Scavengers...that's probably what non-Bongs would call us. Apart from our carnivorous tendencies, we are herbivorous scavengers....We eat the skin of vegetables too!!!!
I have eaten all these traditional stuff at home throughout my growing up years. But when I became the homemaker, shortcut, easy to make dishes were what I fell back upon. Moreover, despite being from a family of food lovers and great cooks, during my school-college days, I never entered the kitchen to cook ... ever. Hence the unfortunate consequence....I never got the opportunity to train under my Ma's supervision. Moreover at that point of time, vegetables belonged to the much-hated, to-be-forced-down-the-throat category. Being the food lover I am, I was forced to learn cooking when I was living alone, from Ma (over the phone) or from friends and neighbours!!!!! And now, although my unbridled love for fish, chicken, mutton continues, but vegetarian dishes have managed to carve a little place in my heart (or is it the taste buds!)
Now fast forwarding to the present......
SD (the husband) has a bowl of boiled Bottle Gourd every morning to fight his triglycerides and cholestrols. Last month, during Ma's visit, when she saw the substantial amount of bottle gourd skin being generated everyday and promptly thrown into the garbage bin, she was scandalised!!! And cooked this particular Khosha Bhaja (Khosha=vegetable skin/peel; Bhaja=fried veggie dish) or Khosha Chhechki (Chhechki=dry veggie dish).
Following her instruction, I saved up all the Bottle Gourd skin during the last one week and made Lau er Khosha Bhaja/Chhechki this afternoon!!
And the result is as follows :
Bottle Gourd skin - finely chopped (3 Bottle Gourd skins)
Pumpkin - sliced (1 smal bowl)
Kalojeera/Kalonji- 1 tsp
Whole dry red chilli-2
Green Chillies - 4
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Mustard paste - 2 tsp
Grated Coconut - 2-3 tbsp
Coriander leaves - finely chopped.
Oil - 2tbsp
1. Finely chop the skin of bottle gourd
2. Steam the chopped skin after adding a pinch of salt
3. Drain the water and keep aside.
4. In a wok, pour some oil and season with Kalo jeera, Whole dry red chillies (2), green chillies (2-3)5. Add the sliced pumpkin and cook till par cooked.
6. Add the steamed and water-drained chopped skin of bottle gourd.
7. Add salt, sugar and turmeric powder
8. Cook on medium flame for around 7-10 minutes or till the veggies are fried
9. Add the mustard paste followed by grated coconut. Mix well
10. Before switching off the flame, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and sliced green chillies.