Food I love

KakrolEvery dish l would present here will be a tribute to my mother’s cooking skill.My mother, who has spent 3/4th of her life in the kitchen. “And I am not going to do that”,I promised myself all during my growing up years.

Today when I look back I miss those food, and the fun we had as a family eating,breakfast,lunch,and dinner together. Every meal used to be an event, every single day in our family.The food in itself was a cause for celebration.With my mother no food could be plain or simple.Her creativity and innovative touch made a simple,ordinary thing become something interesting and wonderful! I think that’s what is meant by ‘soulful food’ these days.

After a lot of beating -around- the -bush,so far in life, I have finally found my solace in food- cooking and eating and feasting with dear ones! And what I have realised is, it needs nothing to make a soulful meal.What it needs is a lot of love, affection and warmth.Made with love, garnished with affection and served with warmth.These will remain the basic ingredients of all my preparations here.So I won’t repeat,please note!!!!

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‘Kankroler poer’ is a very popular and authentic cuisine from the districts of Noakhali, Tripura, Shilhet, Faridpur and Klana.This exotic dish originates from East Bengal basically for the fact that ‘kakrol’, that is, Teasel Gourd  or the spiny gourd, is found in the Tropical regions of Asia only and more specifically in Bangladesh. That is not to say that it is not found in the other parts of the Indian subcontinent. It is really interesting to note the different names by which it is called in different states of India!

In Oriya it is called Kankada, in Assamese it is called ‘bhat kerela’ and in Telegu it is called ‘kakara’, in Gujrati it is called ‘kankoda’,in Marathi it is called ‘kartole’ and in Chattisgarh it is called Kheksi. Outside India, in Srilanka it is called Thumba or Thumba Karavila.

Teasel Gourd is very rich in calcium,phosphorous,iron and carotene.

Personally  I just can’t love this vegetable enough, ‘kakrol er puer’ and hot steaming rice is what it takes to make my day. I have chosen to present my most favourite veg item chiefly  for three reasons,it is very tasty, very healthy and very simple to prepare.

Let us start by taking the ‘kakrol’,  washing it; clean it and pat dry it.

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I will prepare four ‘kakroler puer’ for which we will need two whole kakrol. After washing it we have to peel the sharp edges of the ‘spiny gourd’ using a knife.

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Once it is done we have to halve it and boil it in plain water with a pinch of salt.

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Once it is half boiled we have to take it out from the water and keep aside for cooling.Now using a spoon we have to scoop gently the inner seeds and pulp of the kakrol without disturbing the outer shell

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Now for the stuffing we need the following ingredients-

1.three table spoon of posto (poppy seeds)

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2.  One table spoon of mustard seeds

3. Three table spoon of grated coconut

4. Three green chilli

5.salt to taste

6. 1/4th table spoon of turmeric powder

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Make a fine paste of all these ingredients using very little water.Once it is done, this dry paste is to be mixed with the tender seeds and pulp that was separated from the boiled kakrol.

We have to mix all these to make a very good stuffing for the kankrol.

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Now, very gently, fill the kakrol with this stuffing.

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Last but not the least, fry the kakrol in a broad based frying pan using very little oil.Use non-stick pan for frying.

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Take note to turn the sides till it is crispy brown from both sides.

Serve it with hot steaming rice and ghee.

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