(Adapted from Sens Kitchen: Mocha Chingrir Ghonto)
This week I present a quintessential Bengali recipe: Mocha Chingri. We Bengalis are awfully in love with the Banana plant. So, along with being an auspicious part of all our celebrations, we also eat almost every part of it. I mean literally! We eat the banana blossoms, the fruit, and even the stem (known as Thor).
No pooja celebration is complete if the community meals are not eaten on banana leaves.....
So now for the recipe.
I was not too fond of Mocha (pronounced mo - chaa) since childhood. But with time my tastes have changed and I have started liking the taste of banana blossoms. So, this Sunday I finally made the Mocha Chingri. This delicate dish of banana blossoms cooked with some potatoes and shrimps is really yummy and simple to make.
I got a really simple recipe from the Sens Kitchen website. You can view the original recipe here.
Here is how I made it:
Banana blossom / Mocha: 1 cup
Shrimp - 100 grams, small peeled and de-veined
Potato - 1 medium (100 grams), diced in very small cubes (approx 1 cm)
Whole cumin/ Jeera seeds - 1/4 tsp
Bayleaf - 1 medium
Cinnamon - 2 inch, broken in 2-3 pieces
Green cardamom (choto elaichi) - 4 broken
Ginger - 1 tsp, grated
Cumin powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 2 slit
Ghee - 1 tsp
Oil - as indicated
1. First you need to clean and cut the banana blossoms. This is quite a tedious process. You can watch this video here to view the process of cleaning and cutting the banana blossoms.
2. Bring to boil 2 cups water with a pinch of salt and turmeric. Add the chopped blossoms and cook covered for 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can steam the chopped mocha in a pressure cooker for two whistles on a high flame.
3. Chop the potatoes and clean and de-vein the shrimps. Gather all the ingredients together.
4. Dust the potato pieces with turmeric. Now heat oil and fry the potato pieces.
5. Now take out the potato pieces with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
6. Now fry the shrimps pieces which you have already dusted with salt and turmeric.
7. In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot add cumin seeds, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf. Let the cumin seed become dark in colour.
8. Add a mixture of ginger paste, turmeric powder, and cumin powder mixed with 3 tablespoon of water. I also added 1/4th teaspoon of chilli powder. Fry for a minute.
9. Add the chopped mocha and mixed well. Fry for 2 minutes on medium heat.
10. Add the fried potatoes, shrimps, salt, and sugar. Mix well. Also add 1/4th cup of water. Simmer for 3 - 4 minutes till almost all the water evaporates.The dish should not be too dry.
11. Add the green chillies and ghee. Take off the flame.
Serve hot with rice.