Friday, March 23, 2012

Plantain with Potatoes/Kaach Kolar Torkari

I was always under the impression that cooking was not for me, I just loved to be pampered by Ma and enjoy her delicious cooking. I always told everyone that I hate to cook but love to eat but Ma always said, “If you love to eat and appreciate the finer points of cooking there is no way you will not enjoy cooking.” She also said, “While cooking you should take a lot of care, it shouldn’t seem to be a chore that you want to get over and done with”. She was right on both counts at least, that is what I realized later in life, but what does one do when one is bogged down by health problems and all one would like to do is run away from the kitchen? Well I found a way out I select a menu that is healthy, easy to cook and does not require too much time in the kitchen.

First of all I would like to make a confession: I have cheated a bit, the lead photo you see here is not what I cooked but it is what Ma had cooked. I chose to publish this photo for it looks far better and neater than what I cooked. However in the video you see my hands rustling up this dish. Another confession- I never really learnt how to cook this dish but I guessed this was how Ma made it, it tasted more or less the same. By the way Kaach Kola is kachcha kela or raw banana or plantains in Bengali and torkari means tarkari/ sabzee/ vegetable.

  One of the reasons why I took another long break was this time both my brother (this blog’s photographer and designer) and I wanted to post a video. If you notice the dish is low on spices as I prefer it that way but you can go ahead and add more chillies (including chopped green chillies) and spices.

Here is the recipe in case you have any problem with the video. But before I go on to the recipe, click here to know more about plantains.

  • 3 Plantains
  • 3 or 4 Potatoes
  • Approximately ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • A little turmeric powder
  • Kashmiri or any other chilli powder to taste.
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons of coriander and cumin mix powder
  • About a teaspoon of ginger paste
  • One tomato chopped
  • Salt and sugar to taste.
  • Required quantity of oil
 Before I go into the method I would request those trying out this dish to please adjust the quantity of the spices according to your taste.

  • Peel and dice the potatoes and plantains.
  • Heat some oil and add the cumin seeds
  • Once the seeds begin to splutter add the potatoes and plantain.
  • Stir fry them for a while and then add salt and chopped tomato.
  • Stir well once the tomato begins to soften slightly add the ginger paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and the coriander and cumin mix powder.
  • Stir well so the spices blend well then add a cup of water.
  • Cover and cook for a while, stirring it intermittently.
  • Add a bit of sugar, this helps balance the flavours, however this is optional, you may avoid the sugar.
  • Now cover and cook till done and the water has evaporated.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • This serves as quite a good first course; you can have it with rice or phulka rotis. Your main course can follow this one.

To further enhance the flavour of the dish you can dry roast some cumin seeds. Dry grind the roasted seeds and add to the dish just before removing from the flame. Stir well. And then garnish with coriander leaves. 

I am sending this recipe to this event dedicated to Moms called -- For you, ‘Mum’ organized by Nupur of UK-Rasoi.

Considering the fact that my mum was such a great cook who never seemed to tire of whipping up fantastic food, why am I selecting such a mundane dish for the event? The answer is quite simple, for one this a vegetarian dish as required by the event organizer and this  was what she cooked occasionally as a first course because it is healthy and  easily digestible.


 I am sending this to - SchmetterlingWords: Healthy Morsels-Pregnancy for plantain is natural source of iron and therefore good for moms-to-be.


  1. Good to see the above photo which your Mom had cooked. tumi jotno kore rekhecho khoob bhalo. Nive veggie dish and nice idea to attach the video also.

    1. Yes Deepa, it is these memories I have of Ma.

  2. wow ver nice video...n ver nice recipe too!

  3. ki sundor post Shilpidi. khub sundor recipe and khub sundor chobi. ami video ta dekhte parchina. darao abar chesta kori.

    1. Hope you are able to see the video Sayantani, thanks for stopping by.

  4. wonderful and mother's love enhace its tase more

  5. Thanks for passing by my blog and your idea of participating in my event. Am glad you are up to it..

    I have never cooked with plantain.. will surely does that very soon..

    glad to follow u ..

  6. Liebe Shilpi, schön dich wieder zu sehen. :)

    Es ist eine gute Idee, die Zubereitung von Kaach Kola als Video zu präsentieren. Einfacher zu verstehen und gut gedreht.

    Ich hoffe, alles geht's besser bei dir. :)

    Viele Grüße...

    1. Danke schoene. Ich moechte mehr Video praesentarian.

  7. Hey Shilpi! That is indeed a very simple recipe and so quick to make. The only problem I will be having here is that I don't get the plantains, but we get a different variety, which is used for making chips in South India. I will try it with that.
    My mother also makes a sabji with I think only mustard seeds salt and green chilis and coconut shreddings as a topping.
    Your recipe would go I think better with rice without needing a dal for it. Since I am too lazy/busy to make a dal as well for it and I think it will go well with chappati as well. I just got myself a roti maker day before yesterday. The idea with the video is good!
    I have a few questions as to the recipe. You add the ginger paste after you have fried the potatoes and plantains. Is there a reason for it? Or can one fry it with cumin seeds in the beginning? The same question I have about turmeric as well.
    Nice to have you back in blogosphere.

    1. Harvey I usually do not have it with dal, for me it goes great with just plain rice. Yes there is a particular reason why we follow this order, the idea is to semi-cook the the raw plantain and the potato before adding the masalas so that all the flavours do not go topsy turvy.

  8. Shilpi, that sounds like a great recipe! (and thank you for the video - it's easier to remember, as compared to just a written recipe). I must try this sometime.

    1. Yes Madhu videos are better and seeing the response to the video I think I should add more videos even if that means taking long breaks.

  9. Liebe Shilpi, gerne kannst du dein Rezept in Healthy Morsels - Pregnancy Event linken. Du kannst auch dein andere Rezepte wie Mochar Ghonto auch linken. Bitte einfach dein Post mit dem Link zu dem Event updaten. Ich freue mich sehr auf deine Teilnahme. Bist du im FB? Wenn ja, ich kann dir auch ein Invite schicken.

    viele Grüße, :)

  10. Great information here thanks for sharing!
    Take Care
    Bose Companion 3

  11. Shilpi, I have visited your blog a couple of times before, but this is my first time commenting. I love Bengali food, especially the sweets (hint, hint); being vegetarian, it's nice to get recipes for vegetable dishes. We use plantains quite extensively in our cuisine too, so I'm looking forward to trying this out. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Anu, I am sorry for the delayed response but all the same thanks for visiting my blog.

  12. Thank you Shilpi for linking with Healthy Morsels - Pregnancy :)

  13. ohhh...woow...this is just gorgeous..
    Tasty Appetite

  14. Dear Shilpi,

    The most awaited Roundup and the announcement of "Hall of Fame" members of Healthy Morsels is now online !
    Please accept our sincere and heartfelt thanks by collecting your badge from any of our blogs :)

    Your Healthy Morsels Team !