Shukto in general is a traditional Bengali cuisine and a great comfort food for most Bengalis. It is considered as a delicacy. No menu is complete without this dish. It can be cooked with a medley of veggies, with or without bitter gourd. It is served with hot steamed rice at the beginning of a full course meal.
There are many versions to preparing Shukto. So let me share Raw Papaya Shukto, that is considered to have a cooling effect on the tummy. It is a simple preparation with minimal of spices and is tempered with Bengali five spice - panch phoron. So do give it a try and will be pleased to hear from you.
- 1 medium size papaya, chopped
- 8-10 bori / vadi (dried lentil dumplings)
- 2 tbsp. mustard oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 dry red chilies
- 1 tsp. panch phoron (five spice)
- 2 green chilies, slit
- salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder (opt)
- 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
- 1 tsp. ginger paste
- 1 tsp. whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp. kasundi / mustard paste
- 1 tsp. ghee
- 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped (opt)
Heat oil in a pan and temper with bay leaves, red chilies and panch phoron. Saute for a few seconds. After it stops spluttering, add the vadi and fry till light brown.
Add the chopped papaya and all the dry spices. Mix everything well and stir fry on a high flame for 2-3 minutes.
Add 1 cup water and green chilies. Simmer, covered till the papaya is cooked. You may add more water if not done.
Add the ginger paste, whole wheat flour and kasundi mixed with 1/4 cup water. Give it a stir and simmer for a minute.
Switch off the flame and add the ghee and coriander leaves. Serve as a side dish with plain steamed rice.