The kitchen is my playground, the laboratory for my perennial stream of culinary experiments.
I spend hours here, creating new recipes. Playing with flavors. Fussing silly over a dish. Re-creating ancient recipes. Deconstructing classics. Introducing my twists. Wicked twists.
However even the diehard experimentalist in me falls prey to the alluring charm of classics when confronted with certain sets of ingredients. (Only certain :-)). Cabbage and peas is one such combination. I have a fixation for this. Despite earnest attempts, I find myself drawn again and again (and again) to cooking my favorite bandhakapir ghonto.
Humble and earthy. No fuss and cannot be any simpler. Just ginger, cumin and chillies. And a potpourri of whole spices. Food heaven !!!!
Especially if I am allowed the luxury of a couple of luchis to accompany this bandhakapir ghonto.
Bandhakapir Ghonto (Dry Cabbage curry, Bengali style)
- 1 small cabbage finely chopped
- 2 medium potato cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup green peas
- 2 - 3 green chillies slit
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1.5 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsps ginger grated
- 2 green cardamom
- 2 cloves
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 - 2 bay leaves
- 11/2 tbsps mustard oil
- 1/2 tbsp ghee
- 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
- salt to taste
- Heat 1/2 tbsp oil, fry the potato cubes, keep aside.
- Take cumin powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder in a small bowl. Add some water to make a smooth paste.
- Add the remaining oil in the kadai, add the bay leaves, crushed cardamom, cinnamon and cloves, allow them to splutter. When the spices start to release their aroma, add the masala paste, sprinkle a little salt, saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Now add the grated ginger, green chillies and cook for 5 odd minutes till oil starts to release from the masala.
- Throw in the finely chopped cabbage, mix well, cover and cook till the cabbage is 75% cooked.
- Add the fried potatoes and peas, sprinkle in the sugar and saute for a further 5 minutes. Splash a little water if it is getting a bit too dry.
- Adjust the seasonings, finish with a hearty dollop of ghee and a generous pinch of garam masala powder. Serve hot