Monday 30 April 2012

Lau Ghonto

Didi is wrecking havoc in joy Bangla by limiting the reading of newspapers & viewing of television channels. Power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absolutely, said some wise man. We were not really keen to know the universality of the hard-hitting phrase but now that it has come alive, it is nothing short of a mortifying experience for the hapless junta. Summer or not, we always knew we were the mango people but to keep squashing us like we were boiled lauki is doing injustice to our potential. It only takes enough repression for the aam aadmi to became khaas. And then there's no telling what havoc a frenzied nation can wreck on the powers- that-be. Don't we have examples the world over?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The cooling shukto effect seems to have waned & didibhai needs more to keep her hassled self in place. You are right Di, autocracy does work in Indian homes. We were brought up under the perennial surveillance of the merciless parental gaze. We could not read Mills & Boon without hiding it inside the geography book, watch any scene where the actors so much as came close to an embrace and were expected to display guilt if we were caught doing either. But that was when we were at an impressionable age. Or so it was felt. That M&Bs can improve your command over language or watching films help a child grow into an ace film-maker are repercussions that you saw only a decade later. But tumii bhabo dibhai, how can you monitor what adults read? Or watch? Isn't that taking governance to insane heights? And then it'll extend to you deciding for all what they should eat/drink, wear, who they should befriend. What will happen to the famous rock-baji in poshchim bongo? Or the famous bangali adda?  And if you spend so much time on deciding these, what will happen to your michhils, strikes, that have made you so popular? 
                                                                                                        For the love of your jhandebazi that is your USP, let the bewildered Kolkata-bashi be. Let the intellectuals read what they want to. What harm can an Anandabazar Patrika do that another daily can't ? How can marrying into another party spell less of a marital bliss? These are non-issues didi. How about shifting your attention to where it is really needed? Like eradication of poverty & unemployment? Like creating a safe state so that denizens can breathe in peace? Like allowing companies to thrive so that WB retains its brains and not lose it to other states/countries?
                                                                                                      Have some Lau Ghonto & bhaat. Lau(ki), very good for the eyes, will give you better vision. And the maachcher mudo, fish head, known to instill intelligence in our upper storey, will help you get back the lost oopar mala. So very needed in a leader. Ma has especially made this for you didi. Please relish. 

1. 1/2 lauki(bottle gourd) finely chopped
2. 1-2 fish head
3. 1/2 tsp cumin (zeera)
4. 1-2 bayleaf (tej patta)
5. 2-3 red chillies
6. 1/2 tsp ginger paste
7.  1/2 tsp bhuna masala (cardamom, cinnamon, clove, cumin & dry red chilli dry roasted & ground)
8. Salt to taste
9. Oil to cook
1. Pressure cook lauki with salt & a pinch of turmeric. Strain & keep aside.
2. Deep fry fish head with salt & a pinch of turmeric and keep aside.
3. In the same pan, splutter cumin seeds, tej patta & dry red chillies. Add the boiled lauki, fried fish head & ginger paste and let the ghonto cook till water dries.
                                                     4. Add salt, sugar & bhuna masala, cook for 2-3 mins & take off flame. 

Lau Ghonto is the first course of a traditional Bengali lunch.                                                                                                                                                                           Served with plain white rice, this subtly flavored dish sets the mood for the the maach, mangsho, chaatni & misti doi that follow. 

As Lakshmi says, no one can hold a candle to Bengali cuisine. And she is a Shetty from Mangalore, mind you :)
                                                                                                Please mend your ways Didi & we promise you our unflinching support. Let aamar  Bangla become the shonar bangla of yore....

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