Vegetarian, main dish, mild spicy, Bengali
Boroma, my great-grandmother got married, in the early 1900s, when she was fifteen to a member of a Zamindari family of Dharula, Chittagong District, in what is now Bangladesh. Boroma's Dharula home had separate vegetarian and non-vegetarian kitchens in the courtyard behind the house.
Here food was cooked on stoves run on kerosene and cow dung cakes. Her cooking vessels were all metallic: iron, brass and copper. Boroma's vegetarian dishes, flavoured with mild spices, were family favourites.
- 500 grams 1 lb tender Bottle Gourd cut into thin, short strips
- 2-3 chopped green chillies
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1/2 tspn cumin seeds
- 1 tspn oil or ghee
- Salt to taste
- A pinch of turmeric powder
- A pinch of cinnamon-cardamom powder
Heat oil/ghee in a kadai/wok/heavy bottomed saucepan.
Put in all masalas except cinnamon-cardamom powder and fry for a few seconds.
Put in gourd strips and mix lightly.
Cover and cook on slow heat until water dries up.
Sprinkle cinnamom-cardamom powder on top and serve hot.
© Manjula Mathur, India 2008