Every day of this week I wake up in the morning and remember “ohh it’s my veggie week”. As soon as I get up first thing appears in my mind is “what should I cook today?” And as my veggie hunt is still on and my knowledge is limited, I had to recall my childhood’s favorite Sunday breakfasts. In our family (or should I say, in most of the Bengali families) Sunday lunch always used to be a bit heavy. Big platters of mutton or chicken used to be there with a little sweet thing. So breakfasts were always full with veggies. But after all its Sunday so there had to be very something special. So luchi or porota(paratha) used to be served with them. (Feelingso nostalgic now.. )
Anyways, my today’s post is not related with my nostalgia, it’s all about food and cooking only. So my today’s pick is Alu Kumro Chechki or Chenchki. Can anybody tell me; is it Chenchki or just Chechki??? I don’t know what is the correct word for this? But again as they say, “What’s in a Name”, especially when it is that much simple yet superb tasty.
In Bengali families chenchki is a very common and familiar word. Chechki means shredded. And you won’t find a bong kitchen which never had any kind of chechki. Any veggies which are stir fried with nigella seeds are known as chechki or bhaja. Just different families from different origins use different names. But in the end all are same 🙂
There are many more variations also just like it’s different names. Few people use Paanch Phoron instead of nigella seeds. Sometimes garlic pods are used to add more flavors. Though I didn’t use any of it. I simply used my family’s basic recipe which I still cherish 🙂
Potato: 2, large
Sweet pumpkin: 200gms
Fresh green chillies: 2-4 ( I used 2 as I got looong chillies)
Nigella seeds: 1 tsp
Mustard oil: 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: ½ tsp (optional)
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp (optional)
Wash the vegetables thoroughly.
Peel the potatoes. And cut them lengthwise. Just like the picture below.
Cut the green portion from the pumpkin and cut them lengthwise too.
Slit the green chillies.
Heat oil in a wok on high flame and wait until oil is smokey.
Turn down the flame to medium and add nigella seeds and green chillies. Let them splutter.
Add drained potatoes. Mix well so that potatoes get coated with oil and nigella seeds.
Stir fry for few mins or until potatoes are half done.
When potatoes are half done, add pumpkin and mix well.
Add salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Mix well to coat every piece of veggies.
Cover and cook for 5-7 mins or until veggies are done. Keep the flame on simmer.
Check the seasoning and turn off the flame. Remove immediately to the serving bowl.
Serve your Alu Kumro Chechki with luchi, porota(paratha) or even with simple steamed rice and musur dal.
I made tekona porota (Bengali triangle fried flat bread) to complete my platter.
1. Soak the potatoes in water until you use them. just before the use drain them. It will help to keep the original colors of potatoes. Black patches can be avoided in this way.
2. Before you add pumpkin, make sure your potatoes are half done. If potatoes are completely undone, don’t add pumpkins. Wait for the potatoes to be half done. Because potatoes take longer time to cook. If both veggies are added at the same time, pumpkins will be over cooked and smashed by the time potatoes are done.
3. When you are done, don’t leave the veggies on the same cooking pan. Transfer it immediately. Because the cooking pan/wok will be still hot for few more mins. And by that time your neatly done veggies will be over cooked. So avoid the mess and keep it clean.