Jamai Shashthi / Bengali festival of ‘Son -in -law’ day

Jamai means ‘son -in -law’ in Bengali. Shashthi means ‘sixth’. Both together means a special day celebrated for the son -in -law and daughter in the sixth month of the year i.e, June.

On this day, Goddess Shashthi, protector of children, is worshipped. This festival is celebrated in Jayestha month of the bengali calender, with the spirit of strengthening family bonds.

Son -in -laws are given a royal hospitality by his in -laws 😀

Hubby missed this year’s royal hospitality by his beloved mother -in -law 😉 hence, i thought of compensating by cooking some traditional and non traditional food.

Before i proceed further, let me tell you that i am a ‘Bangal’. What does this mean? Bengal was divided, and the Indian side of Bengal is named Paschim Banga (West Bengal) and the other side (East Bengal) is called Bangladesh. Technically, my family roots are from East Bengal. My family came across the border during the independence. So the Bengalis who came from other side of the border are called ‘Bangal’ and they are foodies and take tremendous pride in their traditional recipes which are never traded but handed down the generations.

Traditionally, varieties of fish like Hilsa, prawns etc are cooked along with several ‘bhajas’ (fried vegetables, etc), mutton curry, sweet chutney (mango or tomato), rosogollas(cottage cheese cooked light sugar syrup) and mishti doi ( sweet curd).

Since i like ‘twist -in -the -tale’ things 😉 so i went for tradition entwined with non -jamai shasthi traditional food items. 🙂

Majority items presented are traditional Bengali food, but usually not served during ‘jamai shashthi’ 😉

Picture 526edit

In the bowls : Anti -clockwise – shukto ( an appetizer made with bitter gourd, white radish, bottle gourd, drumsticks and sun dried lentil dumplings), cholar daal bora r jhol , dhokar dalna ,  keema (mutton mince), aamer chatni  and chitoi pitha (sweet dish).

Picture 538

 

On the plate : Anti -clockwise – aloo bhaja (Indianized french fries), begun bhaja (aubergine fry), kumro bhaja ( fried orange pumpkin), kundru bhaja (ivy gourd fry) and mushur daal bori bhaja ( sun dried red lentil dumplings)

All the recipes are for 2 -3 persons.

Recipes uploaded in separate posts.

BEGUN BHAJA

1 nos – small to medium sized aubergine

1/4 tsp – tumeric powder

salt to taste

oil to fry

Slice the aubergine in roundels of 1/2 ” thickness. Wash and season them with salt and tumeric. Keep aside for 10 mins.

Heat oil in a wok and fry the roundels one or two at a time on medium flame. Spread it out on absorbent paper.

 

KUMRO BHAJA

1 small piece of orange pumpkin

pinch of tumeric powder

salt to taste

oil to fry

Remove the pith and skin of the pumpkin. Slice them in about 1/2 cm in thickness. Wash and season them with salt and tumeric.

Heat oil in a wok and shallow fry the pumpkin slices. Spread them out on absorbent paper.

 

KUNDRU BHAJA

6-7 – little gourds (kundru)

pinch of tumeric

salt to taste

oil to fry

Chop off the ends of the little gourds and slice them up in roundels. Wash and season them with salt and tumeric. keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok and shallow fry them on medium flame. Spread them out on absorbent paper.

Shukto

SHUKTO

1 nos – medium sized bitter gourd (diced)

1/2 cup – cubed radish

1/2 cup – cubed bottle gourd

1 nos – drumstick ( string and chop into 1 1/2 ” thickness)

1/4 cup – raw banana (cubed)

1 tbsp + 1 tbsp – mustard oil

1 1/4 tbsp – black mustard paste

1/4 tsp – sugar

1/4 tsp – panch phoron ( Bengali five spice)

salt to taste

Panch phoron: ‘Panch’ means five and ‘phoron’ means tempering, so it literally means tempering with five spices. This is a common spice mix in every Bengali kitchen and is used for tempering many preparations. This include mixing in equal proportions of cumin seeds, nigella, fennel, black mustard and celery seeds (randhuni).

Heat oil in a wok and fry the sun dried lentils (urad dal bori) . keep aside. In the remaining oil add the other tbsp of . Once hot, temper with panch phoron, add the bitter gourd and saute till it turns lightly golden. Add the other vegetables and saute for 2 mins.

Add the mustard paste, sugar, salt to taste and 2 cups of water. Cover and cook on low flame till vegetables are tender. The water will have reduced to a nice gravy. Check for salt.

Serve at room temperature.

cholar daaler borar jhol

CHOLAR DAL BORAR JHOL

Traditionally this recipe demands motor dal (split pea lentils), in it’s absence one can use cholar dal, like i did.

