Recipes of popular Bengali dishes fresh from the kitchen

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Main Ingredients:
1 cup gobindobhog rice; 1 cup moong daal/yellow lentils (preferably sona moong); 6-7 cauliflower florets; 1 cup green peas; 2 big-sized potatoes peeled and cut into half each piece (total 4 pieces); 1 inch ginger cube; 4 green chilies (make a slit on each); 1 tsp ghee (clarified butter).


Spices:
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 11/2  tsp whole cumin (1 tsp for making paste and ½  tsp for tempering oil)
  • 11/2  tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp bengali garam masala powder (cinnamon, cardamom and clove)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste.

Steps:
  1. Make a paste of ginger, whole cumin (1 tsp) and 2 green chilies by using either pestle and mortar/shil nora or grinder. Set aside. [Note: you can use cumin powder, ginger paste and green chili individually instead of this paste. But this paste adds a unique flavor].
  2. Marinate the potato and the cauliflower pieces with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp turmeric powder. Keep aside.
  3. Dry roast the moong daal/yellow lentils for 3-4 minutes on medium heat before washing it.
  4. Take the daal/lentils out of the pan and wash it thoroughly. Wash the rice too and keep aside.
  5. Boil the daal/lentils along with the whole garam masala (cinnamon stick, cardamom and clove), some salt and ½ tsp turmeric powder. Cook it on medium heat until it is fully done. [Note: don't cover it]
  6. Heat some oil in another pan. Fry the potato and the cauliflower pieces till they change to golden brown. Keep aside.
  7. Temper the same oil (add more if needed) with bay leaves and whole cumin ( ½  tsp). When the cumin seeds start to splutter, add the ginger-cumin paste and fry for a minute. [Note: if you haven't made the ginger-cumin paste, then use the ginger paste only for this step].
  8. Add the rice and fry for 3-4 minutes. 
  9. Add ½ tsp turmeric powder, salt and sugar. Fry for 2 minutes. [Note: if you used only ginger paste in the second last step, then it's time for adding the cumin powder].
  10. By this time, the daal/lentils should be cooked. Now add the rice to it.
  11. Add the potato, cauliflower, green chilies and green peas. Put a lid on it and allow it to cook on medium flame until the rice and the vegetables are done. [Note: open the lid every after 5 minutes, check the vegetable and stir it].
  12. Open the lid, adjust the taste of salt and sugar.
  13. Adjust the thickness according to your desire. [Note: add some water if it sticks at the bottom of the pan]
  14. Add ghee (clarified butter) and sprinkle the bengali garam masala powder (cinnamon, cardamom and clove powder). Give it the final stir.
  15. Turn off the heat and serve hot with fried brinjal/aubergine/eggplant.

Tips:
  1. If you are not in a hurry, then wash the moong daal/yellow lentil first and spread it on a plate. Leave it open for some time in air to dry. Now roast the daal/lentils and don't wash it further.
  2. Always add water in 1:2 (daal/rice:water) proportion.
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