Durga Puja recipes: Luchis, Aloor Dum and more!
In the second of a two-part festive recipe series, we bring you traditional Bengali preparations to help celebrate Durga Puja.
Recently, we brought you choice snacks and desserts you can prepare to celebrate Durga Puja, which starts next week on October 20.
Now here are a few main courses to enjoy.
Khichuri (Rice and lentil Bengali casserole)
- Roast half a cup of split green gram (moong dal) for a few minutes till golden.
- Heat oil and add a bay leaf, a few cloves, a small cinnamon stick, a couple of green cardamom pods and a pinch of cumin seeds to it.
- Once it sizzles, add a chopped onion and saute till light brown.
- Add half a teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste and stir.
- Add half a cup of soaked rice (soaked for about an hour) and stir.
- Add the dal, one chopped potato, half a cup of green peas and a few florets of cauliflower.
- Stir and then add half a teaspoon of turmeric, chilly and coriander powder and salt to taste.
- Add two cups of water, stir and then let it boil.
- Cook till the thick casserole is ready.
Note: For Durga Puja, Khichuri is usually kept onion and ginger-less, mainly because its served as prasad.
Dalpuri (Indian flat bread stuffed with lentil and spices)
- Cook half a cup of red lentil with chilly, turmeric, ginger-garlic paste and salt.
- Saute it in a little oil with half a chopped onion, mash it a little with a fork and keep aside.
- Make the dough by mixing two cups of flour with a little oil and a pinch of salt and knead well.
- Let stand for at least 15 minutes.
- Take a small lump of the dough. Roll it into a ball, make a small hole in the centre and add the lentil stuffing.
- Roll flat into small circles and then fry till golden brown.
Image: Khichuri (Rice and lentil Bengali casserole)
Photographs: Drriad/Wikimedia Commons
Luchis (deep fried flat bread)
- Sieve half a kilo of maida and then add a pinch of salt and 50 gms of ghee.
- Mix it well and then add water and knead till a moist dough forms.
- Take small lumps, form a ball with your hands and then roll it into small thin discs.
- Deep-fry it till the discs puff out.
- Turn it over and then take it out from the oil.
Dhokar dalna (lentil fritter curry)
- Grind yellow split peas and Bengal gram in the 1:4 ratio. Take not more than 40 gms of the former.
- Add a pinch of salt, cumin seeds and turmeric, chilly, cardamom, cinnamon and pepper powder to it.
- Next add a teaspoon of flour, then water to form a thick dough.
- Heat some oil on a pan and toss the dough in it till it's completely dry.
- Spread this dough evenly on a rectangular plate, keeping it at least an inch thick.
- Cut it into diamond pieces and then fry. Keep aside.
- Peel and chop a couple of potatoes and fry in some oil.
- Add salt and turmeric, cumin, chilly and asafoetida powders to them.
- Add water and let cook till a thick gravy forms.
- Add the dhokas and let cook for one to two minutes before you remove from the flame.
Image: Luchis (deep fried flat bread)
Photographs: Kirti Poddar/Wikimedia Commons
Aloor Dum (spicy potato)
- Boil 10-12 small potatoes in water with a pinch of salt.
- Once done, peel them and then saute in a little oil with salt and turmeric powder.
- Remove from the flame once they are light golden.
- Saute half a chopped onion in a pan with ginger-garlic paste, the powder mix of green cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and asafoetida and a bay leaf.
- Once the oil begins to separate from the mixture, add half a chopped tomato and blend well.
- Last comes a pinch of turmeric powder, salt, sugar and the juice of a lemon.
- When the mix is ready add the potatoes, a little water and let simmer for ten minutes.
- Make sure that the gravy sticks to the potatoes and coats them well.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
Labra (mixed vegetable)
- Add a pinch of cumin seed, mustard seed, fenugreek and aniseed to hot oil in a pan.
- Fry on a low flame and then add cut pieces of sweet potato, potato, brinjal, pumpkin and ridge gourd.
- Add sugar and salt and fry the vegetables.
- Add a little water and let simmer till the water dries up.
- Sprinkle a little cumin powder and remove from heat.
Tomato Khejur Chutney (tomato date chutney)
- Chop five to six tomatoes and 15-20 dates into small pieces.
- Heat some oil in a pan.
- Add half a teaspoon of mustard seeds and one dry red chilly.
- Once the mustard sputters, add the tomatoes with a little salt and turmeric powder.
- Saute and let the tomatoes cook in their own juice.
- Add the dates together with half a cup of raisins and a few pieces of aam shotto (Indian mango candy).
- Add a little ginger-garlic juice and half a cup of water and let simmer till a pulpy mixture is formed.
- Add half a cup of sugar and a few spoons of tamarind juice and stir till it becomes thick. Remove from flame.
Note: Instead of tomatoes, you can use small pieces of pineapple too. Just boil till them till they are tender before beginning the chutney.
Image: Aloor Dum (spicy potato)
Photographs: Miansari/Wikimedia Commons