Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bengali Kochur Loti style Asparagus with Shrimp

As we all are aware of, many of the modern popular Bengali dishes came from the eastern part of the Bengal or today’s Bangladesh. Several of them use Taro Stolons as a main ingredient, called Kochur Shak or Kochur Loti in BengaliOnce they are cooked simply in a home-style manner, they become really delish. You can consider to make them more frequently and surprise your family. Your hubby will stop referring to the Hilsha dish that his mom used to make with Kochur Shak.

As my family is all from West Bengal side, I rarely had Kochur Shak before coming to US . I can still recall that one of our neighbor aunts introduced us to Kochur loti with Hilsha head when she heard that none of my family members knew how to cook this veggie. 

Later when I came to  USA,  got to know Asparagus, the vegetable which is very close to Taro Stolons. Bengalis in USA generally cook Asparagus the same way the kachur loti is
used to cook in Bengal.  Whenever I go to farmers market, I always feel like buying this beautiful vegetable, especially during summer because it looks so fresh. Initially, I made the grilled version of this vegetable in American way, which didn’t become popular at our home. Then I started wondering how it can be made in Indian way and will go well with rice. So I experimented it with shrimp and mustard paste.  My husband and I both like it, except my son who is not a big veggie lover. 

Like Taro Stolons, you can cook Asparagus in several different ways . The vegetarian way  is simply with coconut and mustard paste.  You can make the non-veg version with fish head or Shrimp, though my favorite is shrimp.  Today I will share the recipe about how to cook Asparagus with shrimp, the style influenced by Bengali Kachur loti. The recipe itself is very fast and easy, requires very few pantry staples.

Recipe of Asparagus with Shrimp


Asparagus : 1 bundle ( 1 lb ) 
Shrimp : 1 cup small 
Onion : a small one, thinly sliced 
Mustard oil : 6 tablespoon 
Kala jeera / Nigella seeds : half teaspoon 
Green chilis : 4 - 5 or to taste 
Turmeric powder : a pinch 
Red chili powder : 1/2 teaspoon ( optional ) 
Mustard paste : 2 teaspoons 
Grated coconut : two tablespoons ( optional ) 
Salt : to taste 


1. Cut the asparagus into 2 inches long pieces and discard the hard end part. 

2. Clean and wash the shrimps thoroughly and salt and turmeric and mix it well  and set it aside for 10 minutes. 

3. Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, fry the shrimp until they are pink. Take it off from the pan and keep it aside. 

4. In the remaining oil add kalo jeere and green chilis. Once it sizzles add sliced onion and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. 

5. Now add the chopped asparagus to the pan. Stir it and add salt and turmeric. Cover and cook it for 8 to 10 minutes over low heat until they are soft. 

6. Add mustard paste , add more green chilies if you need. Keep stirring for 2 to 3 minutes. 

7. Now add fried prawns and mix it well. Check the seasoning. Add grated coconut ( optional ) and add few drops of mustard oil. Stir and cook for another couple of minutes. Switch off the flame and serve hot with steamed rice. 

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