Sorshe, Dharosh, Chingri or okra with prawn in mustard sauce

7:54 AM


Being a Bengali we use a lot of Mustard paste and being someone from coastal Midnapore we even use more mustard paste than any average Bengali household. The villages from where my parents hail from are known for fresh seafood and local produce. You go to the market early in the morning and the variety will amaze you. Foraging still is strong here like in any villages away from the Metro cities. People not only forage wild greens but for most families, the supply of protein comes from the rivers, ponds and waterlogged paddy fields.

It's a common site there to find elderly persons and teenage kids or anyone who does not have any work to attend to scouring the waterbodies with chakni jal or handheld net trap made of bamboo and nylon thread. The fish that are caught in it are tiny river fish and prawns. Men do their part by setting bamboo traps at the paddy fields or at the canals. Even women often are found catching fish and huge crabs just with their bare hands. As a result parts of these are added to every dish. Be it a shak bhaja or ghanto, a handful of prawn, few pieces of tiny fishes, the gills, oils or even the tiniest claws of the crabs are added to every dish.

So while most of Bengal cook dhyarosh or ladies finger with potatoes and mustard paste we always add a handful of prawns in it. no wonder the taste and flavour go up many notches.

Here is my simple recipe.

Sorshe Dharosh Chingri

Ingredients:
Ladies finger: 250 gms
Potatoes: 2 medium sizes (cut in batons 1 cup)
Onion: 1 medium
Tomato: 1 medium
Green chilies: 3-4
Prawn: handful 
Nigella seeds: 1/2 tsp
Mustard paste: 3 tbsp
Oil: 3 tbsp
Salt
Turmeric

Method:
Wash the ladies fingers properly and remove the stem and top. Cut in 1" pieces. Sprinkle some salt and turmeric and keep aside.
Clean the prawns and wash them. Add some salt and turmeric, mix and keep aside.
Peel potatoes and cut in lengthwise thick batons.
Peel and wash onion. slice in half-moon shape.

Heat a tsp of oil and fry the prawns till they just change colour. (1 minute in total).
Heat the rest of the oil and add nigella seeds and green chilies. Let it splutter then add the sliced onion. Saute till they are translucent and then tip in the ladies fingers and potatoes. Add more salt and turmeric to taste and mix. Fry on medium for 2-3 minutes. Then add chopped tomato and cover. Let it cook on medium. Stir from time to time. When the potatoes are 90% cooked and the tomatoes are mushy mix the mustard paste to 3/4 cup of water. Mix well and then carefully add the water from the top. This will discard the husk of the mustard. Adjust the salt and seasoning and add the prawns.

Bring it to a boil and then let it cook on medium for a couple of minutes. Do not overcook or the ladies finger will become slimy. Once the gravy thickens and coats the veggies, you are done.

The dish should have some thick gravy.

Serve hot with steamed rice.

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