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Shukto
(Bengali style mixed vegetables)

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Contributed by:
Anupriya Sinha
Anupriya Sinha, Housewife
Chennai

Shukto

Ingredients

(All the vegetables to be cut preferably in long finger like pieces or allumettes)

Soft vegetables
Brinjal (Baigan) - 1 cup
Ridge gourd (Jhigni) - 1 cup
Ripe pumpkin (Konhda) - 1 cup
Potato (Aaloo) - 1/2 cup (optional)

Hard vegetables
Flat beans (Seem) - 1 cup
Raw Banana (Kachcha kela) - 1/2 cup
Raddish (Mooli) - 1/2 cup
Bitter gourd (Karela) - 1/2 cup

Adauri (Urad Vadi) - 5-6 (optional)
Ginger (grated) - 1 tbsp
Green chilli - 2-3 (slit)
Panch phoran - 1 tsp (for phoran) + 1 and 1/2 tbsp (roasted and gound to fine powder)
Whole dry red chilli - 1-2
Salt - 1 tsp or as desired
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Sugar - 1/2 tsp or as desired
Water - 1 and 1/2 cup
Fresh coconut (finely grated) - 2 tbsp
Mustard oil - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

1. Wash and keep bittergourd separately.
2. Wash the other soft and hard vegetables separately and keep aside.
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large kadai. Fry adauri in it, drain and keep aside.
4. Saute bitter gourd in the remaining oil till done, drain and keep aside.
5. Add rest of the oil, heat and add panch phoran. Let crackle.
6. Add dry red chilli and fry for 5 secs.
7. Add the hard vegetables and saute covered on low heat, till slightly tender.
8. Add the soft vegetables and saute on medium heat for 2 minutes.
9. Add salt, turmeric powder, green chilli, ginger and bitter gourd. Saute on high heat
    for 1 minute.
10. Add water and mix. Add adauri, mix, cover and cook on low to medium heat till the
     vegetables are done and very little gravy is left.. Stir gently once or twice in between.
11. Increase the heat to high, add sugar, roasted panch phoran powder and ghee, and
     mix thoroughly.
12. Sprinkle grated coconut, mix and remove from heat.
13. Serve with plain boiled rice.

Notes & Tips

1.This is a popular Bengali dish, made on special occasions for lunch. This is bitter in taste due to karela, hence, is eaten as the starting dish with plain boiled rice.

2. Do not stir the vegetables vigorously, as it will mash up the vegetable pieces and adauris. The vegetables should be visible separately and adauris should not break.