A combination of plantain (raw banana) with fresh fenugreek leaves brings out the best in both vegetables. Plantain has the wonderful ability to take the edge off sharp flavors, while fenugreek’s green bitterness adds some interesting notes to the simple plantain.
Come winter and vegetable markets in town display mounds of the juiciest of turnips, crunchy fresh peas, bright red carrots. The vegetables almost invite themselves over to your place for a shalgam gajar matar fiesta – warm, comforting, colorful and fun.
Mid-April each year, the harvest festival (or the start of the regional New Year) is celebrated round the country in diverse ways. Punjab has its Baisakhi, Kerala its Vishu. Bihar welcomes the season with Satuaan (सतुआन), also called Satuaa Sankranti (सतुआ संक्रान्ति).
The prefix ‘satuaa-‘ comes from ‘sattu‘ (roasted Bengal gram flour), a staple food in Bihar. For Satuaan, it is customary to eat a meal with sattu as its star item. The festival ushers in the summer season, so associating sattu-eating with it follows sound logic: sattu’s cooling properties are an effective antidote to heat.
We keep up with tradition by having sattu in some form on the occasion. This year, we had sattu chokha.
Like hot spicy food? Green chili fry (bhuni hari mirch) is a star in that genre – coated with spices, quickly cooked in mustard oil, a bit of green chili fry on the side with an Indian meal will give your taste buds a delightful fiery kick.