Vegetarian Recipes for Durga Puja

Vegetarian recipes are quite common in Bengal, and even non vegetarians also take them as side dishes. We outline the recipes of some of the most popular vegetarian recipes of Bengal, that you can cook on Durga Puja.

Til diye beguni | Kawrola's chorchori | Sobji diye bhaja mooger dal | Koraiishutir chop | Bhaapaa doi |
Kheer kwamola | Mixed Vegetable Curry | Spicy Cauliflower | Dhokar Dalna | Narikeler Mocha | Dal Panchratan | Kheere ki Raita


Til diye beguni (brinjal with sesame)

An easy Bengali mid day food preparations that you could have with rice. Long slices of brinjal, battered and crisp fried, are a favorite addition to a meal. They can also make up an individual snack to enjoy with tea and muri (puffed rice).

Preparation time - 10 minutes
Cooking time - 2 to 3 minutes

Ingredients :
· Besan (gram flour) - ½ cup
· Til (sesame) seeds - 2 tbsp
· Red chilly powder – A pinch
· Brinjals- 100gms (2-3), long slender, thinly sliced leaving the stem attached
· Oil for deep frying
· Salt to taste

Preparation :
1) Mix besan (with water) to create a batter of fritter- coating consistency. Add a little salt for taste.

2) Dip brinjals in the batter to coat. Sprinkle with til seeds. Add a dash of red chilly powder on each side.

3) Deep fry in very hot oil until crisp; drain on kitchen towel. Serve at once with rice and dal.

Yield- Makes 4 servings
(Each Serving: About 112 Calories, 2.8gm protein, 8gm carbohydrate, 7gm total fat (0.5gm saturated) 2.1gm fibre, 0 cholesterol, 7.1mg sodium)

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Kawrola's chorchori (karela and potatoes)

A chorchori is a stir-fried dish of vegetables, though some recipes also include odds and ends of fish. This recipe is a simple one using karela (bittergourd) to make the first course of an everyday lunch.

Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 20 minutes.

Ingredients :
· Potatoes- 2-3 small diced small with skin left on.
· Karelas - 4-5 small tender, chopped
· Salt and haldi (turmeric) to taste
· Oil- 2tsp.


Preparation :
1. Rub karela with salt and haldi. Keep aside.

2. Heat oil and stir-fry potatoes on medium heat. Add karelas when potatoes start to turn golden, in about 4-5 minutes. Continue to stir-fry till karelas start to lose their bright colour, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Add a sprinkling of water. Cover and cook for another 7 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure they don't stick to the pan, until potatoes are tender.

4. Serve with plain boiled rice as the first course.

EACH SERVING -
Makes: 4 servings.( About 58.5 Calories, 0.8gm protein, 8gm carbohydrate, 2.25gm total fat (2.25gm saturated) 1.25gm fiber, a cholesterol, 3mg sodium).

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Sobji diye bhaja mooger dal (moong dal with veggies)

This is a multipurpose recipe that can be adapted to use seasonal produce.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients :
· Ghee or oil- 2tbsp.
· Red chillies - 2-3 dried, broken.
· Jeera (cumin seeds) - l tsp.
· Laung (cloves) - 2 or 3
· Elaichi (cardamoms) - 4
· Tejpatta (bay leaves) - 2
· Dalchini (cinnamon) - 2-inch stick
· Ginger- 2tsp shredded.
· Mixed vegetables (beans, cauliflower, brinjal etc.)- 200gm,
· Moong dal- 150gm, roughly chopped, lightly toasted - do not wash! (Ideally you should have washed and dried the dal beforehand)
· Haldi (turmeric) - ½ tsp.
· Salt to taste
· Tomatoes- 2 large, chopped.

Preparation :
1. Heat ghee. Add in it whole spices. Once they begin to stew, lower the heat and add ginger. Stir in vegetables. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon till they get lightly coated in oil. But see to it that they don't lose color.

2. Add dal (split pulse); pour in enough water to cover, along with a little salt and turmeric. Boil till it simmers; skimming is required, for 20 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes. Cook for about 5-10 minutes till dal is tender (grains should remain separate). This will depend on the exact combination of vegetables used and the tartness of the tomatoes). Check color and remove from heat.

4. Serve warm with plain boiled rice deep-fried leafy vegetables (shaak) and a choice of fried vegetables such as potatoes, brinjal (begun-bhaja) etc.

