Kalia is a rich sauce that uses a lot of onions, ginger, garlic, and a melange of rich spices. The most common Kalia known in Bengali cuisine is Biyebari style Rui/ Katla Machher Kalia. Kalia is mostly consumed with piping hot steamed rice. As this dish travels through different Bengali kitchenettes, the preparation of kalia varies slightly. For example, I have come across people adding Kaju(cashew nuts) bata, and posto(poppy seeds) bata to kalia. Also, some recipes call for kishmish. I love my kalias cooked in loads of mustard oil and spices, but you can easily tone down the amount of oil in your kalia. Ghee can also be substituted with oil in the recipe if you are a health freak.
Jackfruit is an exotic fruit grown in tropical regions of the world. It is native to many parts of India. Raw jackfruit/enchor is often eaten as a vegetable in many parts of India. It is known for its meaty texture and is often an alternative to vegetarians. In West Bengal, enchor is popularly known as ‘gachh patha”(vegetarian meat). while Enchorer Dalna which is a no onion preparation is quite popular in Bengali households, enchorer kalia was often prepared by my grandmother.
- 300 g of enchor after cleaning
- 1 potato diced into size almost equivalent to the enchor pieces
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion roughly chopped
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1 tablespoon of ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon of garlic paste
- 3-4 green chilies
- ¼ teaspoon of whole cumin
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon of red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 4-5 cardamom pods
- 8-10 peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- 3 tablespoons of mustard oil
- 1 tablespoon of ghee
- 2 tablespoons of yogurt
- Steam the cleaned and chopped enchor and keep them aside Do not discard the water.
- Make a paste of the onion and tomato and keep the paste aside.
- Take a kadai/pan and heat it. To it add about 3 tablespoons of oil and heat it.
- Add the diced potatoes to the kadai. Fry them till they turn golden on all the sides. Keep them aside.
- Add the ghee to the kadai and heat it.
- Temper the remaining oil and one tablespoon of ghee with bay leaves, whole cumin, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and pepper corns.
- As the spices release the aroma add the sliced onions and saute them till they turn translucent.
- Now, add the onion and tomato paste, green chilies, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, sugar, salt and saute for 1 minute.
- Add about ¼ cup of water and continue stirring the spices till you see oil leaving the sides of the pan.
- Add the yogurt to the kadai and stir everything in the kadai vigorously. (See Notes)
- Now, add the fried potatoes, steamed enchor along with the water to the kadai. Add water additionally if necessary.
- Continue cooking on medium flame till the potato is cooked completely and you see oil leaving the sides of the pan.
- Add the garam masala powder before turning the flame off and mix it evenly. Serve with hot steamed rice.
- Not stirring vigorously after adding the yogurt might curdle it.
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