A willowy breeze has already started blowing towards the evening,but I'm not sure what to intepret it as - the nip in the air before winter or the whispering banshee of autumn in its heyday or just plain and simple summer!Because in this part of the world, some of the seasons intermingle and are just a 'touch and go' phenomenon! It is often just the trail that one manages to feel!
Whatever it is,it is reminding me of home!Of Kashful, of Durga Pujo,of clay idols of Maa Durga, the Mother Goddess starting to grace Pujo pandals and all the humdrum surrounding it. Yes, it is that time of the year when the heart jubilantly jumps up to that ultimate festivity which has become the hallmark of a creed.Every heart bears and cradles the joy and happiness that the Mother Goddess's homecoming brings along for one whole year- the lighting up of the streets and pandals, the crispness in the air, the Sanskrit 'Shlokas' and 'Montro' blaring out of loudspeakers from dawn to dusk, the rythmic beat of the 'Dhaks' courted by the madness of the Pujo spirit - everything draws the Bengali to bask in that euphoria.And I for one, am never left out!
Last year, it was Pujo at home but this time it will be a different experience altogether!This year,it will be Pujo in a faraway land where the diaspora will try to give shape to a Pujo weaving it from memories of Pujo back home.And that really sounds intriguing to me!
Now since I have been harping on 'Bengali' and 'Durga Pujo' and blah blah blah,you must have guessed by now that my recipe today will be a Bengali one!And sure enough it is - 'Aloo Fulkopi Posto' which means finely diced cauliflower florets and cubed potatoes fried and cooked in Poppy seed('Posto') paste till the poppy seeds are fried golden.This is an extremely favored and oft-repeated dish at my home and now I too couldn't resist cooking it up since I was slobbering like crazy to have it!The heady aroma of Mustard oil and the fried texture of 'Posto' is what I love about this dish.So here is the way I cooked it!Happy cooking!
Aloo Fulkopi Posto
You will need:
Cauliflower - Cut into florets.The florets need to be cut out gently keeping a part of the stalk on so that the florets do not disintegrate while cooking. You can find how to do that in one of my earlier posts here.
Potato - 2 medium, cubed
Green chilies - 3-4 slit longitudinally
Nigella seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Poppy seeds - 2 and 1/2 tablespoons, ground to a fine paste with 2 green chilies (For this you need to soak the Poppy seeds in 2 tablespoons of water and then blend it in a blender together with 2 green chilies.I use the
'Grate' option on my Black&Decker blender and that works fine for me)
Mustard oil - 2-3 tablespoonfuls
How I made it:
1. To start with,heat up the Mustard oil in a pan and when hot enough,add the green chilies and Nigella seeds. Next, add in the cubed potatoes and cauliflower florets in the hot oil and fry well.
2. When the potato and cauliflower florets are fried well enough and attain a golden tinge, add in 1 small cup of water and cover with a lid. Allow the potatoes to be cooked thoroughly.
3. When the potatoes are cooked through(prod with a spoon to see if the potato is soft and boiled) open the lid and allow the excess water to boil away.Now add in the Poppy seeds paste and blend the paste with the cooked veggies with quick strokes of the wooden spatula.
4. Put off the flame at this point and continue mixing the paste with the veggies to bring everything together.If the dish becomes too dry at this point, feel free to add in a little more water and stir well. Avoid adding excess water otherwise that may ruin the flavor of the dish.
5. Before serving, add a spoonful of Mustard oil and spread it evenly over the dish for the pungency to tingle the senses.Serve hot with plain white rice, Moong dal and piping hot 'Begunbhaja' or eggplant roundlets rubbed with salt and a pinch of turmeric powder and fried in Mustard oil.
~I wish all my readers a very happy festive season - may Peace, Happiness and Health prevail all the year through!~
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