Shukto is a popular and traditional Bengali vegetarian side dish, which is made without onion and garlic. This is bitter in taste due to the usage of Karela/Bitter Gourd into this.
- Potato- 1 medium sized (peel and cut into halves lengthwise, then cut each half lengthwise into 3 pieces)
- Borboti/Long Yard Beans- 2 (Cut small portions off from both the ends of borboti, and roughly cut them into 2″ pieces.)
- If you don’t get borboti/long yard beans, it can be substituted with french beans. Use 4-5 french beans then.
- Jhinge/Ridge gourd – 1 medium sized (scrap the skin of the ridge gourd slightly to remove the hard areas. Cut the ridge gourd into tubes and half the tubes vertically)
- Potol/Pointed Gourd- 2-3 (Chop the ends of the potol /pointed gourd and scrap the skin, cut into halves lengthwise, then cut each half lengthwise into 2 pieces)
- Raw papaya- small size, I used ½ of it (peel and cut into 2 inch long and ½ inch thick slices)
- Karela/Bitter Gourd- 2 (Chop the ends of the karela/bitter gourd. Cut this into tubes and half the tubes vertically, then cut each half lengthwise into 2 pieces)
- Shim/Snow peas- 3-4 (Chop the ends of shim/snow peas and then cut into halves)
- Sojne Danta/Drumstick- 4 (Chop the ends of the sojne danta/drumsticks, cut into 2” pieces)
- Begun/Eggplant- 1 medium sized (use half of this, cut into thick cubes)
- Bori/Bodi/Vadi or Sundried Lentil Drops – 10-12
- Milk- ¾ cup
- Ginger paste- 1tsp
- Sugar- 1½ tsp
- Mustard oil- 2 tbsp for cooking + more for frying the boris.
- Ghee/Clarified butter- 1tsp
- Shukto Mashla- 1 tsp panch phoron+1/2 tsp of wild celery seeds+1/2 tsp fennel seeds. In a frying pan dry fry the spices in medium flame, till fragrant, don’t let them burn, grind until fine in a blender.
- Panch phoron (Bengali 5 Spice) – 1 tsp or mix
- Wild celery seeds
- Nigella seeds
- Cumin seeds
- Fenugreek seeds
- Fennel seeds in equal proportion.
Wash all the vegetables and keep aside. Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Fry the boris until golden brown, take them out from oil. Keep aside. In the remaining oil temper with panch phoron, once it splutters add the vegetables and salt. Mix and sauté for 5-6 minutes. Add Ginger paste and 1 cup of water , mix again cover and cook. When the veggies are half boiled add milk and sugar. Mix, cover and cook until done. All this on medium heat. The gravy of shukto will be medium thick. Add fried boris, shukto mashla and ghee. Mix well and remove from heat.
Your ‘Doodh Shukto’ is ready. Have this with steamed rice.