1 cup – soaked skinned and split bengal gram

1 cup – chopped/diced  vegetables (carrots, ridge gourd, potatoes)

1/2 tsp – tumeric powder

5 cups – water

2 nos – green chili (slit from the centre)

1/4 tsp – nigella seeds

pinch of sugar

salt to taste

1 tsp – mustard oil

Soak the lentil overnight. Grind the lentil to a coarse paste with some salt and preferably without adding water. Put water to boil in a medium deep vessel. Once it start boiling, start adding the ground lentils in small dumpling size. Boil dumplings for 6 -8 mins. They should cooked through. Remove the dumplings from water and reserve the water for gravy. Heat oil in a pan and temper with nigella seeds. Add the diced vegetables and tumeric. Saute on high flame for a min. Add the reserved water, green chili, sugar and salt to taste. Bring to boil and add the dumplings. Cook on low flame till vegetables are tender.

Serve at room temperature.

Dhokar Dalna

DHOKAR DALNA

For making the dhoka(lentil cakes) :

2 cups – soaked split bengal gram lentil

2 nos – green chili

1 tsp – ginger paste

pinch of asafoetida

1 tsp -sugar

salt to taste

oil to cook + oil to fry

For gravy :

2 nos – large tomatoes(pureed)

1 tsp – ginger paste

1 tsp – cumin powder

1/2 tsp – tumeric powder

1/2 tsp – red chili powder

1/4 tsp – garam masala

1 no – bay leaf

1 no – green chili (slit from the centre)

1/4 tsp – cumin seeds for tempering

1/4 tsp – sugar or as per taste

salt to taste

Add all the ingredients together and grind to paste. Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok and add this paste. Check for salt and cook it till all water dry up. Oil a plate (indian thali) and spread this dal mix on it. Flatten with a flat spoon. Cut the spread in diamond shapes and keep aside for it to cool.

Heat oil in the wok to deep fry the cooled cakes.

Temper the remaining oil with cumin seeds, add the tomato puree, bay leaf and the ginger paste. As the oil is released add the other ingredients including the sugar and salt. Once the cooked spices aroma is released add 2 cups of water. As it comes to boil, add the lentil cakes and let it cook for 5 -6 mins. Gravy will be reduced.

Ready to serve.

** One can prepare the fried lentil cakes a day before and also it can be stored in the freezer for a month.

Mutton keema

MUTTON KEEMA

500 grams – minced mutton

2 nos – large onion paste

1  tsp – ginger paste

1 1/2 tsp – garlic paste

1 cup – yogurt

1 1/2 tsp – cumin powder

1 tsp – tumeric powder

1 tsp – red chili powder

1/2 tsp – coriander powder

1 tsp – garam masala

salt to taste

1 no – bay leaf

1 stick – cinnamon

1 small – cardamom

2-3 – cloves

3-4 – peppercorns

1/4 tsp – cumin seeds

3 tbsp – oil

Wash the mince well. Heat the oil in a deep and heavy bottomed pan. temper with cumin seeds, bay leaf, peppercorn, cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom. As the splutter add the onion paste and fry till translucent. Add the ginger- garlic paste and fry for another 30 seconds. Add all the spice powders, yogurt and salt. Cook on medium heat till it releases oil on the sides. Now add the mince, lower the flame and cover. Cook for 20 mins with an occasional stir in between. Check for salt. Mince and yogurt together have enough moisture to cook , no need to add water.

Once cooked, garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander (optional). Serve.

 

 

Chitoi pitha

CHITOI PITHA/ SHORA PITHA

Makes 4 pithas

1 cup – polished rice flour

1/4 tsp- salt

water

1 cup – finely grated fresh coconut

1 cup – jhola gur (syrupy date palm jaggery)

a terracota/clay pot and domed lid (shora)

In the absence of traditional shora, i made this small sized flat steel plate (like a tart or a flan dish) and steamed them in an idli maker.

Make a batter of pancake consistency with the rice flour. lightly oil the plates and pour this batter into it. Steam in the idli maker or a pressure cooker for 4-5 mins. Allow it to cool

Serve at room temperature with finely grated fresh coconut and jhola gur ( syrupy date palm jaggery ).

**Traditionally this pitha is made during the Sheetal Shasthi in the month of Magha (January – February) and is always served cold (sheetal, which means cool). This is also the time when syrupy date palm jaggery comes into the market for a very short period.

I made this pitha to rejuvenate a fading childhood memory and hubby had never tasted this delicacy before. 🙂

All the items are served with plain boiled rice 🙂

 

The ‘jamai’ was super happy 😉 😀

 

Happy cooking !! 🙂

Cheers !! 😀

 

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About andy

hi there.....friends call me Andy :) I am a school teacher by profession. Passionate about reading, some random experimental cooking, some hit 'n' miss photography......and i am a dreamer ;) Thank you for popping by :)
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6 Responses to Jamai Shashthi / Bengali festival of ‘Son -in -law’ day

  1. So many dishes.. Everything looks amazing:) perfect treat and ya son in law r always SPL in our parent’s place.. Totally agree

  2. What an awesome and delicious post Andy! Amazing.

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