NOTE: Typically, at least 2-3 fried vegetables (in delicious or just salt-and-haldi-rubbed) or vadas, make their appearance with dal. These might include cubed coconut, sliced potatoes and pumpkins, cauliflower florets, small whole parwal, little bodis (balls) made of dal batter, and fried dumplings (bada) made of fish roes or chopped greens or poppy seeds.

TIP: When you feel like eating something light, serve this dal with some rice, a single bhaja(fry) or even just some roasted papad, plus a sweet-sour chutney - slow-cooked tomatoes tempered with panchphoron (the Bengali five-spice mix consisting methi, rai or radhuni, kalonji, saunf and jeera).

EACH SERVING: - Makes 4 servings. (About 182.75 Calories, 8.8gm protein, 21.3gm carbohydrate, 7.6gm total fat (0.6gm saturated) 3.7gm fibre, 0 cholesterol, 40mg sodium).

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Koraiishutir chop (vegetable cutlet)

The Bengali chop varies from the Anglo-Continental croquette only in being spherical rather than cylindrical.

Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 5-10 minutes.

Ingredients :
· Green peas- 250gm frozen, boiled and ground to a paste.
· Saunf- 2tsp lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle.
· Salt to taste
· Floury potatoes- 8 (about 750gm), boiled, peeled and mashed.
· 2-3tsp roasted jeera (cumin) powder
· Eggs- 2, lightly beaten
· Arrowroot or Corn flour- l tablespoon
· Breadcrumbs- 12 cup, toasted.
· Oil- 2 tablespoon.


Preparation :
1. Lightly toast the saunf. Put in mashed peas and salt; mold to make a filling.

2. Divide potato mash into about 8 equal portions. Shape into cups, add a heaped tablespoon of filling and close top; flatten "chops" to make rounded patties (not as flat as a tikki, though - each should be no more than 212 inches across).

3. With eggs mix arrowroot. Roll chops in the mixture and then in bits, and gently saute till golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes each. Drain on kitchen paper.

4. Serve warm with kaasoondi (Bengali version of mustard paste flavored with raw mango).

EACH SERVING: - Makes 4 servings.( About 324 Calories, 11.2gm protein, 47.8gm carbohydrate, 9gm total fat (3gm saturated), 7.7gm fibre, 9mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium.)

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Bhaapaa doi

This is a moulded dessert of sweet yoghurt steamed to a puddinglike consistency. A delicious and excellent recipe for urban homes.

Prep: 5 minutes
Bake: 20-30 minutes (depends on size of container).

Ingredients :
· Yoghurt- 500g, plain, thick (it shouldn't be sour - try Nestle Dahi).
· Condensed milk- 1 tin.
· Toasted Cashew nuts- ¼ cup.
· Dry fruits or aam papad- ¼.
· Yoghurt- 500g, plain, thick (it shouldn't be sour - try Nestle Dahi).
· Condensed milk- 1 tin.
· Toasted Cashew nuts- ¼ cup.
· Dry fruits or aam papad- ¼.


Preparation :
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).

2. Gently combine condensed milk and dahi. Pour into a glass or ceramic baking dish or individual ramekins. In a larger deep-rimmed tray set these and pour boiling water into the outer container to come halfway up the side of the inner ones.

3. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or till a skewer comes out clean.

4. Sprinkle some nuts and fruits over the top. Let it cool for sometime. Serve,

NOTE : Traditionally, this is slowly steamed in a closed container. This is what we did when we were trying it. However, an oven will give faster results and a deeper toffee tint.

EACH SERVING:- Makes: 8 generous servings. (About 345 Calories, 1l.6gm protein, 0 carbohydrate, 14.5gm total fat (4.1gm saturated), O.7gm fibre, 12.5mg cholesterol, 100.5mg sodium).

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Kheer kwamola (citrus kheer)

The perfect dessert after a spicy meal, this delight is a marriage of oranges and sweet, thickened milk (What rabri is in North India and pudding is in UK, kheer is in Bengal! But Bengal's rabri is an altogether more complex pudding!).

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 40 minutes.

Ingredients :
· Milk- 1 litre.
· Sugar- 3 tablespoon.
· Elaichi (cardamom) seeds- ½ tbsp, lightly crushed, preferably from large dark elaichi.
· Sweet Santra or kinoo (Iooseskinned citrus fruit)- 3 in number (about 750gm), segments peeled and a little of the outer peel kept back.


