Bengali Labra/ Labda


Have you ever wondered why aren’t the winter vegetables not preferred by many around the year. Some might say availability..but in metropolitan cities they are available year round..some might say because they are difficult to digest and produce lot of heat which is not suitable for summers. So all in all the onset of winters and with it comes the abundance of vegetables. Along with that comes a celebration of these vegetables…surprised..well you see unknowingly across India almost every state/ culture celebrates the fresh produce. Like in North India we celebrate Annkut or sagadd after Diwali..it includes all winter vegetables along with accompaniments. So does West Bengal..Pujo time Labra/Labda is served along with Khichudi. It is also a similar all vegetables preparation. Spices, preparation is different across states but essence remains same. So here I’ve made Labra/Labda, the very first time i heard about this dish ..while describing it my husband was drooling away with the mere thought of the combination of Khichdi on banana leave…hot ghee..hot piping labda and plastic chutney..I kept on wondering what
exactly is this dish all about. After so many attempts of trying to learn from many possible elderly ladies of in laws house i was finally able to get down to one proper recipe and after lots of patience managed to cook both his favorite dishes together.

Bhaja Moong Dal Khicudi and Labda

Preparation time- 5 min
Cooking time – 45 min
Serves – 4

Ingredients –

White Radish – 1, peeled, chopped
Brinjal- 4 small – Chopped
Parwal / pointed gourd- 4 peeled, deseeded, halved
Pumpkin- 1 cup, chopped
Beans- 1/2 cup chopped
Sem Phali / long bean- 1/2 cup chopped
Potato- 3 peeled, cut vertically into 6 pieces
Spinach- 2 cups- chopped and washed
Carrot- 1 peeled, chopped
Bodi – Moong dal/ urad dal- 1/2 cup
Bhaja Masala-
Bay leaves -2
dried red chilli- 1
cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
cinnamon- 1/2″
Cloves- 4
Green Cardamom- 2
Normal Spices-
Salt
Turmeric’s paste / turmeric powder

Bhaja Masala

Method

Cut, wash all the vegetables, keep spinach aside.
Dry roast the bhaja masala spices, grind, keep aside. In a big kadhai/wok add mustard oil, deep fry Bodi, keep aside. Add bay leaves, red chili and panchphoron, sauté, add the chopped vegetables, saute for good 2-3 minutes till they are coated in oil, add spinach leaves at this stage, sauté for good 4-5 minutes, add turmeric paste/ powder, ginger paste. mix thoroughly, sauté for 2-3 minutes, add kashmiri red chilli powder, salt and sugar. Stir and by this time beans would be done, add bhaja masala, mix, add 1/2 cup water, cover a let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Check if the potatoes and white radish is done. If all cooked, add ghee and cover. Turn off the flame and let the aroma and nuttiness of ghee get soaked in the vegetables. Enjoy with Moong Dal Khichudi.

Panchphoron, and spices

Published by Richa Bhargava Mitra

A food enthusiast who finds cooking a stress buster. A core Rajasthani married to a Bengali, my kitchen is always happily churning out dishes covering both the states as well as many other experiments including all things sweet :) Baking has never been a part of my growing years and messing around in the kitchen schedule. Primarily because baking without egg never seemed like an option...why ? Well this goes wayyy back. I am a Bhargava who are strictly vegetarians by choice and religion. Hence no onion, garlic , eggs etc can even enter the house..forget the kitchen. But growing years of every generation had their share of baked goodies which always had eggs. My Grandfather ( Mother's father) used to assist in a bakery during his college days in Rawalpindi..this was before India's independence and hence all the bakeries etc were British. My grampa still swears by the taste of all the amazing patisseries and almond milk etc. My mother had her share during her Convent school days and so did I. For my father there was a twist, by the time he grew up his mother had allowed onion and eggs in kitchen ....yippeee. But then eventually every one grows up and the religion factor comes into the picture. Hence till date at my Mother's place no onion in the kitchen. But i married a bengali who was nowhere near to be a vegetarian. So after many... failed, not so successful, will do, oohh good, disaster, can you keep the taste consistent, too much salt and loads of patience i have finally managed to start cooking the way dishes are supposed to be. Hence my blog focuses on baked goodies, vegetarian Bhargava food and Bengali food that i have learned from my husband and In laws. Not to miss the name SweetJaw as i cannot stay away from sweet ..not in any form but i guess cakes, cookies, tarts, pastries, Indian sweets in fact any things that is either baked, deep fried, and has chocolate , icing sugar is bound be the best. So my blog's name is shamelessly SweetJaw

12 thoughts on “Bengali Labra/ Labda

      1. Khichdi is an indulgence in any flavour. I had the gujrati variant, maybe it would be similar. And I should look up Daal Bati recipe if you have blogged that Richa, my absolute favourite from Rajasthan 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you Deb for a timely reminder…my Rajasthani dishes have been calling out for quite sometime…the only delay is I’m the only one that eats them at my home. Nevertheless…few of them coming soon. Glad you like the simple and humble Daal Baati🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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