The day we get hilsa, we end up making our entire course of lunch out of it. Starting with Hilsa fry with it’s oil, followed by charchari, then jhol, jhal and finally tak.
I have already covered most of the other receipes, today it’s the turn for the charchari.
- 1 hilsha head washed and cut into halves
- 1 bunch pohi saag washed thoroughly in running water and cut into 2-3" pieces
- 1 medium Chinese eggplant (long brinjal) cut into big cubes
- 200 gm. of pumpkin cut into medium cubes
- 2 potatoes cut into thick wedges
- 1 tsp. paanch phoron
- 3,4 green chilies slit length wise
- Turmeric powder
- Chili powder
- Mustard oil
Smear the hilsha head with turmeric powder and salt and keep aside.
Heat mustard oil in a pan till it smokes and fry the head on medium heat till all sides turn brown. As hilsha's head is bony don't break the head much. Once fried remove from oil and keep aside.
Since we want to retain all the flavors of hilsha we won't discard the oil. Temper the same oil with paanch phoron and chilies. Once you get the pungent smell reduce heat and add eggplants. Fry on medium heat. Remove when it is cooked. We want all our vegetables to be cooked evenly; without making them mushy. That's why I removed the fried eggplants, which will be added later to the rest of the vegetables.
Add potatoes and pumpkins followed by turmeric and chili powder. Sauté on medium heat and cook it covered for 5 mins. Remove the lid and add pohi leaves and stems to it. Season with salt and sugar. Mix them well.
Cover and cook for about 2-3 mins. The greens will start wilting and releasing water by this time. Remove the cover and cook on medium high flame stirring occasionally.
When you see that the vegetables are almost cooked add fried eggplants and hilsha head to it. Mix everything together and wait till all the moisture gets dried.
Charchari is generally eaten with white rice.