"Shukto",one of the favourite Mix Veg side dishes of West Bengal. Wide ranges of vegetables are used with Bengali five spice/powder or Panch foron to prepare this dish. Although there is dispute between the use of Panch foron or only Radhuni in Shukto. Some prefers using Panch Foron and some uses only Radhuni. Mouri (Fennel Seeds), Methi (Fenugreek Seeds), Kalo Jire (Kalonji), Sada Jire (Cumin Seeds), and Radhuni together are known as Panch foron or Bengali Five spice. Though Radhuni is a popular Bengali Spice, but also used in Odisha, some parts of North East India, Bangladesh, even in Nepal. Due to its unavailablility in Western Parts and Southern Parts of India, Mustard seeds or celery seeds can be used instead of this.
Bori or Sun dried lentil nuggets is another substance that we used to make Shukto. Most of the Bengalis make this nuggets with Red lentil or Black Lentil or even Urad Dal. Soaked and dried lentil paste are used to make these nuggets. The balls/nuggets should be dried in Sun. After it completely dries up stored in air tight jar. These are used in making Chochchori/Ghonto/Shukto/Jhol (All are the Bengali Veg/Non Veg Forms of Dishes)etc.
Here I have not used Bori. You can follow this simple yet delicious recipe. Also let me know how it comes out-
For 3 person:
Ingredients: Potato- 1
Green Banana- 1
Bitter Gourd- 1
Egg Plant- 1
Sweet Potato- 1
Drum Sticks- 2
Bori (Its actually Sun dried lentil nuggets, widely used by Bengali's in wide ranges of recipes)- 8-9- (Optional)
Poppy Seeds/Posto/Khus Khus- 2 tsp
Mustard Seeds- 1 tsp
Ginger paste- 1 tsp
Panch Foron/ Bengali Five Spices- 1 Tsp (For Tampering)
Panch Foron/ Bengali Five Spices Mix- 1 Tsp- Make powder after dry roasting the five spices.
Salt to taste
Sugar- 1 tsp
Mustard Oil- 3 tbsp
Ghee- 1 tsp
Milk- 1/2 cup
Water- As required for the gravy.
Procedure: 1) Soak Poppy Seeds and Mustard seeds for half an hour. After half an hour make a smooth paste.
2) Wash all the vegetables and peel everything neatly and cut Potato, green banana, sweet potato, radish, egg plant into 1/2" rectangular stripes. Cut Drumsticks into 1 1/2" stripes. Make thin Slices of Bitter gourd.
3) In a wok, heat 1 tbsp mustard oil and fry Boris until crisp and keep aside.
4) In the same oil fry the chopped bitter gourd with little salt until crisp and keep aside.
5) Now, heat rest of the mustard oil, tamper Panch foron and add egg plants. Fry it with little salt. When Egg Plants will be soft add the rest of the veges and mix well and fry. Little water can be added.
6) When veges will be soft and will change the colour , add ginger paste and again cook for 2 minutes. You can add water in this step.
7) Add Mustard and poppy seed paste, mix it and cook again for 8-10 minutes until all veges are well boiled and tender.
9) Lastly add salt sugar. Cook again for 3-5 minutes.
10) Add Milk and mix well.
11) Add the Spice mix.
12) Add Ghee to the curry just before switch of the flame.