27 January, 2018
Gota sheddo; Whole boiled veggies , a herbal cleanse?
Are you a traditionalist? Do you like hanging on to customs from your mother or grand mother? If you do, do you cut corners or replicate them to the minutest detail?
You know growing up I did what I was asked to, sometimes with reluctance. Then there was a time, I would pull myself away from these altogether. Now when I’m
older , younger at heart, I find myself going after these traditions like there’s no tomorrow.
End of January or early February, is the onset of Spring back home. With change of weather starts the flu season. It is a no brainer, a healthy diet boosts the immune system of the body.
Eating Gota sheddo is one such tradition. There are so many ways to cook it. The purists claim there can’t be no spices, period. Just boil the whole veggies, with lentils. With time, just like everything else rules get bent a little, customs get stretched a bit, and we end up with a new and improved version.
In as much as I like traditions, I allow myself to improvise too. I love some wiggle room. Here is how I did it.
Do you have a tradition with food? I would love to hear form you.
Recipe: Serves 6
Snow peas A handful
Radishes 5 with shoots
Potatoes 5 small
Eggplant 5 small
Spinach one bunch or a big handful
Whole black lentil one cup
Mustard oil 2 Tbsp
Dried red chillies 3-4
Aniseed powder 2 tsps
Salt to taste
Jaggery 1 tsp
Grated ginger 1 Tbsp
Water 1 litre or so
In a big pan, or Pressure cooker, add the mustard oil. Heat on a high flame, when hot add the Panch phoron, dry red chillies, bay leaves, turmeric powder. When the spices sputter throw in all the veggies and lentil, add salt, jaggery, grated ginger and water.
Cover and cook for half hour or until done, two whistles if pressure cooking. Add more water if needed. Garnish with aniseed powder and enjoy with rice.
It is customary to eat this cold.
Panch phoron is a Bengali five spice mixture. It is available in Indian grocery store or can be constituted at home by mixing equal portions of Mustard seeds, Whole cumin, Nigella seeds, Fenugreek seeds, and Aniseeds.