Khichuri-labra remains the iconic commination for most Bengali homes.
Festivities and food have a have always seen a much long long connect. Food makes for an important part of any celebration regardless of culture or religion. And it won’t be wrong to say these festivities are an excuse to binge in to good food. From sweets to savoury to more, palatable variety fills the table on each such occasion. Food simply enhances the experience and also plays an important role for people to interact and create a platform for bonding. Be it the Dahi Chura or Til gud For Makar Shakranti or Gujiya For Holi or even the humble khichuri for Kali pujo or Saraswati pujo.
Once such dish that is a must for Saraswati pujo is the Labra – the quintessential Bengali vegetarian dish was always paired with Bhoger Khichuri. This Bengali delicacy that sees a medley of vegetable like cabbage, cauliflower, flat beans, carrots, pumpkin, potatoes and more is mostly a mish mash of dish that’s very nutritious. The flavours of Paanch phoren (five spice) does the magic for this dish. This common dish makes it’s compulsory presence in all festivals and celebrations. With a huge array of vegetables this vegetarian dish is surely a delight. With bare minimum spices and a hint of sweet this non gravy dish is neither a dry dish or a fry one. As perfect accompaniment for khichuri, luchi and so on khichuri-labra remains the iconic commination. Without any hing of onion and garlic, this dish tastes better with more and more vegetables that’s added into it. Labra is a much versatile dish and there is no real restrictions to the type of vegetables that one can add, rather the trick lies in chopping the vegetable in big cubes so that they don’t totally melt away
• 250 gms GMS Potato
• 250 gms 240 GMS Sweet Potato
• 500 gms Brinjal
• 200 gm Unripened Banana
• 200 gms Cauliflower
• 450 gms cabbag
• 150 gms sheem (flat beans)
• 120 gms borboti (yard-longms beans)
• 700 gms kumro (ripe pumpkin)
• 350 gms mustard oil
• 6 Pcs Dried Red Chillies
• 6 Pcs Bay Leaves
• 2 tsp panch phoron
• 24 gms green chillies
• 70 gms ginger paste
• 150 gms coconut
• 6 gms turmeric
• 28 gms salt
• 56 gms suar
• 40 gms ghee
• Cut all vegetables into cubes make sure they are uniform in size for even cooking.
• Heat a large korai and add mustard oil. As it smokes add the brinjal. Fry on medium high heat for five minutes until golden brown.
• Now add the kaccha kela. Take them out and keep aside.
• In the same oil add dried red chillies and panch phoron and the ginger paste and stir to fry for a minute.
• Then add the potato fry for 5 minutes.
• One by one keep adding rest of the vegetables and fry them well for 3 minutes.
• Add green chilli paste and cook for a minute.
• Keep the flame low and keep cooking as you mix all vegetables uniformly.
• Add the grated coconut and stir to mix. Cook for a minute.
• Now, add the salt, sugar and turmeric. Make sure the vegetables don’t break.
• Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
• Add the slit whole green chillies and stir gently.
• Turn off the heat, pour all of the ghee and some more panch phoren. Cover the lid tightly and let it rest
• Serve with with khichuri.