Sukto / Bengali Mixed Vegetables

Sukto
Sukto or shuktoni is a Bengali traditional dish.
Mixed vegetables with less spices. Its taste mildly bitter and lightly sweet. In Bengali platter traditionally people start eating with a bitter dish, then main course in lunch. And the last course is sweet. Elderly people say that if you start your meal with a bitter dish then you feel other dishes more tasty 😀

 

Usually bitter gourd is used in sukto. But I heard from my mom that if it is preparing for marriage or any such auspicious occasion bitter gourd shouldn’t be used in it. That called misti sukto or sweet sukto. All the ingredients are same but it will be without bitter gourd.

Generally sukto is served with steamed rice.
Never thought of sharing sukto recipe on my blog. Because I thought its a very common recipe in Bengali household. But recently I was browsing through some Bengali traditional recipes. And noticed that every sukto recipe is different. So decided to share my both mother’s recipe. Yes my mother and mother in law both used to follow same recipe.

In Bengal radhuni is must in sukto. According to Wikipedia radhuni is known as wild celery in English. And known as ajmod in Hindi.

 

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In Bengal radhuni in used in panch phoran or five spices mix. Panch phoran consists of fenugreek seeds or methi, Nigella seed or kalaunji, cumin seed or jeera, mustard seed or sarso and fennel seed or sounf.
But outside Bengal its not available so we (প্রবাসী বাঙালি) don’t use it.
But this time I have a packet of radhuni which I have bought from Kolkata. So I have used it. If you don’t have radhuni you can omit it. I have used whatever vegetables I have. You can use any vegetables of your choice like drumstick, raw papaya, sweet potato etc.
I like very mild bitter taste in sukto so used only 1/4 of bitter gourd but if you like you can use 1 small bitter gourd.

Recipe

Potato – 2

Raw banana – 2

Flat beans – 4 – 5

Radish or muli – 1 small

Eggplant or aubergine – 1 small

Bitter gourd or karela – 1/4

Mustard oil – 3 – 4 tablespoon

Panch phoran ( mixture of fenugreek, nigella, mustard, cumin and fennel seeds) – 2 teaspoon

Salt and sugar to taste

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Aniseed or sounf – 1 tablespoon

Poppy seeds – 2 tablespoon

Ginger – 1 inch piece

Mustard powder – 2 teaspoon

Bari or dried lentil dumplings – 1/4 cup

Radhuni – 1/4 teaspoon

Flour or atta – 1 tablespoon

Milk – 1/2 cup

Ghee or clarified butter – 1 teaspoon

Method

1. Soak mustard powder in 2 tablespoon water, mix and keep aside.

2. Soak aniseed or sounf in water.

3. Soak poppy seeds in hot water for 15 – 20 minutes.

4. Peel and chop the potatoes and raw banana lengthwise.

5. Chop the radish, flat beans and eggplant or aubergine lengthwise.

6. Cut the bitter gourd in thin round pieces.

 

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7. Wash and drain all the vegetables.
Keep the bitter gourd aside.

8. Grind the poppy seeds, aniseed and ginger with the help of little water. Make a smooth paste.

9. Dry roast 1 teaspoon panch phoran and grind. I have used my mortal pestle to make powder of these roasted spices.

9. Heat oil in a pan. Fry all the vegetables separately.

10. Fry the bari or dried lentil dumplings.

11. At last fry the bitter gourd pieces and keep aside.

12. Add 1 teaspoon Pancho phoran,1/4 teaspoon radhuni and bay leaf in hot oil. Let the panch phoran splutter.

13. Add all the fried vegetables except bitter gourd.
Add poppy seeds, aniseed and ginger paste. Saute till it dried up.

14. Add salt, sugar, turmeric powder and soaked mustard powder.
Mix well.

15. Saute for 1 – 2 minutes. Add water and cover. Cook till the vegetables become tender.

16. Mix flour in milk. Mix well to make it lump free.

17. Add dried lentil dumplings and flour milk mixture. Mix well and cook till you get your desired consistency.

18. At last add fried bitter gourd pieces and 1 teaspoon ghee or clarified butter.

19. Taste and adjust the salt if require.
Remove from heat. Add roasted and powdered panch phoran and mix.

20. Your sukto is ready to serve.
Serve with hot steamed rice.

Notes

1. You can use any vegetables of your choice like drumstick, raw papaya, sweet potato etc.

2. If you don’t have radhuni you can omit it.

3. If you want to make it in less oil fry the bitter gourd pieces first. And then saute all the vegetables altogether. But traditionally vegetables should be fried separately.

I would love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and suggestions in comment.

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