Shukto – a traditional Bengali Durga Puja Recipe

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If you are anything like my family, your festivals revolve around grand meals at home that includes regional Classics and heirloom recipes!  Be it Eid, Diwali, Krishna utsav or Durga puja – the highlight remains your dinning table spread. Yay to you!

So, today I bring you one of the most loved recipe in my family. Its a star and no, I am not boasting. Its an heirloom recipe that my mother has learnt from my dida(nani or maternal grandmother) and her maashi(aunt) and has passed on to me with all its glory. Presenting,

Shukto – a traditional Bengali Durga Puja Recipe

ArtsyCraftsyMom | Shukto - a traditional Bengali Durga Puja Recipe - 9 vegetables, Lentils & milk. A Festival Indian Vegetarian recipe that's Quick to make, Yum & healthy.

Its basically a starter with a hint of bitterness yet so flavourful. The best part is, its bitterness can be balanced to one’s own taste.

If that hasn’t impressed you yet,
– Its got 9 vegetables (you could add 5 or 7 on the basis of what you have),
– Generous amount of lentil boris/vadas & milk that gives you your protein,
– No garlic makes it apt for those Puja days,
– No onion that makes it pocket friendly
– No tomato for your parents or grandparents with uric acid problems.
– Healthy & delicious, hand in hand!

It’s served with steamed rice as entré or starter but I personally have it as a quick serving of vegetable or soup now & then – so wholesome and healthy, so why not?!

Recipe title = Shukto – a traditional Bengali Durga Puja Recipe
Servings = 4-5
Prep time = 15mins
Cook time = 20mins approx.
Difficulty = Easy

INGREDIENTS  to make Shukto

ArtsyCraftsyMom Shukto recipe
¤ Brinjal/Egg plant/Aubergine, 2 small sizes,
¤ Raw banana, 1 medium
¤ Drumstick, 2
¤ Potato, 2 big
¤ Long beans, 5 small sizes
¤ Gati Kochu/Taro/Colocasia
(Link for the text : )
¤ Bitter gourd/Karela, 1 medium size
¤ Bori/Vadi/Sun dried lentil balls (link for text given above) , 6-7
¤ Snake gourd/Parwal , 2 , with skin removed completely
¤ Sweet potato/Yam : 2 small
¤ Oil , 2 tablespoon (For caterer like texture deep dry the veggies)

For tempering :
¤ Oil, 2 tablespoon
¤ Bay leaves, 2
¤ Dried red chilli, 2, broken
¤ Panch phoron (Link for text given above) , 1 teaspoon
¤ Radhuni/Ajmud/Celery seeds, 1 teaspoon

Seasoning :
¤ Paste
– Ginger, 1″piece
– Mustard seeds, 1/4 tablespoon** (Scroll down for tip)
– Radhuni, 1/4 tablespoon
– Fennel seeds/saunf/mouri, 1/4 tablespoon
– Poppy seeds, 1/4 tablespoon
– Water, 1/2 cup or so
¤ Salt, to taste
¤ Sugar, 1-2 tablespoon
¤ Milk, 2 cups
¤ Ghee (not butter,please), 1/2-1 tablespoon

For sprinking :
¤ Dry roasted ground Radhuni/Ajmud, 1/4 tablespoon
¤ Dry roasted ground Panch phoron, 1/4 tablespoon

Depending on where you live, you may or may not have trouble getting the ingredients near you. Except a few handful of must haves, you may swap or omit some.
The first issue would be lentil badi/vada. They are sun dried lentil nuggets or balls that can be made at home or bought readymade

Next would be “Radhuni” which is used for tempering and for seasoning.
Its called Ajmud, if am not mistaken, the nearest thing would be wild celery seeds. If you get radhuni or ajmud , go girl!

Final query would be on “panch phoron“. Its not uncommon though.
Now that we are clear on those, why don’t we get started, eh?

ArtsyCraftsyMom | Shukto - a traditional Bengali Durga Puja Recipe - 9 vegetables, Lentils & milk. A Festival Indian Vegetarian recipe that's Quick to make, Yum & healthy.


¤ In a wok/Kadai, Fry the bitter gourd. Keep aside on a kitchen towel. In the same wok, fry Bori/vadi. Keep aside on a kitchen towel. You could also deep fry them.

¤ In the wok, put some oil for tempering. Heat it and add the bay leaves, dried red chillies, panch phoron and radhuni. Let them release their aroma.

¤ Add all the other vegetables. Stir fry them well. You could also deep dry each seperately and add in tempered oil

¤ When the vegetables are cooked through,add the paste (Listed above) and mix well.
Add salt and sugar. Mix again.

¤ Cook with the lid on for 10-15 mins on low flame. Stir in between to avoid burning or sticking.

¤ Add the fried bori/vadis, fried Karela and the milk. Give a gentle stir.
Put Ghee in. Keep it uncovered on low flame for a few minutes till desired consistency of gravy.

¤ Turn off the flame.
Serve in a bowl with a good sprinkling of dry roasted ground spice mix. (Listed above)
A bowl of steaming Basmati rice would do great


☆ Stir gently to avoid breaking the veggies and Bori/vadis. The latter tend to break.

☆ No turmeric. Never.

☆ No Tomatoes go in either.

☆ Black mustard seeds give a strong flavour.
But this dish is so apt for Children and elderly, so using white mustard seeds is fine. Good for digestion. Happy tummy!

☆ Butter is not used. It’s a traditional dish that uses desi ghee.

☆ Bitter gourd is another must.You may use any variant of Karela. As the amount depends on the bitterness you want.

☆ Deep frying the Karelas/bitter gourd, helps reduce the bitterness.

☆ Cook with the lid on, depending on the size of vegetables you have used. Bigger the size, more the time!
Make sure you don’t overcook or undercook them.

☆ No chillies are ideally used other than for tempering.


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Blogger. Cook. Reader. Dancer. Artist. Fashion enthusiast. Observer. Recipe collector. Health promoter. Camera shy. Judgemental by choice. Above all daughter, sister, lover of those & that which matters. Connect with Roy on twitter, facebook and google plus .

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