Lunch and Dinner

Side Dish

1. Roasted brinjal in green sauce (baigan bharta in green sauce)

This is my own recipe which I invented while following the GM diet. For those conscious of using oil, this recipe is ideal as it uses none.


  • 1 Kg Brinjal
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 5 table spoon curd
  • Salt to taste


Make 1 inch long incisions on the brinjal with knife. This facilitates roasting. Roast the brinjal at low flame. Keep turning to roast evenly. For making the sauce, in a grinder, grind together coriander leaves, curd and green chili. Slightly sour curd enhances the taste. Add salt to taste. Now using a fork mix the sauce into the roasted brinjal and baigan bharta is ready. It is tasty as well as healthy.

Ghonto, is a cooking style in Bengali cuisine, where vegetables (cabbage, gourd, radish etc.) are chopped or grated very finely and cooked with a tempering(like, jeera/ panch phoron) and very few ground spices. Non-vegetarian ghontos are also made, where fish or fish head are added with vegetables. The famous Murighonto is made with fish head and cooked rice.

2. Bottle gourd cooked the Bengali way (Lau-er Ghonto)

  • Bottle gourd/ Lau /lauki : 1 ( medium size)
    Dry red chilli : 1/2
    Cumin seeds/ jeera : 2 tsp.
    Green chilli : 1 or 2 (chopped into half)
  • Grated coconut: ½ cup
  • Bay leaf/ Tej pata- ½
  • Turmeric- ½ tsp.
    Salt and sugar to taste
    Oil : 2 tbs.
Method : 

Gourds cook very fast.

Peel the whole gourd. Do not throw away the peels as crispy fritters/fries (lau-er khosa bhaja) or charchari can be made from it. The vegetable has to be chopped into very fine pieces. Please go not use a grater or food processor as then the pieces will be too fine and the vegetable dish will look lumpy. The taste also will not be the same.

To cut the vegetable very fine, first cut the gourds in round rings. Keep a bowl full of water and drop the rings into it. Next take 2 or 3 rings together at a time and then chop them as finely as you can. This is best done with a boti. Mix ½  tsp salt and ½ tsp turmeric with the chopped vegetables  and keep in a separated bowl for an hour.

Heat oil in a shallow pan (karai). Heat the oil well.  Put in broken dry red chilli, bay leaves and cumin seeds. When chilli turns dark and swells up and cumin seeds crackle, throw chopped up gourds after draining water. Stir for a while and then cover pan with a lid. Water will come out of the vegetable. Wait for water to dry up but it should not be completely dry. When water has sufficiently evaporated, add salt and sugar as per taste and green chillies. The green chillies should be either half split or broken into two. Put in grated coconut. Mix well, and stir for a few minutes.

Check the taste. When most of the water has evaporates and gourds are soft and mushy, put in a tea spoon of ghee and garam masala powder. Stir again to mix the last added ingredients. Remove from heat. This should be served with rice. As a main course, lau-er ghoto usually follows after fries and before daal.

3. Tasty pasty peas and potatoes

This is simply irresistible easy to cook dish. The blend of baby potatoes the curry made from peas and spice mixture goes very well with bread, chapati, as a side dish with rice. You can use normal potatoes but I prefer to use baby potatoes. It is critical to boil the potatoes just right as otherwise it ruins the taste.


  • 16 baby potatoes boiled and peeled
  • 5 cloves garlic, ground to a paste
  • 1tsp ginger paste
  • 1-2 green chillies
  • 2 cup boiled peas and ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • pinch of asafetida (hing, optional)
  • 1 dry red chilli broken into two
  • salt to taste
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp oil


Boil the potatoes just right. For me 2 whistles at low flame in a pressure cooker cooks the potatoes just right. Wait till the pressure is released on its own. At the same time boil some fresh peas in water. You can also use frozen peas. With frozen peas just thaw them in a microwave or plunge them in hot water.  Keep the peas in hot water for two minutes. Grind the peas in a grinder to a smooth paste with ½ cup of water and green chillies to make a paste. Take out the potatoes and check whether it is boiled right by passing a knife through it. Peel the potatoes and cut each potato into half. Next in a dry wok roast about ½ cup some cumin seeds till slightly brown. Then grind it to powder. Keep this aside in a closed container. This will retain the fragrance of cumin.  Now in the oil put in the bay leaves, red chilli and cumin seeds. Next add the ginger garlic paste and pinch of asafetida and sauté. Put in the boiled potatoes and keep tossing them in the wok for two minutes. Now add the pea batter and salt to taste. Keep tossing till all the potatoes are coated. Cover and let it simmer for two minutes at low flame. Add 1 tsp of roasted cumin powder and mix it properly in the curry. The tasty pasty pea curry is now ready to be devoured.

4. Lemon coriander chicken stew

My baby has revolted against her normal meal of rice and vegetable broth. It is time to cook something new for her. I opened the refrigerator and found chicken, lemons, fresh ginger and coriander. Using these basic ingredients I made up this recipe which I thought might appeal to my daughter’s evolving taste buds and my husband who enjoys stews any and everyday.


  • 6 leg pieces of chicken
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 1 tea spoon ginger paste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tea spoon oil
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ table spoon pepper
  • 2 medium sized onions diced lengthwise in to thick strips. Usually one onion I cut into 6 pieces lengthwise

Marinate the chicken using salt, lemon juice and pepper and keep aside for 1 hour. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the onions. Sauté till slightly brown. Next add the ginger paste and sauté for a minute. Now put in the marinated chicken legs and keep turning the ingredients for two minutes. Now add the juice of the marinate. Boil 5 cups of water separately and add. Add salt to taste. Put in some coriander leaves and pressure cook till 4 whistles on low flame. Garnish with fresh coriander.

This I served with lemon rice and both father and daughter loved it.

5. Fried fish (Topshe fry)

6 cleaned topshe fish
½ tablespoon Turmeric powder
lemon  juice from ½ a lemon
Chickpea flour batter – 6 table spoons dissolved in water without such that there is no lumps
4 table spoon of chopped coriander
1 green chilli chopped finely
Salt to taste

Rub the fishes with turmeric and salt. Squeeze in half a lime and put in the coriander and green chilli and then keep them aside for an hour to marinate.
Now prepare the chickpea flour batter in water. Add ½ teaspoon salt in it. (Note that the batter should not be watery).
Heat oil in a wok or karai. When the oil is smoking, dip the fishes in the batter, coat evenly and fry to a golden brown on both sides.

This tastes delicious with khichuri.

1 comment:

ratna said...

Your blog is truly amazing. Such simple recipes which can be followed without having to go through the ordeal of shopping in advance.
I loved the baigan bharta in green chutney.It turned out very well.
Thanks for sharing it.
Do keep posting.