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Monday, October 8, 2012

Chaal Kopi


IMG_2297Bongs lives in a Bi-Focal world. They classify Indians into two categories. Bengalis and Non-Bengalis. After I left Kolkata whenever I was invited to so called Non Bengali friend’s home I used to get surprised that they use onion, garlic in their vegetarian food. It took me some time to explain to them that whenever we call some food vegetarian It is devoid of onions and garlic.

Chaal kopi is a vegetarian twist to the more popular Muri-Ghonto. When Bongs are forced to eat vegetarian due to some custom or festival, this is a common option, especially in winter when the fresh cauliflower hits the markets.


  1. 1 cauliflower cut into big florets
  2. 1 large potato cut into big cubes
  3. 4 green chilies cut lengthwise
  4. 1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  5. 4 tbsp. jeera rice or gobindobhog rice soaked in water for 30 minutes
  6. 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  7. 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  8. 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
  9. 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  10. 2 tbsp. golden raisins
  11. 1 tsp. sugar
  12. 1 tsp. ghee ( clarified butter )
  13. Salt to taste
  14. Oil
  15. For Tempering
    1. 1tsp. whole cumin seed 
    2. 2,3 bay leaves ( Tejpatta ) 
    3. 2 green cardamoms 
    4. 1 inch cinnamon stick 
    5. 2 cloves


IMG_2259Heat oil in a pan and add cauliflower florets and potato cubes to it. Shallow fry them on medium heat till they take a light golden hue. Remove and keep them on a paper towel.

In the same oil add all the ingredients listed under tempering. Once they stop sputtering add grated ginger, green chilies, soaked rice and raisins to it. If you are adding fresh peas, add now (for frozen peas see later).  Fry them on low heat for 3-4 minutes. Soon you will get the fantastic aroma of the fried rice and spices.

Add the fried cauliflower and potato pieces to it. Season with salt and sugar. Sprinkle turmeric, coriander and cumin powder over it. Fry them all together till the raw smell goes away and oil separates out from the spices. If required add little water for this process.

Here the rice will be cooked along with the vegetables so we need to  be careful about the quantity of the water.Add water to it so that all the veggies are partially submerged. Cook it covered on low heat till the vegetables are done. It is better to check in between to avoid overcooking because in this dish we want to keep the cauliflower florets intact.

If you are adding frozen peas, add them now.


Remove the lid and add 1 tsp. of ghee to it. If you are a health freak restrict the quantity to 1/4 tsp., but please don’t avoid it completely.

Enjoy with roti, parantha or rice. 


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