Gota Seddho (Boiled whole veggies with whole mung beans)

10:27 PM


Gota Seddho or literally translated 'boiled whole' is not only a dish but a tradition that many Bengali families have. The recipe is quite simple, all you do is boil minimum 5 types of whole vegetables with several types of whole lentils with salt and little spices but is said to be good for the season, and by that I mean many believe that with seasonal fresh vegetables this dish prevents pox that plays havoc during this season. I don't know the truth but I would like to trust it.

Now like any other dish the gota seddho differs from family to family. As per tradition you make it on the day of Saraswati puja and eat it the next day which is called Sheetol soshti. I know many families including my in laws where a big batch of this is made with many types of whole vegetables and lentils and is hared among neighbours and relatives.

But somehow it never got made in my family, there could be many reason. 

Gota seddho literally means boiled whole. As the name suggests its a boiled preparations where minimum of five types of whole veggies like small brinjals, new potatoes, sweet potato, broad beans, peas with their pods, spinach with roots are boiled along with whole green mung beans. Apart from salt ,turmeric and little bit of ginger nothing is used to season this. but like anyother dish this simple preparation varies from families to families. Some dry roast he mung beans before boiling some uses the pressure cooker to make things fast some even add roasted spices as a finishing touch. but what everyone agrees on is it's good properties of strengthening our body and immunity against seasonal ailments like measles and pox.


But more than recipe or faith it's a part of Bengali tradition, their ritual. In Ghoti families (the people of West Bengal, The other types are who lives in Bangladesh or came to West Bengal after the partition) it's a ritual to observe Shitol Soshti after the day of Basanto Panchami. Vasant Panchami being the day when The godess of education and art Devi Saraswati is worshiped. That day many families cook a huge meal in big quantities and preserve it to eat the next day. Shitol literally means cold and soshti is the sixth day. So on the sixth day of Basanto or Spring these cold meals are eaten. 

Naturally for preserving purpose mostly fried and boiled stuffs are made which wont go stale easily. This Gota seddho is a big part of that. Though in our family Maa never did that mainly because she was working and simply it was not possible for her to follow all the traditions. But she made it sure to buy the ingredients to our maid who every year made a small batch for us and shared. but in my in laws family it's a big thing. My MIL makes a big batch following an elaborate process and share with everyone around the house. Follwoing her and the Husband's love for this simple preparation I have picked up the tradition and make a small batch every year.

Spinach in India being a winter vegetable starts to grow shoots during this time of the year. The shoots are fibrous and chewy and are known as palong doga. In this dish whole of the plant is used, roots shoots and all.

The final picture is 3 years old, from our days in Japan. For many reason I could never manage to post it on time. Even this year I am late but then I thought what the heck, its a very healthy recipe and why should it only be eaten on a special day. So here it is. 
This year we had ours as dinner with puffed rice or Muri.

Gota Seddho
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
Whole green mung beans: 1/2 cup
Black chana or chickpeas: handful
New potatoes: 8-10 small ones
Sweet Potatoes: 1 large or 4 small ones (please see notes)
Broad beas/shim: 12-15 pieces
Green Peas in pods: 15-18 pieces
Spinach: wash and use whole of the greens with stems and shoots: tear in manageable pieces: 11/2 cup
Small Japanese Eggplants: 3
Ginger: 1" piece
Salt
Turmeric
Mustard oil: 2 tbsp

Method:
Roast green mung beans and chickpeas till they are aromatic. Wash and place in a pressure cooker. Add a pinch of turmeric and cook for a whistle. Release the steam and open the lid. Be careful to fully release the steam.

While the beans are getting cooked prepare the veggies. Thoroughly wash the two types of potatoes to clean the dirts and all. If the sweet potatoes are very big then break them in half. I buy smaller  sweet potatoes purposely for this reason and keep them whole. Add to the half boiled beans. 
Wash the spinach and tear in small pieces. Add.
Cut the two ends of the broad beans and peas and Add.
Add the brinjals whole.
Roughly pound the ginger and add.
Add little bit of salt, turmeric and pour 1 tbsp mustard oil.
Add 1 whole green chilly.
Cook for two whistles. Switch off and let it cool down.
Once the steam has escaped open the lid. Taste and if needed add more salt and chillies.
Pour the rest of the oil and mix.
It should not be very runny. Keep it little watery as the beans tend to absorb water as it cools.
If you choose to cook in a closed lid pot then it will take close to an hour to get the desired consistency.

We serve this with some chilly oil and enjoy with puffed rice or Muri.


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3 comments

  1. you reminded my nostalgic childhood days..In our family we used to call it "Sijano" and use 5 different lentils (panch kalai) with different vegetables...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very traditional and healthy dish.. thanks for sharing! :)

    ReplyDelete

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