Winter has come and here's a recipe for alu fulkopir dalna. A Bengali cauliflower & potato curry.

Alu fulkopir dalna

Come winter and didu, my maternal grandmother who lives in Kolkata, gets very excited about the winter vegetables that flood the market.

Cauliflower is a favourite of hers. Green peas too. She puts these into fish curries. Or makes a vegetable curry with potatoes, cauliflower and green peas. If the curry is runny, she calls it a jhol. When slightly thicker, a dalna. The latter is had with rotis, while the more saucy one could go with rice too. She also does a simple stir fry with cauliflowers and nigella seeds (kalo jeere). At times she adds some finely chopped onions too. At times cubed potatoes go in too. Didu loves potatoes.

I live in Mumbai, a city which hardly has a winter (thought there is a mild nip in the air these days). We get cauliflowers through the year. Green peas and potatoes too.

Still, since it is December, I decided to make a potato and cauliflower curry of the sort that would be made in my granny's house. I had never made this before. I did not have a recipe to be honest. I cooked it the way I do my fish kaalia. It smelt the way the curries do in didu's house. I put some in K's office dabba too. She loved it too. Requested it to be made once again. I really enjoyed it as well.

Many asked me for the recipe when I posted the picture on Instagram. Which is why I thought I will write it here. I have no idea how 'authentic' this is or whether this is how didu makes it. If you still want it, read on. What I can assure you, is that it tasted good.

Alu fulkopir dalna (for 2)

Ingredients: 1 potato cubed into 4. 6 to 8 medium sized cauliflower florets, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1/2 a teaspoon of whole cumin, a bay leaf (tej paata), 1 dry red chilli and green chilli, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onions, 1/2 a teaspoon of ginger paste and 1/4 teaspoon garlic paste, salt to taste, spices: 1/2 teaspoon each or cumin, coriander and garam masala powders, 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder and turmeric, blended with a tablespoon of curd


Prep: 

Parboil cubed potatoes and peas
Coat the cauliflower and parboiled potato in salt, turmeric and chilli powder and shallow fry

Cook:
  1. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil or mustard oil if you want
  2. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of whole cumin, a bay leaf (tej paata), 1 dry red chilli and green chilli
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onions
  4. Once this turns translucent, add 1/2 a teaspoon of ginger paste and 1/4 teaspoon garlic paste
  5. Add cauliflower, potato, peas
  6. Add spices and stir
  7. Add water and salt. Add a small bowl if you want it to by on the drier side. Or more.
  8. Let the water come to a boil and then reduce flame and let it cook for 5 to ten min
  9. Add some coarsely ground cinnamon, cardamom and clove at the end and a a few drops of ghee if you want. I like to add the Jharna brand of ghee from Kolkata. Skip the ghee and it is vegan.
That's all. This is a broad guideline and feel free to add more chilli powder if you want or some sugar too.

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