Monday, March 4, 2013

Ma's homecooking: Chorchori

Chorchori is a medley of veggies cooked bengali style that has found its way to my regular recipe rotation. I make it using whatever root vegetables I can get my hands on, pumpkin and loads of spinach with some staple pantry items. You can add other veggies to this mix (eggplants are a common ingredient which I tend to skip). I also skip on the potatoes because I usually eat it with a side of rice and I don't care for that much starch in one meal.

Yield - 4 servings 
Prep time - 15 minutes (for the cleaning and chopping of veggies)
Cook time- 30 minutes (not active cooking)

Bengali spices


Spinach - 1 large bag or more (I like lots of it because it does cook down to a small quantity)
Sweet Potatoes- 3 to 4 large, Cut in large chunks
Pumpkin-  1-2 lbs, Cut in large chunks
Radish- 1 large (or a bunch of the little red ones)
Lentil dumplings called vadi/ bori*(see note) - A cup full
Turmeric Powder

For the tempering

Oil- 2 Tablespoons
Kalonji/ Nigella seeds- 1 teaspoon
Bay leaves -2
Dried red chili (I use one but you can use more)
Cumin seeds- half teaspoon
Fennel seeds - half teaspoon


Note: The lentil dumplings give this dish that extra oomph. They can be tricky to track down sometimes, but if I found it here in NZ, I think you can find it anywhere if you try. An Indian grocery store would be a good place to start (d-uh). Then ask for "mung vadi". The one I am currently using says in the back that it is made with urad dal and it is freaking awesome but the mung is just as good if it hasn't gone stale. Also, you DO NOT want to use soy vadi, that is not a good substitute at all! Infact it is best to go without vadi than to add the soy. Try roasted crushed papad instead. Phew! That was a pretty long note! 


Heat oil in a big pot. When it starts smoking, fry the vadi/bori till they turn a bit red just a couple of minutes really. Remove it on to a plate.
fried vadi

Add all the tempering ingredients in the leftover oil in the pot.

Add in all the veggies except for the spinach. Add the turmeric, salt and sugar. Toss to coat the veggies evenly with the spices.

Chorchori, a vegetable medley

Add the spinach in the pot.

Chorchori, a vegetable medley

(mmmmmm big pot full of spinach...)

Reduce the heat to a slow simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Making sure that it doesn't burn from the bottom.


(The pic above was taken within 5 minutes of cooking covered and the spinach is wilted. This is a good time to toss it with the veggies)

Remove the lid when the veggies have cooked through nice and soft and let the water dry up. 

Once the dish has dried up, add the bori. Toss it around taking care not to mash the veggies too much. Let sit for a few minutes.

Serve with rice and dal.



1 comment:

  1. Very interesting blog. A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that attract others, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know.


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