Macher Tel die Jhinge khosar bhorta

9:16 PM

The time sure is tough and at times heartbreaking. While we all stay home to fight this deadly virus, thousands of migrant workers started their journey to reach home. Just think of their plight. No work, no money and no assurance whether there would be any food the day after. The kids as young as 3-4 years old are there too and together they are walking, carrying their belongings to reach home which is 700-800 Kms away. 

It makes us helpless but empathy and positivity is the need of the hour. We need to stand by each other and donate to rehabilitate these workers. There are many organizations who are working relentlessly to reach out and provide food for these families. National Restaurant associations of India (NRAI) is doing a fine job in feeding the needy people in and around Kolkata, Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai. You would find the contribution details here
Here is another list where you can contribute towards arranging a few meals so that no one goes to bed hungry. 
Please consider donating as much as possible. A little contribution from us will bring in a huge difference in their lives. 

Now let me go back to my mom's kitchen to bring back a few gems. My grandfather worked with the forest department and most of their working lives were spent in the jungles. Dida and Maa sure knew how to cook another side dish with peels and discards. Dida often told us stories of how she used up wild oranges in making fish curry or learnt to forage from local tribes. But she loved cooking elaborate meals, classic dishes while Maa has always been a very frugal cook. She would use every bits and bob of vegetables if it's edible.

This Peels and fish oil bhorta (mash/paste) was her specialty. Now that the Doctors are recommending everyone to eat a protein-rich diet to boost our immunity,  I thought of sharing such recipes where with frugal use of resources we can maximise our nutrition. 

This ridge gourd peel bhorta is made with fish oil. If you do not have any history of Cardiovascular disease then fish oil is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acid for you. Please make sure the oil is fresh (from live fish) and is cleaned properly. Here in Kolkata the fishmongers generally cleans it for us but I make sure to wash it really well before cooking.
In an ideal world, you should use Organic/pesticide-free vegetables to consume the peels, as the most concentration of pesticide traces are available on the surface. My vegetable vendor swore that these are from his own garden grown without any pesticide, hence I created it.
For variations of this recipe please see notes.

Macher tel die Jhinge khosar bhorta

Jhinge khosa/ Ridge gourd peels: 1 cup tightly packed. (I used 8 small indigenous variety)
Onion: 1 large purple variety
Garlic: 1 tsp chopped/ pounded
Green chilies: 2-3 or as per taste
Fish Oil: 1/4 cup
Tomato: 1 small
Pinch of pepper powder to activate the turmeric
Mustard oil: 2 tbsp

before peeling the ridge gourd scrub and wash the skin really well. Soak the peels in water for 15 minutes. Then make a coarse paste in the mixie. Keep aside.
Marinate the fish oil with salt and turmeric and keep aside.
Peel, wash and finely slice the onion.

Heat oil and add the garlic and slit green chilies. Saute for a minute and when they will start to turn golden add the onion. Fry for 4-5 minutes on medium. Then add the fish oil. Cook on medium for some time till you see the oil oozing out from it. Cook till the raw fishy smell is gone. Then add the chopped tomato and again cook till you see oil oozing at the sides.
NExt goes the paste of the peels. Add salt and turmeric as per taste and keep cooking it on low flame for another 7-8 minutes or till the mix looks dry and glossy.
Adjust the seasoning if needed and serve with hot steamed rice.

A Homemaker's Notes:
  1. You can cook the same dish with Bottle Gourd peels too.
  2. You can even mix two or three types of vegetable peels like pointed gourd (patol), ridge gourd (jhinge), brinjal etc
  3. With only the fish oil you can cook the same dish. This is called Macher teler Charchari. Maa would cook the same with some more onion and chilies.

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts