Shukto/ Mishmash of vegetables

Shukto is a mishmash of different vegetables often cooked in Bengali household. Bori or dried lentil dumplings are added to this dish. You can prepare them at home or buy them from the stores. The star of the dish is bitter gourd. Other vegetables like drumstick, eggplant, plantain or raw banana, raw papaya preferably cut to the same size are added to the shukto. The golden rule that I have learnt from my mother is, you do not add turmeric powder and green or any kind of chilies to the shukto. Basically, it is a perfect dish for Indian summers. The spice that is used to prepare shukto is radhuni or wild celery. This is a unique spice used mostly in Bengali cuisine. As you smell radhuni you know that shukto is being cooked in the kitchen. However, if radhuni is not available methi/fenugreek seeds or mustard seeds can be used instead.

Course: Main course

Cuisine: Bengali (Indian)

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cook time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 8-10 bori/ dried lentil dumplings
  • ¼ teaspoon + ¼ teaspoon of radhuni
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 potato cut longitudinally
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 2 raw bananas or plantains slightly peeled and cut to slices
  • 4 drumsticks
  • 1 cup of raw papaya diced
  • 2 bitter gourds longitudinally sliced
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar(according to your taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Chop all the vegetables, preferably to similar size.
  2. Take a kadai or pan and add the oil to the pan.
  3. Now, heat the oil a bit and add the bori. Flip them after sometime else the bori will burn.
  4. After the bori is done, strain them out from the pan and keep them aside.
  5. Now to the oil, add ¼ teaspoon of radhuni and let it splutter. Soon, you will smell the radhuni.
  6. Add the chopped vegetables in order of potato, raw banana, and drumstick. Saute them for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Then add the bitter gourd, raw papaya and eggplant. (See Note)
  8. Stir them for about 2 minutes, add salt and about a cup of water. Cover and cook on medium flame till all the vegetables are done. Keep stirring the vegetables at intervals.
  9. Once the vegetables are completely cooked add the milk along with 1/3 cup of water. Let it simmer.
  10. Meanwhile, make a paste of the remaining radhuni.
  11. As the shukto reaches your desired consistency lower the flame. Add the sugar, ghee, grated ginger and radhuni paste.(see Notes)
  12. Turn off the flame. Enjoy the shukto with steamed rice.

Notes

  1. The vegetables are added in order of time they take to cook.
  2. Shukto tastes better when kept soupy, so do not make it completely dry.
  3. You can add other vegetables of your choice like ridge gourd (jhinge), mulo(radish), sweet potato.

You can also try Lau r Shukto (Shukto made from lau or Lauki). It is easy to prepare with very less ingredients required.

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