A traditional Bengali winter vegetable stew flavoured with dried lentil dumplings that’s flavourful and gut friendly.
Just like the humble khichuri/khichdi (or kedgeree if you want to be colonial) has a recipe unique to every Indian household, the ubiquitous ‘rosha‘ has its singular version in homes across West Bengal. Simply put, the rosha is a selection of winter vegetables and bori (dried lentil dumplings) boiled in water with some basic spices till the vegetables are cooked through. The stew is then ladled over rice and served hot or warm.
But as with all food, things are never as simple as they seem to be at first glance.
In the case of rosha, the magic lies in the selection of vegetables, the type of bori and whether you have the inclination to grind the roasted cumin and coriander seeds with fresh green chilli for that extra zing. It’s a fact, though, that irrespective of the combination, the rosha will always feel like a hug to your senses and a celebration of the variety of winter vegetables that we Indians are lucky to have access to in our neighbourhood sabzi ka dukaan.
The rosha made in West Bengal tastes waaaaaay better than the one made in Ahmedabad has to do with the quality of vegetables and taste of water – but that’s a story for another day. Until then, here’s an offering of my favourite vegetable stew recipe in the whole wide world – rosha.
THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN COOKING THE ROSHA
- Try and select 5-6 types of vegetables, including one leafy green.
- The order of vegetables to be added to the stew depends on the time they take to cook, so your potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and brinjal will go first and then the leaves and tomatoes.
- Chop the vegetables in a similar shape to facilitate easy cooking. And it always looks better.
- The rosha is always best cooked in a traditional kadhai, but if you don’t have one, go for a deep pan with enough space for the vegetable stew to simmer and bubble.
Do let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram at from.the.corner.table and hashtag it #fromthecornertable. I’d love to see it ❤️
If you are a vegetarian or simply like to cook with vegetables, then I’d recommend trying the Spring Onion & Paneer Bhurji, Slow-Cooked Mixed Vegetables, Carrot & Coconut Halva, Green Garlic Mashed Potatoes too. Let me know what you think.
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A classic Bengali stew of winter vegetables.
- 100 grams Potato
- 100 grams Carrot
- 100 grams Brinjal
- 60 grams Tomato
- 250 grams Spinach leaves
- 4-5 Bodi (optional)
- 1½ tbsp Mustard oil
- ½ tsp Paanch phoron
- 1 Dry red chilli (large)
- ¼ tsp Asafoetida
- ½ tsp Cumin powder
- ½ tsp Coriander powder
- 1 tbsp Ginger paste
- 2 Green Chillies (slit lengthwise)
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- Salt (to taste)
- Jaggery (a small dollop)
- 2½ cups Hot water
Wash, peel and cut the potato, carrots and brinjals lengthwise. Set aside.
Cut the tomato lengthwise, chop the spinach leaves and stalk and keep them together in a separate bowl. These two vegetables go into rosha at the later stage.
In a kadhai or deep pan, heat 1 tablespoon mustard oil to smoking point.
Add the bodi and roast till golden brown. Transfer the bodi into a bowl and set aside.
In the same kadhai or pan, add the remaining mustard oil and bring it smoking point.
Add the paanch phoron, dry red chilli and asafoetida. Cook for a few seconds or till the spices in the paanch phoron begin to splutter.
Add the potato, carrots, brinjal and roast till the edges are slightly brown.
Add the cumin powder, coriander powder, ginger paste, green chillies to the roasted vegetables and mix well.
Add salt to taste.
Mix and cook till the vegetables have softened slightly and the spices emanate a fragrance.
Add hot water and bring the vegetable stew to a simmer.
Add turmeric, chopped spinach leaves (and stalk) along with tomato. Stir well and adjust seasoning.
Simmer till the vegetables are cooked through.
Add a small dollop of jaggery or a pinch of sugar, stir and remove from heat. Serve hot with rice.