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Go Bananas!

This blog has been taking us on culinary adventures to exciting destinations all across India and abroad too. And what a journey it has been! So where are we headed today?

We are going to Bengal – a region known for a mind-boggling variety of ethnic dishes, some of which have been around for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. There’s another distinguishing characteristic of Bengalis – they certainly know how to use Mustard Oil to bring out the special, most subtle flavours of the vegetables, fish and meat they use in their recipes.

The dish we will be preparing today is made using raw banana, known as Kanchkola in Bengal. We will be turning the raw banana into a Kofta. The word “Kofta” refers to a savoury ball made from various ingredients; it could be made with chopped vegetables, minced meat or even Indian cottage cheese (Paneer). In the dish we are making today, the Kofta will be made by mixing raw banana and potato. The name of the dish is Kanchkolar Kofta Curry (succulent raw banana balls in a rich curry).

The ingredients that you will require are listed below.

Ingredients:

  1. Raw Banana (Kanchkola): 1

  2. Potato: 1, large

  3. Tomato: 1, large

  4. Gram Flour (Besan): 2 tablespoons

  5. Mustard Oil: 100 millilitres

  6. Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon

  7. Red Chilli Powder: Half a teaspoon

  8. Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: 1 teaspoon

  9. Cumin (Jeera) Powder: 1 teaspoon

  10. Cumin (Jeera) Seeds: Half a teaspoon

  11. Green Chillies: 5

  12. Dry Red Chillies: 2

  13. Bay Leaves (Tej Patta): 2

  14. Cinnamon (Dalchini): 2 one-inch pieces

  15. Coriander (Dhania) Powder: 1 teaspoon

  16. Sugar: 1 teaspoon

  17. Salt: to taste

The quantities mentioned above are for serving four persons. Adjust the quantities proportionately to suit the number of servings that you require.

Preparation:

Wash and cut the raw banana (along with the peel) into three or four pieces.

Wash and cut the potato (with its peel intact) into four pieces.

Put the raw banana and potato pieces in a pressure cooker and boil for four whistles. Then allow the pressure to release slowly. Let the contents of the pressure cooker cool down. Then peel the raw banana and potato pieces. Use a spoon to mash the raw banana and potato pieces.

Take the mashed raw banana and potato in a mixing bowl. Add the gram flour along with half a teaspoon each of the garam masala, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and cumin powder. Add salt to taste and mix all the ingredients thoroughly to make the dough for the Kofta.

Take small portions of the dough and use the palms of your hands to shape them into balls. When you are done, you should have around 16 balls of dough.

Slit the green chillies lengthwise.

Wash and coarsely chop the tomato.

Method:

We are now ready to start making the Kofta.

Keep aside four tablespoons of Mustard Oil and heat the rest of the Mustard Oil in a pan on a Medium flame.

Fry the balls of dough until they turn light brown in colour. It is best to fry them carefully in batches to ensure that they don’t get burnt.

Next, it is time for tempering the chillies and spices in Mustard Oil. In a pan, heat the four tablespoons of Mustard Oil that you had set aside earlier. Add the green chillies, dry red chillies, bay leaves, cumin seeds and cinnamon. Sauté till the cumin seeds begin to splutter.

Now add the tomato along with the coriander powder and the remaining half-teaspoon of turmeric powder and cumin powder. Also adjust the salt, if required.

Sprinkle a tablespoon of water over the top, reduce the flame to Low and stir for around two minutes.

Next, add around 300 millilitres of warm water to make the gravy for your curry. Increase the flame to Medium and bring the mixture to a boil.

Now add the Kofta gently and carefully, reduce the flame to Low and cover the pan. Let the contents cook for around ten minutes.

Remove the lid and check – the Kofta will soak up a lot of the gravy and become soft and fluffy.

Next, add the remaining half-teaspoon of garam masala along with the sugar. Stir to mix and then cover the pan again. Cook for another two minutes or so. Then turn the flame off.

Your traditional Bengali Kanchkolar Kofta Curry is now ready. Serve it hot along with steaming hot rice.

You can find more recipes at : https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english/


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