Preparation :
1. Bring milk and sugar to boil. Stir for about 8 minutes, until sugar dissolves. Lower heat, put in elaichi and simmer for about 12 to15 minutes, stirring continuously to keep it smooth, until the milk is reduced to one third of its original volume,. Stir in santra or kinoo segments. Simmer and stir, for 5 minutes more, or till it is reduced to half of its original volume.

2. To cool slightly, keep to one side. Meanwhile, finely tear up 2 tablespoons of the outer peel for garnish.

3. Transfer pudding to individual dessert cups or serving bowl. Scatter shredded peel over and serve warm, with a dash of elaichi powder.

NOTE: The loose-skinned citrus fruits available locally in India or various crossbreeds of these are what are referred to as mandarins or tangerines abroad. You will also hear it to be called as clementine, which is really a mandarin variant. These varieties are now also imported, and you could use these when the local fruits are not in season. Alternately, try our mango variation in summer.

VARIATION: Aam Kheer - Halve the quantity of sugar, since even a not-too-sweet mango is sweeter than an orange! Use 2-3 diced ripe mangoes (about 750gm), instead of the citrus fruit, but choosing ones that are neither too sweet nor sour. Substitute ltbsp rosewater for the elaichi, stirring it in only after removing the milk from heat. Serve chilled, garnished with fragrant rose petals.

EACH SERVING:- Makes 6 servings. (About 247.7 Calories, 9.56gm protein, 42.7gm carbohydrate, 4.9gm total fat (3.12gm saturated), 4.5gm fibre, 20mg cholesterol, lO2.Smg sodium).

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MIXED VEGETABLE CURRY

Ingredients :
200g carrots, cut into 2 cm lengths
200g beans, cut into 3 cm lengths
100g peas, shelled
200g pumpkin, cut into 2 cm cubes
1 tablespoon split peas
1 cup(250ml) plain yoghurt
1/4 cup(60ml)water
3 tablespoons desiccated coconut
3 green chilies, chopped and seeds removed
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
30g ghee
8 curry leaves

Preparation :
Cook carrots, beans, peas and pumpkin separately in boiling water until tender, drain.Place split peas in a frying pan, stir over low heat 5 minutes. Put split peas in a bowl, cover with water and sand 1 hour. Drain and crush to a paste dhal. Combine vegetables and dhal in a saucepan with yoghurt, water, coconut, chillis cumin. Cook over low heat, without boiling for 10 minutes. Melt ghee in a frying pan and saute curry leaves until lightly browned, spoon over vegetable curry to serve. Ingredients : 2 tablespoon oil 1 large onion, sliced 3 star anise 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 500g cauliflower, broken into florets 1/4 cup(60ml)water 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Preparation : Heat oil in a saucepan, add onion and star anise, sauté until onion is tender.Add pepper, turmeric, cauliflower, water and lemon juice. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, simmer for 5 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

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SPICY CAULIFLOWER

Ingredients :
2 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, sliced
3 star anise
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
500g cauliflower, broken into florets
1/4 cup(60ml)water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preparation :
Heat oil in a saucepan, add onion and star anise, sauté until onion is tender.Add pepper, turmeric, cauliflower, water and lemon juice. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, simmer for 5 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

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DHOKA DALNA

Ingredients :
Chana Dal: 200 gr
Onion : 1 large
Chilli Powder : 1/2 tablespoon
Salt : 1/2 tablespoon
Oil: 2 cups
Onion : 2 small paste
Turmeric ; 1 tablespoon
Chilli (Green paste) : 1/4 teaspoon
Sugar : 1/2 tablespoon
Tomato : 2 chopped
Ghee : 1 tablespoon
Garam masala(the mixture of cardamom - black and green, cloves and cinnamon) : 1 tablespoon

Preparation :
Soak the dal in water overnight. Sieve out the water. Grind dal to a fine paste , preferably in a mixie. Add the spices and chilly paste with the dal. Heat oil in a deep-bottomed pan . Add dal paste and deep fry. Pour the mixture over a saucer smeared with oil or ghee. Iron the surface evenly. Let it cool off. Cut the cake in diamond shapes. Heat the oil in a deep bottomed pan and fry the diamonds well. Free them from excess oil. Add the paste of spices comprising ginger, onion, turmeric and chilli. Add salt, sugar and tomato. Stir the whole mixture thoroughly . Add some water to make it a thick curry. Add fried diamonds to it and cook for a few minutes. Sprinkle drops of ghee and pasted garam masala over the top. Serve it hot.

