Its Five in the evening here. I have been home all day. P left for work by about 8:30 ish. The apartment lies quiet and empty. Except for the sound it makes, tick tock says the wall clock, the clanking of the shells from the wall hanging that ma sent all the way for Kutch as I accidentally brush my shoulder against them.
The Creaking of the wooden wall unit, its pretty old. Then off course the silence is broken by the chiming of the wind chime every time the breeze blows by. The refrigerator hums and my teeth grinds into bhakarkhani.
The Curio Shelf creaks every now and then
The apartment does as it pleases. I have always believed that homes or houses or where ever one lives has a soul. You live in it, you put all your efforts into to it and it becomes a part of you.. A part of your soul becomes your home. So I wonder the days when the house lies all by it self what does it do.
The Clock Says Tick Tock
Does it make a cup a tea for itself, get into its favourite sweats and watch the Bold and the Beautiful or.. does it plan a book club meet or a kitty party with other houses, bake a cake, make lemonade and Hors d’oeuvres, or does the house go shopping ; or simply the house waits like an ever faithful companion for its occupants to return. I have always wondered. What if I sneak in on the house only to find it quietly waiting, does the house know I am spying on it.. Well we will never know..
The Wind Chimes along
The Lone Chair sits in the Balcony
In all this wondering I forget I have to make dinner. I hate cooking late into the evening, its a thing I have, I like finishing of with kitchen before the clock strikes 6. I do not think that is happening today. Hmm it is meat less Tuesdays and I am in the mood for something simple, comfort food; may be just rice and daal, oh and there is the pumpkin (Kumro) I almost forgot about, it stares at me, hard as if mocking me by saying “what were you thinking, I am to make my way to your kitchen table, peel my skin by my self then chop myself and get cooked. Can you not see I am already chopped into half, I used to be this beautiful plump round gourd until the pumpkin farm decided it was time to hit the axe.” So I decide to make kumror Chokka ( stir fried pumpkin with black grams).
I like Kumror Chokka, but P is obsessed with it. He could eat Kumro anytime and when I got married; Mum-in-law told me one thing, “feed my son kumror chokka and you have his heart” so true a way to man’s hear is through his tummy and I say taste buds too more so if he is a Bong Man.
So now on to Kumror Chokka
- Indian Pumpkin (kumro) – I small pie Chopped into medium cubes
- Black grams ( kalachana ) 1/2 cup boiled
- Dry red chillies- 2-3
- Ginger paste- 1 teaspoon
- Phanch Phoron – Bengali five spices ( an equal mix of nigella, fenugreek, fenel, mustard and cumin seeds)
- Dry roasted cumin powder
- Red Chilli powder- 1/2 teaspoon
- Green chillies- 2
- Asafoetida- pinch
- pinch of sugar
- Oil ( I used Mustard) – 3 table spoon
Start by chopping the pumpkin into medium cubes. Heat a saute pan or kadhai or wok with the oil. Once the oil is hot enough , in case of mustard oil it should be smoking add the asafoetida, Panch phoron and the dry red chillies. Saute for a min or so
Now add the green chillies and ginger. Mix well till the raw smell of the ginger goes.
Next add the pumpkin and the red chilli powder, salt and a pinch of sugar and cover and cook till the pumpkin is soft and almost smashed. You should not need water but do check in between and give it a good stir in between.
Finally, add the kala chana and sprinkle some dry roasted cumin and mix well.
P.S. The silence finally breaks, the Bong Man comes home after a long hard day..
- You can add potatoes along with pumpkin
- My mom-in-law also sprinkles shredded coconut flakes but that is upto you
- You can use just fenugreek or nigella seeds to temper the oil instead of panch phoron
- Can be eaten with daal and rice or even parathas