It is a traditional Bengali dish, without this typical Bengali menu is incomplete. It is actually the result of Portuguese influence from colonization in the pre-British era when the use of milk in a savoury vegetable dish was tried.
A classic melange of vegetable cooked with Poppy seeds, Mustard, Radhuni or Sukto masala. The gravy needs to be slightly creamy, slightly sweet but mostly savoury and absolutely not hot.
Bitter gourd is the main ingredients of this recipe. The other unique vegetables which add their signature taste to Shukto are a raw green banana, drumsticks, potato, brinjal.
It’s much like but not quite the South Indian recipe of Avial.
- 2 Bitter gourd
- 2-3 Drum sticks
- 1 potato
- 2 Raw Banana
- 1 Raw papaya (small size)
- 4-5 Hyacinth beans (Sheem)
- 1 Radish
- 2 Pointed gourd (Parwal)
- 1 tbsp. Mustard seed
- 2 tbsp. Poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp. Panchphoron (Bengali 5 spice)
- 1 tbsp. Radhuni
- 1 tbsp. Sugar
- Salt to Taste
- 1 tbsp. Ghee
- 2-3 tbsp. Mustard oil
- 2 Dry Red Chili
- 2-3 Bay leaf
- 2 Cup water
- 8-10 Dal Bari
- 1 tbsp. Ginger paste
- Make a smooth paste of Poppy seed and Mustard Seed separately using a food processor.
- Wash all the veggies and cut into rectangular strips ( ½”) and Drumsticks into 2″ long strips after peeling the outer skin of each veggie.
- Heat Mustard Oil in a Wok and fry Bari in medium flame and strain from oil.
- Now fry the vegetables one by one.
- Temper remaining oil with Panchphoron and Randhuni.
- Add Ginger paste and cook for 1-2 minutes and add Poppy seed paste and Mustard paste and again cook for around 2 minutes.
- Add Salt and Sugar again cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add water to the Spice mix and bring it to boil.
- Add all the fried veggies along with raw Drumstick and cover the wok with a lid.
- Cook for around 8-10 minutes in low flame or till the veggies cooked properly.
- Check the water level and if required add some more water since Shukto should have sufficient gravy.
- Add Ghee to the Curry and boil for around 2 minutes and switch the flame off.
- Shukto is ready to serve. It is mostly served with plain Rice.