Postor Borar Tok /Khus Khus Cutlet Chutney
When does food stop being just food and become soul food? When there are memories attached to it…precious memories…memories which are hard to let go…memories which we don’t want to let go…memories which we shouldn’t let go…Thank you Sandipa, for sharing one such precious memory with us.
Sandipa says “This dish is one that was always a part of the Lunch menu, 365 days in a year at 22, Upper Chitpur Road, Kolkata, my Dida’s (Granny’s) home.
My Dida, Sudha Barman, was married off at a very early age and neither managed to complete her education nor get any training in cooking and household chores. But, with her dedication and perseverance she learnt everything and in a big joint family managed to dish out tasty dishes for every meal. She never had mutton or chicken nor made them but rest whatever she made they were the tastiest dishes I have had in my life.
Since I was her favorite granddaughter, she always went out of the way to make dishes for me that I used to crave for. When the whole household used to have rotis for dinner, she used to make rice and boiled egg for me at night after all her chores were over as I had not learnt to eat rotis till then.
She was and still is the Best Cook for me. Unfortunately no one managed to carry her legacy forward and after the advent of the daughters-in-law into the household, she gradually stopped cooking and the kitchen was taken over by the new entrants and things changed forever.
In her memory I decided to write about this dish and even make it for the first time at home.
50gms Khus Khus/Poppy Seeds
1 Onion chopped fine
4/6 Green Chillies
½ Tsp Panch Phoron
2/3 Pieces of raw mango or 1 to 2 tsp of Tamarind paste( this is the souring agent)
1Tbsp of Mustard Paste
Salt to taste
Pinch of Turmeric
To make the cutlets, grind the khus khus with a green chilly or two and a little water or dry grind it and then mix water to make the cutlets. To the paste add chopped onions, salt and small pieces of green chilies and shape them into round cutlets. The paste should be devoid of much water or the cutlets will break up while frying. Heat oil in a pan/kadhai and shallow fry the cutlets till well browned. This will prevent the cutlets from breaking once the sauce is poured over them.
Heat oil in a kadhai and put panch phoron. Then add the mango pieces or the tamarind paste and fry for 2-3 mins. Then add salt, turmeric and water to make the sauce. Once it comes to a boil and the mango pieces are soft add the mustard paste and a few slit green chilies and take it off the fire. If it is allowed to remain longer the mustard will become bitter. Put the cutlets in a serving bowl and pour the sauce over it. Let the boras soak in the sauce for an hour or so for the taste of the sauce to seep into them.
Postor Borar Tok is ready to be served with hot steaming rice.
And like all Toks it is to be had at the end of the meal but before the sweet dish
-Recipe by Sandipa Nitin Tombat