Bengali Vegetarian Recipe Series
We are back with another interesting series, this time on Bengali Vegetarian dishes.
Bengali Doodh Jhinge / Ridge Gourd Curry In Milk – a no onion no garlic recipe.
As we Bongs are stereo typically known as – mache bhate bangali, meaning fish and rice eaters, we also love and adore our bati chorchoris, ghonto and dalna as much as our sorshe maach and kosha mangsho.
Bengali vegetarian dishes are not so popular and highly underrated I think and none the less they are fine exemplary of cooking techniques, unique combinations of flavours and spices.
Here are our few Bengali vegetarian thali meals, that will give you enough idea about the vegetarian aspect of our Bengali cuisine.
Today we are going to share with you all – a very unique recipe, doodh jhinge, ridge gourd in milk. Simple and flavourful. Light and sublime. Ridge gourd is a summer vegetable and hence this dish is invariably prepared during the hot sweltering summer months.
This is a light curry, spiked with sharpness of ginger, mildly seasoned with mustard and the heat of green chilies are beautifully balanced here by the milk added in to this curry. Milk not only adds a mild taste and flavour to the dish but also adds some body to the dish. Spices are kept at minimal so as not to interfere with the mild and subtle taste of ridgegourd.
On hot summer afternoons, this light and flavourful doodh jhinge with steamed rice makes for a soulful lunch. However, in my Bangal home we have never heard of this dish before. In fact we do not add milk in any curry whatsoever. But at my in-laws place this is again a very popular and regular summer dish. Initially I was quite hesitant about it but over a period of time had developed a liking for this dish.
Bengali ridge gourd curryvourite, in milk is a summer favourite. A light curry with delightful subtle flavours.
- 500 gm Ridge gourd
- 1 tbsp Ginger paste
- 1 1/2 cup Milk
- 1 tsp Rice flour
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1-2 Dry red chilli
- 1-2 Green chilli
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Sugar
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 tbsp Mustard oil
- 2 tsp Ghee
Wash and peel the ridge gourd. First cut it into lenthwise and then chopped it into 2 cm long.
Heat a kadhai and pour mustard oil. Once the oil is hot enough, temper the oil with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chillies and bay leaves.
Add the ridge gourd with pinch of salt, green chillies and turmeric powder. Lower the heat and let it cook partially covered. Ridge gourd will release lots of water.
Add the ginger paste and sugar. Saute for few minutes.
Once the ridge gourds are soft enough and is cooked through, add the milk . Before adding the milk, add rice flour to the milk and then add it to the curry. Also milk should be at room temperature.
Check for the seasonings. Drizzle melted ghee when finished cooking.
Serve the curry warm with steamed rice.
Cooking ridge gourd /sponge gourd in milk is not so uncommon in India, but in Bengal we prepare this curry without onions and garlic and any hot spices. That is the uniqueness of our vegetarian dishes that are invariably prepared without onions, garlic and tomatoes.
The same recipe can be used to make Bengali Doodh Lau or Bottle gourd In Milk.