Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 14, Tuesday April 1, 2008



Pohela Boishak's festivities are closely linked with pastoral Bangladesh. The time long tradition of scrubbing and cleaning the house, bathing early in the morning seems to have lost its former glory. Yet the culture of visiting friends, relatives and neighbours; preparing special dishes to entertain guests seems to have defied time.
Keeping the air of Boishakh in mind, I have prepared some healthy recipes to try at home with families and friends.
- Tommy Miah.

Asian Vegetable Curry
Hard to believe a generous portion of this curry recipe is low in fat and calories. It has a warm, rich flavour and is very filling, and is vegetarian friendly.
1 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 small apple, peeled cored and diced
1tsp chilli powder
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp turmeric powder
100g green beans, sliced
200g cauliflower, broken into small florets
100g carrots, sliced
100g potatoes, diced
1tsp tomato puree
20g sultanas

Heat the oil in a large pan and stir fry garlic, onion, celery and apple for 5 minutes. Add chilli, ginger and turmeric and continue to stir-fry gently for a further minute.

Add the green beans, cauliflower, carrots and potatoes plus 300ml water. Stir in tomato puree, sultanas and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35 - 40 minutes.

Enjoy the aroma until ready to serve!

Spinach Pulau
A great rice dish for flavour and texture, with a healthy twist because spinach is so good for you.
150gm baby spinach
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ green chilli pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 medium carrot, grated
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground ginger
150g white basmati rice
20g flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 150C.
Rinse spinach and boil in a small amount of water for 10 minutes. Drain well, chop roughly and leave to one side.
Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil, add rice, cover and simmer briskly for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir fry onion, garlic and chilli in the oil over a moderate heat for about 5 minutes (or until onion is starting to turn golden). Stir in carrot and continue to stir-fry for one minute. Add turmeric and ginger and stir-fry for a further minute. Remove from heat.

Strain rice in a colander and rinse with boiling water. Transfer rice to an ovenproof dish (with a lid), stir in vegetable and spice mixture until evenly distributed, stir in spinach.
Put lid on dish and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Stir in flaked almonds just before serving.

Pomfret in Mustard Sauce
1 pomfret (fish)
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
mustard paste
4 tbsp mustard seeds
1 green chilli
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
cold water

Clean the fish and cut into two.
Prepare mustard paste by putting all the ingredients in the mix and blending them together.
Marinate the Pomfret in the freshly prepared mustard paste with 1 tbsp oil.
In a frying pan, heat the remaining oil and put the marinated fish and 1 cup cold water.
Add salt to taste.
Boil and simmer, until fish is tender and the desired thickness of sauce is attained.
Pomfret in Mustard Sauce is ready.

Tasty Beef
500 gm mutton
10 cloves of garlic
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp garam masala powder
1 cup yoghurt
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup mustard oil
1 Inch piece of ginger
salt to taste

Beat the yoghurt.
Marinate mutton pieces in 1 tbsp of oil with turmeric, salt and curd for about 2 hours.
Mince the garlic and grate the ginger.
Heat oil in a wok. Add ginger, garlic and bay leaves. Fry for a minute.
Add marinated mutton pieces.
Make the flame low and cook for nearly half an hour until the mutton pieces become tender.
Mix garam masala and stir properly.
When the mutton turns tender and almost dry, remove it from the flame.
Dry Mutton is ready.


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2008 The Daily Star