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NARIKEL MOCHA

Ingredients :
Banana Bud: 1 (ripe and encasing sweet tasting flowers)
coconut milk: 1 cup
oil: 1/2 cup
Poppy seeds: 1/2 teaspoon grounded and pasted
cumin powder: 1-1/2 teaspoon
salt: to taste
green pepper: 4
onion: 1 cup(chopped)
Panch phoron: 1 teaspoon
coriander seeds: 1 teaspoon grounded and pasted
bay leaf: 1
turmeric: according to UR choice

Preparation :
Free all flowers from the bud. Chop them well after picking out the sticks and transparent petals from them. Boil them in a pan with turmeric and drain out the water. Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan. First fry onion until it turns brown. Set aside the fried onion. Pour in green pepper, poppy-seed paste, part of coconut milk and panch phoron. Fry them dry with all spices. Add the picked and chopped and boiled banana flowers. Stir them thoroughly. Add salt to it. Pour in the rest of the coconut milk. Cover the pan. Cook it over low heat for 10 minutes. Sprinkle onions before taking it off the oven. Serve hot.

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DAL PANCHRATAN

Ingredients :
1/2 cup mixed dals (1 tablespoon each arhar, channa, mung, sabut and musur)
Oil :1-1/2 tablespoons
Onion : 1 large finely chopped
Ginger : 1 teaspoon chopped
Garlic: 3 cloves chopped
Coriander :1/2 tablespoon powder
Turmeric : 1/2 tablespoon powder
Red chilli paste to teste
Salt: 1 teaspoon or to taste
Garam masala ; a little
Lemon Juice : 1-2 teaspoon
Fresh Coriander : 1 teaspoon finely chopped
Preparation :
Pick , wash and soak the dals all together in 4 cups water. it would be best if you let them soak for about an hour. If you soaked them overnight that would be perfectly fine too. Heat the oil in a pan. As soon as the oil heats up , drop in the onion. Fry golden brown. Add the other six ingredients. Stir and fry for 1 minute. Scoop out the dals from the water in which they were soaked with a large spoon or your hand. Drop into the cooker Fry till the dals start sticking to the bottom. Add the water in which the dals were soaked. close the cooker and let it come to maximum pressure. As soon as it whistles, turn down the heat, and keep on the fire 14 minutes. Let the pressure reduce on its own. Open the cooker and check that the dals are tenderized and the whole is well blended. Stir together and boil away any excess liquid. Just before serving, stir in the garam masala, lime juice and fresh coriander.

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KHEERE KI RAITA

Ingredients :
Curds : 2 cups
Cucumber : 1 small
Cumin : 1/2 teaspoon powder
Salt ; a pinch of
Red Chilli : to taste

Preparation :
Lightly beat the curds. Treat the cucumber. Cut off a little cap from the steam end Make a few cuts with a knife in the cut edges. Rub them together. A frothy, white substance will come out. Do this for about 2 minutes then cut off and bit of the cucumber. Peel it and grate it. Put it into the colander and sprinkle a little salt over it. Leave it to drain. You can put a plate underneath so the counter top does not get messed up. Leave it like this for half an hour. the cucumber will extrude water. Pick it up in your hand , squeeze the water out and drop the cucumber into the beaten curds. Add the rest of the ingredients and taste to see if you need to add anything more. Chill well before serving.

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PHULKOPIR VADA

Ingredients:
Cauliflower - 1.
Besan - 1cup.
Oil-1 teaspoon.
Water.
Posto (poppy seeds)- 1/2 teaspoon.
Chili powder-1/2 teaspoon.
Salt to taste.
Oil for deep-frying.
Baking soda (optional)- a pinch.

Preparation :
1. Cut the cauliflower into medium sized pieces. Boil them so that they become soft on the exterior but remain hard inside.

2. Pour besan in a large bowl and add 1 teaspoon oil. Mix thoroughly.

3. Add water and make batter with a relatively thick consistency.

4. Add the posto, chili powder and salt and whip batter well.

5. Dip the cauliflower pieces in the batter and deep-fry them.

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LUCHI/PURI

Ingredients:
Wheat Flour - 500gms
Refined oil or Ghee - 2 table spoon
Salt according to taste
Warm water to knead the flour
Oil to fry

Preparation :
a. Knead 500gms of flour, 2 tablespoon of oil & salt according to taste with warm water.
b. Make small doughs.
c. Flatten them into round circular form.
d. Fry them one by one. Serve hot with other side dish.

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