Bengalis tend to not waste any food and will come up with innovative ways to make even the toughest food tender, delicious and appetizing. Here is a very simple recipe where we turn the peels of a bottlegourd into a tasty morsel.
The lau or the bottle gourd (calabash) is a very versatile vegetable of the Bangladesh kitchen. This would be fairly common in the sumer months when various kinds of gourds are aplenty. Rummaging through the fridge, I came across half of a gourd that I had set aside. The other half went into a shrimp dish (recipe to follow anon). This half needed to be dealt with quickly and I decided to cook up a simple but tasty traditional bhaji.
I was in the mood for some Mishti Kumra – also known as the Sweet Gourd. I hit the local specialty grocery store to see if I could find some. As I walked past the rows upon rows of different kinds of gourds and squashes, my gaze rested on some acorn squash. I think I could, I thought to myself. And I did and it was yummy.
This is a very simple recipe that can be used with similar other vegetables like gourds, eggplants etc.
While in India, the word for for savory fried dough with spicy filling (meat or vegetarian) is samosa, in Bangladesh we have two words – shingara if the dough is flaky and samosa if the dough is crispy. In Bangladesh, we will generally use meat (beef or chicken liver) as a main ingredient.
I have been particularly fond of cauliflower – it does help that is good for me. It is a great low-carb cruciferous vegetable that can hold it’s own in many dishes but can also play subservient role in others.
As usual for a Bengalil dish, panch phoron plays a major role in this very simple recipe.