Sunday, November 04, 2012

Red Lentils With Green Beans

1-1/2 cups red lentils, washed until water runs clear
1/2 lb. green beans, sliced into small rounds
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium or 12 plum tomatoes
salt to taste
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. panch phoron (Bengali five spice)
1 tsp. ghee
cilantro, chopped


  1. Wash and soak lentils for 1/2 an hour.
  2. Cook over medium heat until lentils disintegrate.
  3. Heat oil over high heat and sputter panch phoron.
  4. Fry onions and garlic until onions turn translucent.
  5. Add tomatoes and cook until they break down.
  6. Turn heat to medium, add green beans and cook until tender.
  7. Add cooked lentils, adjust salt to taste, stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Garnish with ghee and cilantro and serve with cooked rice or tortillas.

Zucchini Chingri Posto

Zucchini and Shrimp in White Poppy Seed Gravy

This is a variation of Jhinge Chingri Posto. Jhinge is ridge gourd which is not readily available in the U.S. Zucchini and Chayote Squash are similar in taste, so I've substituted zucchini for the ridge gourd today.

7-10 medium zucchini, peeled and cubed
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 Tbsp. white poppy seeds, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
1 Tbsp. ginger paste
1/4 tsp. nigella or kalonji or kalo jeera seeds
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
salt to taste
1 tsp. ghee


  1. Boil a cup of water and soak poppy seeds for half an hour. 
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp.oil, mix shrimp with salt, fry until it turns pink and set aside.
  3. Heat remaining oil over high heat and sputter nigella seeds.
  4. Add ginger paste and zucchini, stir and cook until tender.
  5. Blend poppy seeds along with water in which they were soaked.
  6. Adjust salt to taste in zucchini and add poppy seed paste.
  7. Stir and cook until most of the gravy has evaporated.
  8. Add shrimp, stir and cook for a minute or two and remove from heat.
  9. Garnish with ghee and serve with hot cooked rice.