Oh, I remembered my childhood when Ma would torture me with sojne phuler bati chorchori in the month of March. For those of you, who do not understand Bengali, sojne phul is moringa blossoms and they turn into drum sticks when they mature. Like cherry blossoms, they are very short lived. Just for a couple of weeks at the onset of spring and you will find your neighborhood drumstick tree blossoming into all white with flowers scattered on the ground. Most of the time, the morning walk crowd picks up the flower and by 7: 30 am, you will not find one single blossom. Ma insisted on having this seasonal flower since it is supposed to be a precaution for chicken pox.
The importance of Sojne phuler bati chorchori in my life
I was 25, when I got chicken pox and I was in the UK at that time. It was so amusing when the GP announced, looking at my boils, that I have chicken pox. I only remembered Ma and sojne phul. Alas, I had not had sojne phuler bati chorchori in the UK.
How does sojne phuler bati chorchori taste?
You need to have a developed taste bud to like this dish. As an adult, I love it. There is a hint of bitterness and some sweet. There is an overall balance with the tomatoes, some sugar and the pungent mustard oil. When generously mixed with steamed rice using your fingers, mashing some green chilies into it; sojne phuler bati chorchori taste like none other.
Some of the common household recipes of sojne phul are bati chorchori, regular chorchori, sojne phuler bora, sojne phul bhaja and many more.
Sojne phuler bati chorchori is perhaps the easiest to make
Almost effortless cooking, any bati chorchori is easy and quite healthy form of cooking too. The only tedious part about this dish is cleaning the moringa blossoms and removing all the stems. Rest all is, as Tugga say, easy peasy lemon squeezy.
By this time, in all probabilities, sojne phul is out of the market. If you are lucky and find it, do try the recipe and let me know how was it. Or else, next year perhaps!
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Sojne phuler bati chorchori
- 2 cups sojne phul or morenga blossoms
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 no medium sized tomato
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 2 nos green chilies
- 1 tsp whole wheat flour or aata
- 3 tbsp Mustard Oil
- 1/2 Tsp Red Chili Powder
- Remove all the stems from the moringa blossoms and clean them under running water to remove all dirt. Then keep the morenga blossoms on a kitchen towel and wipe off all excess water.
- In a bowl, preferably aluminium or with a heavy bottom, mix the moringa flower with turmeric powder, red chili powder, sugar, salt to taste, chopped green chilies, chopped tomatoes and a tbsp of mustard oil. Do not add too much salt since the morenga flower or sojne phul will reduce in quantity and then the salt will be too much.
- Cover the bowl with a proper lid and place it over low flame. In olden days, people would just place the bowl over a clay oven and with very low heat.
- Let it cook for about fifteen minutes. Remove the lid and check if the flowers have become soft or not. In a small bowl, take a tsp of aata and 1 tbsp of water and make a slurry. Add this slurry to the dish and increase the heat to medium while the water evaporates and everything becomes a nice mushy chorchori.
- Check the seasoning and add more salt if required. Finally add a couple of more tbsp of mustard oil and turn off the heat.
- Alternatively, you can put everything in a tiffin box and place it in a pressure cooker with a little bit of water and give it one whistle. Once done, take it out in a frying pan, add the aata slurry and dry the water and finish the chorchori with mustard oil.
- Serve it hot with some steamed rice.
- This is how my mother makes bati chorchori. Some people also add muatrd paste to it. Ma adds mustard paste only when she makes a chorchori with nigella seeds which will be another post, perhaps next year.