So, here is the challenge…..how do you take a wonderful tasting vegetable dish that looks like a big mash-up, and present it in a more modern way? We decided to tackle that with the chorchori – a Bengali dish whose very name evokes a giant mish-mash of vegetables (often an efficient way to use up left overs), cooked down to a pretty pulpy consistency that is one of the stock dishes you would find in one of the early courses of a Bengali meal.
Sadly, while it tastes wonderful and there are an interesting mix of colours to the dish depending on the range of vegetables you use, it doesn’t exactly sing to you visually as a plated dish in a modern dining context. Hence, we tried to deconstruct the dish somewhat, roasting the component vegetables with a pretty neutral flavour and basic seasoning, and then tossing it with the stock seasoning of the chorchori (paanch phoron – that Priya has written about earlier here and dried red chili primarily) as a dressing. Like a roast vegetable salad. It looks neater with the vegetables retaining their baton cuts, and the wonderful smoky spicy dressing of the spices that go into a chorchori. Now, to mess with the shukto!
Aniruddha and Priya