Food full of love

Food full of love

Mangshor Jhol by Iti Misra

For most people, happiness is mom’s cooking. To mark this Mother’s Day, Metrolife brings you recipes passed down by mothers over the years.

Mangshor Jhol by Iti Misra
“A normal every day food in a Bengali house included fish, vegetables and rice. But Sundays and holidays were when my mother used to enter the kitchen and cook meat curry- her special dish. Feeding a large family on a small budget meant augmenting meat with large pieces of potato and the potatoes were as delicious as the meat , having absorbed most of the flavour of the mutton and gravy. Often it was the potatoes that were more sought after than the mutton. No dish could do justice to a family holiday lunch like my mother’s meat curry or Mangshor Jhol.”

Mutton, 500 gms, preferably from the shoulder, cut into 10 pieces
Onions, 4 medium finely chopped
Ginger paste, 1 tbsp
Garlic paste, 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp
Green chilli, 2 finely chopped
Mustard oil, 4 tbsp
Cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaves, 2 pieces each
Salt to taste
Potatoes, 4 peeled and halved

In a pressure cooker, heat the mustard oil and then add the whole garam masala. Heat through till the oil is flavoured, then add the finely chopped onions and green chillies.
Fry till the onions are golden brown but not too caramelised. Add the rest of the spices and fry for a good 4 to 5 minutes till the oil separates.
Add the mutton pieces and fry together with the spices for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and season to taste. Close the cooker and cook for 4 whistles. Let the pressure subside without opening the cooker.
Open the cooker and check if the mutton is tender. The time will depend on the quality of the mutton you use. Once the cooker has cooled add the potatoes. Close the cooker once more and cook for one more whistle. Remove from the heat and allow the pressure cooker to cool down completely. Both the meat and potatoes should be done perfectly.
The gravy should be light in texture and golden brown in colour. If you prefer a thinner gravy, add 1/2 cup of hot water and boil once more. Serve with steamed rice.


Fish fry by Anupam Behera
Fish fry by Anupam Behera

Fish Fry by Anupam Behera 
“The Fish Fry is a very common recipe in a Bengali/Odia household. But the reason it is special for me is as my mother adds this special masala to it and serves it with tea. I have tried fish fry many times at other places but nothing beats the one made by her.”

Fish, 250 gm
Oil, 100 gm
Masala, 1 tsp
Turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp
Salt, 1 tsp
Mustard sauce

Marinate the fish slices in mustard oil, Kharagpur masala (a special curry powder you get only in our region) and salt overnight.
Refrigerate it.
Take a shallow frying pan, add mustard oil and let it heat on slow flame.
Now crispy fry the fish slices until the colour turns brown.
Serve it with some mustard sauce (Kasundi).


Kutchi Laddoo by Vanna Shoney
Kutchi Laddoo by Vanna Shoney

Kutchi Laddoo by Vanna Shoney
“I was married off at an early age. All the dishes I prepare now is taught by my mother-in-law. I used to watch her make each dish and try making it the next time. Everything from the proportion to the taste is exactly the same. The Kutchi Ladoo was also a recipe that I learnt from her. It finishes in seconds every time I prepare it. My brother-in-law who lives in the US looks forward to this sweet dish.”

Wheat flour, 1 cup 
Ghee, 1 1/4 cup 
Powdered sugar, 1 cup 
Powdered cardamom powder, 1 tsp
Slivered almonds, 3 to 4
Some ghee for deep frying

Take one cup of wheat flour, add half a cup of ghee, mix well and knead into a semi-soft dough using warm water.
Make small balls and flatten them a little making a dent in the centre using the thumb.
Deep fry the in ghee.
Cool them and make a coarse rawa like powder, sieve this powder.
Now roast this in a pan till nicely done and brown in colour.
Then add one cup powdered sugar and the remaining 3/4 cup of ghee and mix well.
Add cardamom powder and slivered almonds.
Shape into balls using your palms and enjoy.