Presenting two back to back traditional veg recipes… This is a classic Bengali delicacy Mochar Ghonto universally loved by Bongs at every nook n corner. Again my Maa was the tutor of this recipe and made this often on Sundays because this was my Baba’s favorite. Engulfed by a nostalgia, I am writing down the recipe reminiscing those effervescent childhood days. We used to wait upon this exquisite dish to be served at lunch and what a feast it turned out to be!!!! But sadly and rarely do you find this signature dish from
Bengal at any servings nowadays.
‘Mocha’ is the Bong term for banana flower. Bongs do love bananas and literally use all the parts of the tree in cooking. The flowers for ‘Mochar’ Ghonto (a mixed veg preparation with banana flowers and potatoes), the bark for ‘Thorer’ Ghonto ( a veg dish with the bark of banana tree) and even the leaves for ‘Paturi’ ( a special Bong preparation of fish like Hilsa, prawns, Bhetki steamed in banana leaf).
Though cooking this dish doesn’t take much of a time, the real challenge is chopping the mocha or the banana flower. A tedious job and nothing like it if you can get hold of a help to do it for you. But how much boring it might be, there will be no regrets regarding the outcome of the amazing preparation. It is so delectable that you can scarf up a whole plate of steamed rice with it.
Now the recipe…
- 1 banana flower or mocha
- 2 potatoes cut in small cubes
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1 bayleaf
- 1½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 ts deghi mirch powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2-3 tablespoons grated coconut
- 1 tablespoon ghee/clarified butter
- Salt n sugar to taste
- Mustard oil as per requirement
First take out all the banana flowers from each layer of mocha. Take out the stiff filament like structure from each flower. The rest is edible, so chop the rest. In this way take out the flowers from each fold and chop them until there’s no more left. This will take some time but hold your patience. Now when you can’t tear the folds anymore chop the whole upto the stalk. Now soak the chopped flower with turmeric and salt overnight.
Now wash the chopped flowers thoroughly and pressure cook upto 5-6 whistles. Strain out the water and keep aside.
Heat a little mustard oil in a skillet and splutter jeera,bay leaf and whole garam masalas. Now add the ginger paste, sauté. Add the potatoes and keep frying, until almost done. Now add the seasonings, the powdered masalas and the boiled banana flowers. Stir for a few minutes. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more for the banana flowers to absorb the flavours.
Now turn off the heat and finish it off with a drizzle of ghee and grated coconut. Give some standing time before serving.