labra – a medley of assorted vegetables

…durga puja special recipe…

labra – assorted vegetables cooked with panch phoron (five spices)

Labra is not a mixed vegetable dish but it is a medley of assorted vegetables thrown together, cooked in their own juices, embraces each others flavour and in the process lose some of their individual streaks. Thus acquiring a unique taste and can not be recreated if you omit some or include others.

Labra is one of the traditional Bengali dish and the assortment of vegetables largely depend upon the seasonal vegetables but there are three essential vegetable without which it can not be made. Thus potatoes, egg plants and yellow pumpkin enjoys special privileges over others. Except the above three vegetables I love to include drumsticks, spinach, cauliflowers, white radish and sweet potatoes.

labra

labra - medley of assorted vegetables

Ingredients:
Potatoes: 1 big
Egg plants: 3-4 small
Yellow pumpkin: a quarter
Drumsticks: 2-3
Spinach: a bunch
Cauliflowers: 1 small
White radish: 1 big
Sweet potatoes: 1 big
Panch phoron (five spices) : 2 tsp
Ginger paste (freshly squeezed): 2 tsp
Roasted cumin powder: 1 tsp
Green chillies: 1 or 2
Dry red chillies: 1 or 2
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt and sugar to taste
Mustard oil: 2 tbsp
Ghee: 1 tsp

Method to prepare:

Wash and cut all the above mentioned vegetables in equal size (either in chunks or in strips), and collect a handful each of potatoes, egg plants, pumpkins, drumsticks (10-12 small strips), spinach (coarsely chopped),  cauliflowers (8-10 florets), white radish and sweet potatoes, all in equal proportions.

Heat some mustard oil in a pan and temper it with dry red chillies and panch phoron (an equal proportion of kalonji or onion seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and wild celery seeds which can be repalced with yellow / white mustard seeds). Add all the vegetables and fry them for a while.

Next add two teaspoon of freshly squeezed ginger paste with little salt and stir well. Close the lid and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. Vegetables should release some water, if not then add little water.

Once the vegetables become soft and tender, add roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder, sugar (as per taste) and green chillies (slit down the middle) and mix well. Cover and cook for few more minutes or till done. Adjust the salt and mix well.

Dry roast half a teaspoon of panchphoron (five spices as mentioned above) and pound them coarsely. Sprinkle over the labra / mix vegetable and drizzle a spoonful of ghee just before serving. Labra goes well with khichuri / khichri.

This is very easy to prepare and takes approximately 30 minutes to cook. Sharing this recipe with event : Any one can cook series :19 hosted by tasteofpearlcity.

Flavours of Bengal hosted by Priya of mharorajasthan and Nayna

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