This simple everyday stir-fry uses bitter melon and is a classic starter on the Bengali table.
By Rinku Bhattacharya
- 2 small potatoes
- 3 medium sized slender Japanese variety eggplants
- 1 medium sized bitter melon (korola)
- 2 tablespoons oil (preferably mustard oil)
- 1 teaspoon panch phoron (Bengali 5-Spice)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon red cayenne pepper
- Dice the eggplants and set aside. Peel the potatoes and dice and set aside (note, if you wish, you can use organic red skinned potatoes and leave the skin on).
- Dice the bitter melon and leave any visible seeds
- Heat the oil on medium heat for about 1 minute and add in the panch phoron (Bengali 5 spice) and wait until the spice crackles.
- Add in the mixed diced vegetables and stir well.
- Shake over the turmeric and the salt and mix well. Cover and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes on low heat, remove the cover and check the mixture for softness. The potatoes should be lightly crisped and soft.
- Stir the cayenne pepper and mix well. Cook for another minute and serve with rice and lentils for a classic Bengali style first course.
Rinku Bhattacharya, is a teacher of Indian Cooking and the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles. A busy working mother Rinku is committed to offering a practical approach of flavorful, everyday cooking often with an Indian Accent. An author of three cookbooks, Instant Indian, Classic Foods for Every Region of India made easy in the Instant Pot, Spices and Seasons, Simple, Sustainable. Indian Flavors and The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles. Rinku’s passion for food starts with cooking and trying new recipes and extends to pairing and drinking wine with food and trying usual combinations by fusing various culinary influences. Rinku and her family are very committed to a sustainable lifestyle, and she uses mostly local produce for her recipes. She is joined in this effort by her husband who is an avid gardener and her children, Deepta and Aadi.