The word ‘Chorchori’ in Bengali means ‘stir fried vegetables’ and any Bengali meal is incomplete without a ‘saaker chochori’. Usually it is vegetarian dish like ‘Aloo-Potoler Chorchori’ (Potato and Pointed Gourd Stir Fry), ‘Aloo Chochori’ (Potato Stir Fry) or ‘Dharosh-Begun Chorchori’ (Okhra n Eggplant Stir Fry) but sometimes shrimps or small fish is also added to enhance the taste. ‘Lau Saaker Chorchori’ (Bottle Gourd Leaf Mishmash) is one of such traditional Bengali delicacy. I have added some spinach to make this mishmash more tasty. More over adding spinach gives a soft texture in the curry.
‘Lau’ (Bottle gourd) creepers are very common in Bengali households. While ‘Lau’ (Bottle gourd) is cooked as vegetable, the leaves and tender stem is consumed as ‘Chorchori’. This recipe is a good idea to include more greens and fibre in your food. If you do not find bottle gourd creepers, you can substitute them with ‘Kumro Saak’ (Pumpkin Leaf). In my family we combine two types of leafy vegetables …. ‘Lau Saak’ (Bottle Gourd Creapers) and ‘Palong Saak’ (Spinach) and cook adding some other vegetables and regular Indian spices. Here goes the recipe of ‘Lau-Palong Saker Chorchori’…
- Lau Saak (Tender bottle gourd leaves) – 10-12 leaves
- Palong Saak (Spinach) – ½ bunch
- Potato – 1 (cut into medium strips)
- Brinjal – 1 cup (Diced)
- Raddish – 1 cup (Diced)
- Plantain – 1 (Cut into long strips)
- Flat Beans – ¾ cup (Diced)
- Panch Foran (Bengali 5 spices) – ½ tsp
- Whole Red Chilies – 1 piece
- Mustard Paste – 1 Tbsp
- Cumin Powder – ½ tsp
- Coriander Powder – ½ tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tablespoon
- Vadi (Lentil Dumplings) – 8-10 pieces
- Mustard Oil – 5 tablespoon
- Sugar – ½ tsp
- Salt – As per your taste
- Wash both the leaves thoroughly with water for 2-3 times and then chop them finely separately. Soak them in water atleast for 30 minutes. Then drain them in a colander. The stems are also been used in this recipe. So cut them into small pieces about 2″ long.
- Take a pressure cooker and put the chopped bottle ground leaves. Close the lid and cook for 2-3 whistles…..You need not add any water since it will release its own water.
- Let the steam escape and then squeeze out the excess water. Keep aside.
- In a pan heat oil and fry the ‘Vadi’s and keep them aside.
- Heat Mustard oil in a pan and put in ‘panch foran’ and red chillie.
- Add all the vegetables and sauté till the oil starts leaving from sides.
- Now add the boiled ‘saak’ and chopped ‘palong saak’ and mix.
- Add all the dry masalas, mustard paste and keep the flame low and stir for 5-6 mintues till the saak is coated with the masala.
- Add salt and sugar, cover and let it cook for 5-6 minutes. You need not to add water as the saak will release water.
- After some time add milk and mix well and let the water evaporate. This will neither be very dry nor very runny.
- Garnish with fried crushed ‘Vadi’ or lentil dumplings.
- Serve it with steamed rice and dal.