won’t regret :)


Friday, December 02, 2005

Peruvian Rice and chicken

Seeing that my dear friend Sury is putting me to shame ;) I decided to come back with a few easy Peruvian recipes. One of these is a very simple yet very tasty dish called "Arroz con pollo", basically rice with chicken. I previously wrote about Chaufa rice. Peru, Lima specially, is a place where people eat rice on a daily basis, mostly plain (white) but also in rice-based dishes.

So how about we go to it?

Rice with chicken

8 chicken pieces
1/2 cup oil
1 med-sized onion chopped
3 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 cup green ají (blended / liquified)
1 cup chopped culantro
2 red bell peppers (one chopped, the other one in long thn rows for decoration)
3 cups rice
1 cup peas
1/2 cup of corn "teeth" (the edible part of the corn) - (our corn is white and it's called choclo)
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup beer
salt & pepper

A brief word on "ají"

Most Peruvians love their food to be hot. In many countries this effect is achieved with chili peppers. Although this vegetable is available to us (not in abundance but you can find if you look for it) Peruvian cuisine has a key ingredient. This ingredient is a special kind of pepper called "ají". Although there are different forms of ají, the most used are Ají Verde (green aji) and Aji Panca (red ají). Green aji (which ironically is not green but orange) can be found fresh while red ají is usually found dried or in powder. Here are a couple pics for you to recognize it:

A brief word on culantro:

The key to the flavor of this dish is a herb called "culantro". It is very similar to parsley but with a very strong odor and smaller leaves:

Culantro is not only what brings most of the flavor, but your dish will take this nice green color. Other names for this herb are cilantro or coriander.

A brief word on choclo:

Here in Peru we eat a variety of corn which is white instead of yellow. It's name is "choclo":


- Fry the chicken pieces with salta and pepper in hot oil. Once fried, leave them aside.

- In the same oil fry the garlic, onion, aji and culantro until they take on a brown color.

- Put the chicken pieces back in the mix, stir, add beer and continue to cook until the chicken is done.

- Remove the chicken pieces but don't let them cool down.

- Add rice, peas, choclo and pepper (the chopped one)

- Add the water, taste for flavor and cook for 20 minutes until the rice is done.

- Serve the rice with hot chicken and decorate with the long pepper rows.

Hope you can try it. Let us know if you did ;)


Mocha of the flowery (not caffeine) kind

Exotic you say? Nay. Approach any Bengali on the subject and they will tell you banana flower curry or mochar ghonto is a traditional feature of their platter. It’s interesting to note that Bengalis cook and consume all parts of the banana plant. The fruit itself of course, in both ripe and unripe forms; the flower, known as (by now you must have figured) mocha in Bengali; and the white stem, which Bengalis call thor. So what about the leaf, you want to know. Well, it has a special place too—as a serving plate, and as a wrapping in which some ethnic Bengali dishes such as fish paturi are cooked. While looking for more resources on this flower/vegetable on the Internet, I learned it is eaten as a vegetable in many Asian countries.

This is what it looks like when you remove the petals. See the florets tucked on to the body of the flower? Those are the stars of our featured dish.

And here’s how the florets look when you separate/pluck them from the body of the flower.

So there. A mocha lover to the core, I can vouch for the deliciousness of this dish. However, preparing it requires some devotion and patience. You have to clean each floret (and there are hundreds in a single flower, trust me), by picking out a soft stem and a little transparent film-like cover from them. The finished product makes up for all the hard work though.

Mochar Ghonto/Banana Flower Curry:


Mocha/Banana flower – 1
Potato – 1 big, peeled and cubed
Black chick peas – ½ cup
Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
Cumin + Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
Coconut grated – 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
Ginger paste – 1 teaspoon
Bay leaves – 2
Garam Masala (Grind green cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon into a thick paste by adding a little water)
Ghee – 1 teaspoon
Salt – To taste
Sugar – To taste
Mustard oil for cooking


1. Clean the mocha florets and soak them in salt water overnight. This is a very important step since these florets have this sticky matter, which gives a bitter taste if the salt-water soaking part is skipped. So this step is a MUST.
2. Soak the black chick peas overnight and boil them the next day.
3. Wash the soaked florets nicely and chop them fine. Then boil them and strain in a separate vessel.
4. Heat oil in a skillet and fry the cubed potato pieces. When they turn a little brown, remove from oil.
5. In the same oil put cumin seeds and bay leaves.
6. When the cumin seeds begin to splutter, add cumin-coriander powder, turmeric powder, ginger paste, salt and sugar. Fry a bit and add a little water. Lower the heat.
7. When the oil starts separating from the spices, add the boiled mocha florets, boiled chickpeas and the half-fried potato cubes. Add some more salt, if required.
8. Cover the skillet and let the curry cook on low heat for about 5-7 minutes.
9. Remove cover and stir the mix. When the potato is cooked and moisture has left the mocha florets, add ghee and the garam masala paste.
10. Remove from fire, garnish with grated/shredded coconut and green chillies.
11. Serve hot with rice/chapatti/parantha.

Hope you enjoy :)