Recipes of popular Bengali dishes fresh from the kitchen

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Main ingredients:
1 whole mocha/ banana blossom (700 gm); 1 big-sized potato cut into eight pieces; 1 cup of grated coconut (preferably fresh); 2 green chilies; 1½ tsp ginger paste; 1 tsp ghee (clarified butter).

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp bengali garam masala powder (cinnamon, cardamom and clove)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste.

Steps : Cleaning The Mocha/ banana flower

  1. Massage your palm with a few drops of edible oil to avoid stickiness.
  2. Take the banana flower, peel each petal and remove the flower clusters lying under it. Collect them in a bowl.
  3. Repeat this process until you reach the inner most part of the blossom where you won't be able to separate the bracts anymore and the flower clusters are very thin as well.
  4. Before cleaning the flower clusters, chop the rest of the blossom finely and soak it in water.
  5. Now pluck the pistil (longest stick in each floret with a small head) and the calyx (translucent outer most cover) from each floret and discard them.
  6. Now take the cleaned florets in batches and chop them finely.
  7. Soak the florets in water immediately after chopping to avoid discoloring.
  8. Allow it to soak in water for at least 1 hour.
  9. After an hour, drain the water and rinse the chopped florets in fresh water. Keep aside.
Making The Curry:
  1. Pressure cook the chopped florets with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp of turmeric powder. Wait until 2 whistles and let the vapor to be released normally.
  2. In the meantime, temper some oil in a pan with bay leaves and whole garam masala (cinnamon, green cardamom and clove).
  3. When the aroma comes out, add the potato pieces and fry until golden brown [on medium heat].
  4. Add ginger paste on the fried potato and fry for 2 minutes.
  5. Add turmeric powder, salt, cumin powder, coriander powder and green chilies. Mix well.
  6. Now add the boiled florets/mocha and mix well.
  7. Cook it on medium heat for about 10 minutes and gently mash the florets using the ladle.
  8. Cover it until the potato pieces are done.
  9. Open the lid, adjust salt and sugar.
  10. Add ghee, garam masala powder and ½ cup of grated coconut. Give it a final stir.
  11. Turn off the heat and garnish with the grated coconut (½ cup).
  12. Mochar ghonto is ready to be served, preferably with plain rice.

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