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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thor Ghonto

A dry vegetarian dish made of BANANA PITH or STEM

The abundance of Banana Plant in Bengal is probably responsible for Bengalis using up each and every part of the plant, as I've already mentioned in several of my previous posts (here & here).

But a sad reality of today's fast paced nuclear families, is a gradual obsolescence of these regional delicacies. The main reason behind it is the difficulty in cutting and chopping these plant parts. I found a blogpost detailing the cutting procedure of Banana stem or pith, or as we Bengalis call it THOR.An additional tip is the last dicing or should be as fine as possible. Almost minced.

Well, coming to the recipe of Thor Ghonto....this recipe is suitable when the stem/pith i.e Thor, is tender. Else the better option would be to go for Thor Chhechki.

Ingredients :
-Thor of length abt 1.5 ft - 2 nos.
-Gobindobhog rice preferably or any other similarly fragranced rice - 1/2 bowl
-Potatoes diced small - 1 medium or 2 small
-Grated coconut - 1/2 Gram/
-Bengal Gram - 1/2 bowl soaked in water (overnight preferably)
-Bay leaf/Tej Pata - 1 or 2
-Whole Jeera/Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
-Whole garam masala - 2-3 green elaichi/cardamom, 1 1"stick of cinnamon, 2-3 cloves
-Masala Paste -
     Jeera powder - 2 tbsp;
     Halid/Turmeric-1 tsp;
     Red Chili powder- 1 tsp;
     Kashmiri Chili powder - 1tsp (optional)
-Ghee - 1-1 1/2 tsp
-Roasted Garam masala powder
-Mustard Oil - 1 cup (This recipe is high on oil...for that matter all thor, mocha recipes are....)
-Wheat flour/Ata - 2 tbsp (optional, as a binder)

Procedure :
1. Cut the thor as given here. It's a very well illustrated explanation.Chop as fine as possible.
2. In a pressure cooker, take the minced thor, add a cup of water, add salt and haldi/turmeric and pressure cook upto 2 whistles. Drain the water and squeeze out as much water as possible.
3. Fry the diced potatoes after sprinkling a pinch of salt and turmeric.Keep aside after frying.
4. Now fry the washed gobindobhog rice in oil till crispy. Keep aside.
5. In the wok, pour the cup full of oil, heat it and season with whole garam masala, tej pata/bay leaf and cumin seeds/whole jeera.
6. Throw in the soaked Bengal Gram and immediately cover the wok with a lid until the bengal grams stop spluttering.
7. Now add the masala paste (haldi, jeera powder, red chili powder & kashmiri chili powder) and salt and sugar.
8. Also add the grated coconut now. Cook the masala well, 'koshano' as we call it in Bengali.
9. After the masala is well cooked, add the pressure cooked, water drained & squeezed minced thor. Mix well with the masala.
10. Add the fried rice followed by diced potatoes.
11. Cover and cook on low/medium flame for around 10 minutes. Keep stirring on and off. No water is to be added. If required drizzle a spoon of oil.
12. If the thor ghonto appears a bit too moist, sprinkle a tsp of Flour/Ata and turn the vegetable around to mix it. This is an optional step and is required ONLY to reduce the moistness of the dish.
13. Before taking off the 'ghonto' off the flame, heat ghee and season with roasted garam masala powder and pour over the 'Thor ghonto'.

The Thor Ghonto is ready to be served with steamed rice.

This post is off to Weekend Herb Blogging #291 started by HAALO and  hosted for the week by PAULCHEN'S FOODBLOG


Rinku said...

Funny, I was just telling someone about Thor!

SGD said...

@Rinku-telepathy?! :)

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Sharmistha
I feel good that you are preserving and propagating traditional bong recipes. I have never had ThoD with rice, so new for me! The reference blog, is really informative. Let me see if I can get a piece of ThoD at CR park,,
Bhalo theko

Astrid said...

Very intersting and lovely dish. thnaks for sharing it with WHB #291

SGD said...

@UG-da-Ma'r recipe, as's her tip -"thor kochi holey ghonto & na hole chhechki!"

@Astrid-Thanks to you too...

Divya Vikram said...

I remember mom making this. So healthy and power packed :)

SGD said...

@Divya-yes it is!! rich in iron content!

a girl's diary said...

this is very new to me.....bhat er sathe thor na thor er sathe bhat!!.....besh interesting recipe...follow korchi for more Bengali dishes :)

SGD said...

To the girl & her diary - Thanks...eta amar Ma'r recipe!!

cfp123 said...