Friday, June 17, 2011

Palong Shaker Ghonto - - Spinach in a medley of other veggies

An Internet friend was shocked when I told her that I have a cook.
“You are running a food blog, and your own food is cooked by a cook!” She was astounded. “What do you do then?”
“Well, I click pictures while she is cooking, and then rummage through the 50 odd snaps to select the 10 I’m actually going to post. Then I write about how to cook the dish, with tips and anecdotes. That’s a hell lot of work, you know.” I inform her.
“What if she doesn’t turn up for work?” My pained friend inquires.
“I order home delivery”
Although the above conversation did take place, it,s not true that that I don’t cook. I was just trying to be funny! I do cook, and although there are days I’m too tied up with my professional commitments and I donot cook even though I’m home - everything that I post is cooked by me….till now. And anyways my cook is an Andhraiite and what I post is predominantly Bengali!

Now, that I’ve cleared the doubt, may I please proceed to today’s dish, which is another Bengali delicacy – Palong shaker ghonto. I loved the way my Mom cooked it, and I still ask her to make it for me when I’m visiting her…or for that matter, even when she’s visiting me (how mothers always let you take advantage of themJ) That is when we are together ….but that’s only once or twice a year ! When I’m away, I cook it(sigh) for my family and this is how I do it:

Palong shaker ghonto - Spinach cooked with a medley of other veggies

Ingredients (in order of usage):
Oil: 2 tsp
Bori – 5 (or any number of your choice)
Panch Foron: ½ tsp
Green chillies – 2 slit and/or chilli pdr  1 tsp
Tomato: 1 chopped
Brinjal: diced
Green peas
French beans/Flat beans: diced
Pumpkin: diced
Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Spinach : cleaned and chopped
Moong dal – handful
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Sugar – ½ tsp
{Trivia: Bori is small sun dried lentil cakes – I prefer the ones made from urad dal, but you can get boris made from every possible dal)
I have not mentioned quantity for most of the ingredients – it means you can add any quantity according to availability or your liking. You can also omit some if you don’t have /like any  vegetable. If you donot like  potato like my hubby D, you omit that too.You can replace or add more veggies like carrot. Sugar can be omitted altogether or replaced by gur.

How to:
Step 1: Heat oil, and fry the Bori’s to a nice golden brown color. Remember bori’s tend to burn fast, so keep stirring continuously. It should be done in about a minute’s time. Remove with a strainer or a slotted spoon and keep aside.

Step 2: In the same oil add the panch foron and the bay leaves and the handful of moong dal in succession in a gap of about 30 secs. Fry till the moong dal turns golden.


 Step 3: Add green chillies, tomato, all the vegetables, ginger paste stir well and cover.

Step 4: when all the vegetables are well cooked, brinjals turned to a pulp, add the bori’s, salt, turmeric and sugar, stir well and add the cleaned and chopped spinach leaves. Another round of mixing and cover and let it cook.
 Step 5: When the spinach has lost its bright green color, add homemade (or whatever) Garam masala pdr, mix well and let all the water evaporate.
 Serve with hot rice. This typically Bengali dish doesn’t go too well with Roti’s, but no harm in trying! Try and let me know…


  1. Dear Jhimly
    I am delighted to read you comment at my Sundarban blog.
    I like this dish, and very different from the ones I know. I take note of using panch phoDon, tej pata and Garam masla ..hummm so different , a must try ...
    I am sure i will learn many recipes from your blog and will read one by one.
    I am following you
    Bhalo theko tomra

  2. Woww.. this is a new recipe for me.. I have to try this out :)

  3. Ghonto looks very tasty and healthy. Great preparation.
    Hamaree Rasoi

  4. the recipe is just like my Mom's, I used to hate greens when I was young and at home, and now I just miss all those flavors. I tried out your recipe using turnip greens instead of spinach and used some fish head too. It has turned out delicious. Thanks a ton!

  5. really tasty... just try it. thanks


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