The Following recipes are taken from "A Taste of India" by Madhur Jaffrey.

Shorshe Dharos

(Okra with Mustard Seeds)

`` Ground mustard seeds and used to make the sauce for this dish. They can be slightly bitter - in fact, that is their charm. If you cannot find black mustard seeds, use 2 tbs of the common yellow kind. You may serve this with any Indian meal. ''

Serves 4

1lb/450 g whole, fresh okra
1 tbs whole black mustard seeds
1 tsp whole yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbs vegetable oil]1/8 tsp nigella seed (kala jeera)
2 fresh, hot green chillies

Wash the okra and pat it dry. Cut off the very tips of the pods. Peel the cone shaped top.
Put the black and yellow mustard seeds into the the container of a clean coffee grinder or other spice grinder. Grind. Put the ground mustard seed into a small bowl. Add the turmeric, chilli powder, salt and 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of water. Stir to mix.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium flame. When hot put in the kala jeera. Ten seconds later, put in the okra and stir. Stir and fry the okra on a medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the spice mixture and the green chillies. Bring to a simmer. Cover, lower the heat and simmer gently for 5-8 minutes or until the okra is tender.


 

Chingri Maachher Jhal

(Prawns/Shrimp with Mustards Seeds)

`` For me, no dish could be more typical of Bengal than this one. It is simple to cook - yet quite distinctive in the nose-tingling pungency it acquires from the ground mustard seeds in its sauce. In Calcutta it is cooked with only inland estuary prawns (shrimp) that are known for their sweetness. Heads are always cooked and are preferred by many diners for their richness and flavor.
Serve the dish with plain rice. Any dal and a vegetable may also be served. ''

Serves 4

1 tbs whole black mustard seeds
1 tbs whole yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 lbs uncooked prawns (shrimp) with shell
4 tbs mustard oil or vegetable oil
1/3 tsp nigella seeds (kala jeera)
4 whole, dried, hot red chillies
3 fresh hot green chillies

Put the black and yellow mustard seeds into the the container of a clean coffee grinder or food processor. Grind. Empty the ground spices into a bowl. Add the turmeric, red chilli powder, salt and 1/2 cup of water. Mix.
Peel the prawns (shrimp) but leave their tails on.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium flame. Let it get smokingly hot for a second, if using mustard oil. Now put in the nigella seeds (kala jeera) and a second later, the red chillies. Stir for one minute. The prawns (shrimps) will just start to turn pink. Now put in the mixed spice paste and the green chillies. Stir on a medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until the prawns are just done and the sauce is a bit thicker.
Note: the whole chillies should be eaten only by those who know what they are doing.


 

Tomator Chutney

`` In Bengal, sweet or sweet and sour chutneys are served after all the main courses and just before deserts as palate cleansers. They are generally accompanied by crisp papadums. You may, of course, serve the chutney with almost any Indian meal. ''
Serves 6

1 inch cube of ginger peeled
2 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 tsp panchphoran
2 whole, dried, hot red chillies
6 good-sized cloves of garlic, mashed to a pulp
1lbs tomatoes chopped
1tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
4-5 dried apricots cut into 1/2-in cubes
2 whole, fresh hot green chillies

Cut the garlic, crosswise, into very fine slices. Stacking several slices together at a time, slice them into very fine slivers.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium flame. When hot put in the panchphoran. Let the spices sizzle and pop for a few seconds.Now put in the red chillies. Stir once and put in the ginger and garlic. Stir for about 5 seconds. Now put in the tomatoes, salt and sugar. Simmer on a medium to medium-low flame or until the chutney begins to thicken. This may take about 15-20 minutes. Now add the apricot cubes and the green chillies. Simmer and cook on a lowish heat for another 10-15 minutes or until the chutney is thick and has a glazed look. Serve at room temperature.


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