Growing up in a small hilly town had its own charm and limitations. With abundance of natural beauty, lush green forest, crystal clear natural streams, life always seems like to be in an extended holiday mood. Seasons were so beautiful, temperature never rose above 30 degrees C even in the hottest summer months, and monsoons imprisoned us in the cozy comfort of our home, and winter was cold , often we used to sit under the tall eucalyptus trees through which the warmth of soft sun filters through, making the days so blissful !
It was perhaps for the winter that we waited the whole year, as the local market proliferates with so much fresh produce, young turnip bulbs with vibrant greens, peas plucked directly from their pods, budding green onions, new potatoes (yes that’s what we used to call them !) and cauliflowers. Back in those days (almost 2 decades back ) transportation was a big issue in the hilly towns, often the trucks loaded with veggies would not able to reach the town due to landslides or some reasons ! So the whole populace of that little town had to depend upon the local produce, and winter was the month to enjoy the nature’s bounty.
The cauliflowers become the un written star , the entire winter months becomes the “cauli months” in our home, it was always so fresh and local, sometimes it also comes from the neighbour’s kitchen garden too ! A huge platter of Samosa filled with minced cauliflowers and some hot tea to go with in the cold winter evenings, or at times my Mom used to make this spicy cauliflower and shrimp curry with chunks of new potatoes scattered here and there. This cauliflower and shrimp curry (or rather chingri – kopi jhol as we would love to call in Bengali) is not any exotic dish, very regular thing in a Bengali family but if you have not tried it before, then you must taste it once. With winter fresh veggies, the flavours bloomed perfect and taste oh so delicious. Enjoy it simply over a bed of steamed white rice or with simple roti, these homely comfort food will sure wins your heart as it always charmed us !
- Cauliflower : 1 medium (cut into medium size florets)
- Potatoes : 1 medium (cut into chunks)
- Shrimps : a handful or more
- Cumin seeds : ½ tsp
- Ginger minced : 1 tsp
- Tomatoes : 2 medium
- Green chillies : 3-4 cut into slivers
- Cumin powder : 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder : 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder : ½ tsp
- Garam masala powder : ½ tsp
- Salt and sugar to taste
- Mustard oil : 1 tbsp + more
- Cilantro to garnish
- Heat the mustard oil in a deep vessel and lightly saute the shrimps in it till they turn golden, keep them aside.
- In the same pan add the cumin seeds, let it splutter and then add the cauliflowers florets and the potatoes.
- Fry them for a while till they turn golden.
- Add extra oil if requires.
- Once the cauliflowers and potatoes are nicely browned, add the minced ginger and chopped tomatoes.
- Saute them till the tomatoes are little mushy, and add all the spices mentioned above.
- Fry on medium heat for a while, add the salt and sugar.
- Now add just enough water to cover the cauliflowers and potatoes and let it simmer till done.
- Add the shrimps towards the last stage when cauliflowers are done, check the seasonings, garnish with cilantro and serve hot with steamed rice.
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Have a nice week ahead !