Friday, 10 February 2012

Phulkopir Shingara

Apparently, this weekend is when winter will bid us a final adieu, and we won't miss it one little bit... till March slowly melts into April and we start dissolving into our own little puddles of sweat.

The shape of things to come.

On a more immediate level, winter marching also means lovely fresh yummalicious veggies marching out of the markets, leaving the same old aloo-potol rubbish till next winter. So! I created a little alternate reality where I am NOT simultaneously working on five different projects, and I haven't a care in the world except to keep my tastebuds and tumtum happy. Day 1 of this produced phulkopir shingara -- that lovely, lovely piping-hot golden pastry, stuffed with a lightly, yet piquantly, flavoured cauliflower and potato.

This version of the shingara -- which is the Bangali version of a fried/baked ravioli, momo, dimsum or similar -- is completely 'niramish'. Absolutely vegetarian. There is no onion, no garlic, no hint of scandalous things forbidden in the Hindu household a century back. Prep time's an amazing forty minutes, especially if you're a deft hand at making the little triangles. If you're not, three batches and you will be. So then! Plunge in :-)

First, cauliflowers. Washed and cut into little florets. And I mean little.

 Then, two small potatoes. Or one large one. Whatever you've got at hand. Plus, those chilies? If you can handle 'em, chop 'em up.

 A teaspoon of oil. Half a teaspoon of jeera, because I like a strong flavour.

 Toss in the diced potatoes and cauliflowers, lightly rubbed with turmeric. Then, when it smells fried, toss further with salt and two pinches of sugar. Then, sprinkle a tablespoon of water all over it, simmer, and cover till tender.

When the vegetables are tender and there's no gravy of any description left in the work/pan, take it off the flame. Sprinkle bhaja guro moshla* over it, and mix well.

 Now, the shingara! Roll out your average flatbread dough into a circle, then cut it into half.

 Fold the semi-circle into half, keeping the top fold slightly larger than the bottom (look at the pic carefully to see how this works). Now, wet the tip of your finger, run it along the longer flap, and carefully make a cone of the semi-circle.
 See? Cone.

Which you stuff with stuff. Like, say, that awesome cauliflower filling.

 And then, you wet your fingertip again, and seal the bottom of the cone, such that they have a flat(ish) bottom to stand on.

 Then, contrary to all laws of flatbread-frying, slowly sink your shingaras into oil you've just put on a medium flame.

Incidentally, if you think the sticky dough is sticky enough to hold shape, and skip the wet-fingertip act, this is what will happen to your shingara: Eet weel kaam aaapaaart.


However, if you've been good, and done as you're told, you will have a platful of crisp, steaming, utterly scrumptious shingaras, with the lovely vegetarian filling.

Happy Bengali snacking, people!

*'Bhaja guro moshla' is an assortment of dry-roasted spices ground to a fine powder in a mortar-and-pestle. In this case, it is jowan (ajwain, carom seeds) and whole jeera (cumin), toasted together on a skillet or tawa till fragrant, then ground in a mixie.

5 comments:

Dea-chan said...

OH nommy. I made fried onion strings this weekend for the first time! Turns out, every single time I try to fry something, it's easier than I expect it to be. I just hate having to deal with the leftover oil hanging out. What do you do with it?

Sue said...

You beat me to it. I took photos for a post too, the last time I made some. My family recipe is a little different but uses the same spices.

They look very tempting but I have to say I make neater singaras. *smirks*

panu said...

You've got Award. A Liebster Award. Follow back to my blog to retrieve and share the lou!

Rimi said...

D -- frying is the simplest thing there is. One only needs to know how to vary the flame at different stages of the process.

Sunny -- I'm sure you do :-) Go ahead and share your recipe?

Aww, Panu, thanks! But I simply don't read enough food blogs to share the award myself. Dekhi, dara :-)

Sujata Basu said...

True authentic Bengali singara recipe...like it a lot..keep up the good work..