Monday, June 8, 2015

Shojne Daantar Chorchori (Drumsticks and Potatoes in Mustard Sauce)


In the summer months what I like is something simple, as it is vegetables are scarce during the summer months and one is not left with much choice. Whenever my mum saw some good quality drumsticks (called shojne daanta in Bengali) in the market, she picked them up to make this dish. I cooked this dish early this summer for the first time, I had never cooked it before. Did I follow my mum’s recipe? I hope so because it tasted just like hers.

My mum like most Bengalis preferred the thin drumsticks to the thicker ones because they more or less melt in the mouth. Most Bengalis also peel the drumsticks; I have noticed that most non-Bengalis do not peel the drumsticks, therefore, if you want to try this dish, you do not need to peel the drumsticks, if you do not wish to do so.

I used the mortar and pestle to grind the (black) mustard seeds however if you wish you can grind it in the mixer-grinder. Remember to soak the mustard seeds in warm water, this makes the grinding easier.

Below is the video followed by a detailed recipe. In the video you will notice I have said that I do not claim that I have cooked in the traditional way, this is because different regions of Bengal and different families have their own recipes which may differ slightly from the way I have cooked the dish.


If you are unable to view the above video you may view it on YouTube by clicking this link

Ingredients:

  • 4 drumsticks
  • 3 or 4 potatoes
  • A small piece of tomato
  • Approximately 2 ½ teaspoons of mustard paste.
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder.
  • Greenchillies and Kashmiri red chilli powder to taste.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Approximately 2 ½ tablespoons of mustard oil for cooking.

Method:

Peel (if you wish to) and chop the drumsticks (approximately 3 inches long pieces).
First sauté the drumstick pieces in a little mustard oil, keep aside.
Peel and chop potatoes lengthwise.
Now heat approximately 2 ½ tablespoons of mustard oil.
Add the potatoes and stir fry/sauté till partially cooked.
Add the small piece of tomato after chopping it into small pieces.
Add salt to taste, the salt will help to soften the tomato pieces. Stir and cover it for a little while.
After the tomato has softened add the drumsticks.
Now add the spices, that is turmeric powder, chilli powder (this is optional).  Stir it a bit.
Add the mustard paste and stir.
Add a little water and also add the chopped green chillies.
Cover and cook till done. This is a dry dish so you have to wait till all the water evaporates.
Towards the end of the cooking process you may add a little sugar to balance the flavours.
Serve along with steamed rice or phulka rotis.

5 comments:

  1. I tried, twice, to leave a comment on your post yesterday, Shilpi - but with no luck. I hope this time I succeed!

    I doubt if I'll ever make this (I am not fond of drumsticks), but this reminded me of an amusing anecdote. My mother's best friend's husband used to be in the Indian Postal Service, and was transferred to Madhya Pradesh. He realised he'd need to brush up his Hindi (they're Bengalis), and after some research, came to the conclusion that all you have to do is convert Bengali 'sh' to 's' and 'o' to 'a'.

    Seemed to work well, until he told their servant to get him 'sajna'! The poor servant was very embarrassed and worried - he came to Aunty, asking her if all was well between her and Uncle.

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    1. HA! HA! I have a bagful of such anecdotes, these wold sound better if I could tell you orally. But right now I can tell you about playback singer Monali Thakur. She once recounted how her father referred to 'maagoor maach' as 'magar mach' in Hindi and you know what that means in Hindi - crocodile. Incidentally 'Maagoor Maach' is a particular kind of fish that Bengalis love, but I for one haven't been able to take a liking for it.

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    2. Oh, yes. I know about 'maagoor maachh' - my mother keeps telling me that it's one of her favourites! Hehe. That's a delightful anecdote.

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