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Taki’s signature dishes and their Jessore influence

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SadaD alna or Jjalphoroner Dalna is Taki’s special dish.Green chilly or kanchalanka is known as Jhalor Morich in Taki, a legacy of Jessore dialect.From the name itself it is apparent that this dish is sadaie.spiceless with a mild dash of green chilli or jhal. This dish is cooked round the year and is a sort of vegetable stew with seasonal vegetables. Vegetables used, include potol, jhinge, Sweet Pumpkin or Lal kumro, Green Papaya, carrots, beans, barbati, sheem, auliflower florets, potatoes, kanthalbichi or Jackfruit seeds etc. Brinjal, Kanchkala, Drumstick, Sweet-potato are never used. Sometimes tender stalks of Lal Sak minus the leaves and the white root of spinach are added.

Fried bori adds to the taste of the dish. The vegetables are sauted lightly in very small quantity of mustard oil after adding salt to taste. There should be no excess oil. The sauted vegetables are then boiled in water in a covered vessel. After the vegetables are cooked, fried bori, little sugar and some milk mixed with a little flour are added. This is the trickiest part.The dalna should be slightly sweet to taste.The correct blending of salt and sugar gives the dalna its taste. Less flour will make the milk curdle and transform the dish into a tasteless watery substance, at the same time excess flour will thicken it and turn this beautiful dish into a thick floury paste. Similarly, too many boris will turn the Dalna into Charchari. Some green chillies are added at this stage and the dish is boiled for few seconds. Finally for the tampering good quality ghee is heated and Bayleaf-Randhuni and two or three split green chillies are added to it.

This healthy and tasty Sada or Jhalphoroner Dalna can be eaten with rice, luchi and paratha. Lau Ghanta is prepared in the same way with milk and flour and with the same tampering. Only the Lauki is cut into extremely fine strips and just steamed with green peas after adding a little salt without addition of water or oil.The lau will cook in its own juice. Instead of Bori, small fried baras made by grinding pre-soaked mong daal and frying them in mustard oil is added while adding the milk and flour. At the end chopped coriander leaves may be added for additional flavour. As a finishing touch coarsely crushed fried bori is added as a topping.

This is also slightly sweet tasting dish.Only the round variety of very tender green lau is used. Lau shaker Dalna using tender lau stalk is cooked like Sadadalna. Only difference is here no milk is added and Kalojira is used in place of Randhuni. A non-vegetariandish with Lau or gourd is Lau Kankra(Lau Crab). Lau is cut as in Laughanto. Spices added are turmeric, ginger, jeera and morich(green chilli ) paste, Mustard oil is the cooking medium and ghee and garam masala paste are added at the end. No onion garlic are needed. Chitol Muitha is well known in Bangladesh. In Taki however, it is called Kofta. The preparation is slightly different No boiled potatoes are added. Instead the white of bread soaked in dahi and a well beaten egg is added to make the Koftas which are diamond shaped and in my opinion more spongy.

A very unique Taki dish is Karaishutir (Green Peas) Khichuri. Formerly, every Taki household cooked this special Khichuri on Saraswati Puja day. It is such a tedious process that most households have stopped cooking it at present. However, some still make it. After shelling, the green peas are mixed with salt and pressed lightly.The husk covering each pea seed is removed and the dal inside is taken out. The khichuri is cooked with this dal and Gobindabhog rice taken in the ratio of 2:1.15 kg of unshelled green peas yield about three to four kilos of dal. The dal and rice mixture is fried in ghee with Hing, tejpata, ginger, jeera and red chilli paste adding salt and sugarand cooked like pulao.In the end, whole green chillies Gwawa ghee and garam Masala paste is added.