Saturday, October 27, 2012

Asparagus & Shrimp in Mustard Gravy

Shrimp and mustard gravy go well with a lot of vegetables such as eggplants, potatoes, pumpkin, summer squash or sweet potatoes.  Asparagus provides a crisp note when combined with shrimp and ground mustard.

Clockwise from top left to right -
Bagaara Baingan, Tomato Date Chutney,
Asparagus & Shrimp in Mustard Gravy and
Green Beans with Black Pepper

1 bundle asparagus, trimmed and cut in 1" pieces
1/2 lb. frozen salad shrimp, defrosted
1 tsp. ginger paste
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. nigella seeds (kalo jeera/kalonji)
4-5 green chillies
1/2 cup black mustard seeds, soaked overnight in salted water
2 Tbsp. white poppy seeds, soaked along with mustard seeds
Juice of 1 lime

  1. Blanch asparagus pieces and shock in cold water.
  2. Grind drained mustard and poppy seeds in a blender, strain and mix with lime juice.
  3. Heat oil, fry green chillies until skins turn white, remove and set aside.
  4. Add nigella seeds and wait until they sputter.
  5. Add asparagus pieces along with ginger paste and fry for a few minutes.
  6. Add shrimp and fried green chillies, then pour in ground mustard.
  7. Bring to a boil and remove from heat source.
  8. Serve hot over cooked basmati rice.

Bagaara Baingan

This dish is usually made with small, whole eggplants, but works just as well with oriental eggplants.  The original recipe is on a Facebook group page called Kitchen Raagas.  I've reproduced the recipe the way I made it here for people who are not on Facebook.
Bagaara Baingan


5 large oriental eggplants, cut in bite-size pieces
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced into a fine paste
1 tsp. ginger paste
1 large tomato
1 handful peanuts, shelled and skinned
1 handful Bengal gram dal (chana dal)
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. grated/dessicated coconut
1 Tbsp. tamarind paste
1 tsp. ghee
6-7 curry leaves


1. Dry roast separately, chana dal, peanuts, and sesame seed.  Mix together and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Fry eggplants till golden and set aside.
3. Make a paste of onion, garlic, ginger and tomato.
4. Heat olive oil and fry paste until oil resurfaces.
5. Add roasted powder, eggplants, coconut, tamarind paste and curry leaves to the saucepan and stir well.
6. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
7. Garnish with ghee and serve.

Tomato Date Chutney

Festive Bengali meals end on a sweet note, usually a chutney of which Tomato Date Chutney is the most common.


6 large tomatoes
8 dates, deseeded and chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger root, cut in julienne strips
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, or to taste
1 small lump jaggery (gur)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (or white)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. panch phoron *
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

  1. Cut a shallow + on the base of each tomato and submerge in boiling water until skin peels at +.  
  2. Allow tomatoes to cool, peel, chop and set aside.
  3. Heat oil, temper panch phoron, cinnamon stick and star anise until seeds begin to sputter.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and cook for about an hour on medium heat until liquid evaporates.
  5. Serve warm or chilled at the end of the meal.
* Panch phoron is a Bengali 5-spice mixture which comprises the following seeds in equal proportions:
  • Fennel 
  • Nigella  (Kalo Jeera/Kalonji)
  • Cumin  
  • Mustard 
  • Fenugreek (Methi)
This recipe was shared on