Bengali puja special labra recipe with step by step pictures – Labra a bengali term basically used to identify a quite mushy bengali mixed vegetable curry cooked in mustard oil and some simple spices, but without using bengali five spice won’t get the exact taste of bengali’s famous labra recipe. It’s a pure veg preparation, which means onion add garlic never been used in it. And it’s a puja special bhoger labra recipe which basically served with bhoger khichuri or niramish khichuri recipe.
As I belong to a ghoti family by birth, so since my childhood I’ve been seeing chchanchra is a common preparation in a lunch menu of bengali(ghoti barir) marriage. And chorchori is one more preparation comes from ghoti barir rannaghar. Whereas “labra” or bengali mixed vegetable curry recipe is a specialty of Bangal bari. Though ghoti and Bangal both have their own version of making ghonto.
But don’t ask me why these all recipes named labra, chchanchra, chorchori, ghonto etc. I can explain to you in my way but that may not be correct so better to leave that discussion. So let’s focus on today’s bengali puja special labra recipe or labra tarkari.
Labra is a preparation of mixed vegetables, taste-wise little sweet and as simple spices are used to enhance its taste so it’s indeed a healthy recipe which is generally prepared on the occasion of puja in bengali kitchen. Though sweet pumpkin, sweet potatoes, brinjals, and coconut are must used vegetables in this recipe but you can easily choose the rest of the vegetables on your own. Sometimes people use spinach in it, and some say spinach should not be used in bengali labra recipe. People even use raw banana and banana stems in it. For me only taste matters, whatever vegetables can be used but that authentic taste must be there.
My mom never cooked this recipe at home, so when I grew up really missed those childhood days. After getting married, I started making it my own as my husband and I both love labra(bengali mixed vegetable curry) a lot. Though at the beginning I was not satisfied with its taste as I felt something was missing and couldn’t compare with that awesome taste of labra which I had in my childhood. Later after tried a lot in my kitchen and adding several ingredients finally I got the success and almost reach that unforgettable taste of labra.
Here I’ve used ground dry roasted spices and a few little tricks to make this recipe scrumptious and to know all the secrets about it, stay with me till the end.
Try this recipe at home and please let me know how it worked at your home by leaving a comment in the comment section below.
You may try this dish with my bhoger khichuri recipe too.
Prep time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 55 mins
Total time: 1 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 7-8 people
Course: Main course
Author: Moumita Paul
Vegetables for this recipe(cut into cubes)
- 1 cup pumpkin
- 2 cups brinjal
- 2 cups cabbage
- 1/2 cup radish
- 1 cup sweet potato
- 1/2 cup ridge gourd
- 1/2 cup potato
- a bundle of spinach
- 3/4 cup tomato
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- a handful of chopped coriander leaves
- 2 green chilies
Spices for labra
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 green chili paste
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- 3 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- salt(as per taste)
- ground dry roasted spices
- ghee or clarified butter
Dry roasted spices
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 whole red chili
Dry roast the spices then ground it to make a powder form of it.
- 1 tsp panch phoron or Bengali five spice
- 3 tbsp mustard oil
- 2 whole red chilies
- 1/8 tsp hing or asafoetida
How to make puja special bengali labra recipe at home with step by step pictures
- First, rinse all the vegetables with water and then peel-off(which has skin to peel off), and cut into cubes.
- Then make ginger and green chili paste with a mortar and pestle.
- Now, take a bowl, add ginger-green chilli paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and red chilli powder to it.
- Then add 3 tbsp water to the bowl to mix all the spices together and make a smooth paste out of it.
- Now take a wide pan and place it on medium flame, add 3 tsp mustard oil and let it get hot. Add dry whole red chilies and 1 tsp panch phoron or bengali five spice to it. let the spices crackle first.
- Then add 1/8 tsp hing or asafoetida to the oil. Stir it well.
- Then first add pumpkin to the pan and stir it nicely after 2 mins add potatoes to the pan. Mix it well.
- After 2 more mins add brinjal to the pan and mix it well. After 3-4 mins add sweet potatoes and radish to it. Mix it nicely.
- After 2-3 mins add cabbage to the pan and mix it with other vegetables.
- Then add ridge gourd and saute it for 4-5 mins then add tomato to it. Mix it very well.
- After a few minutes add spinach to the pan and mix it thoroughly with all veggies.
- Now cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 1 min in low flame(slow down the flame).
- After 10 mins remove the lid and add that smooth masala paste(prepared earlier) to the pan.
- Then add salt and sugar the pan and mix it with the vegetables nicely. Stir it well.
- After 2 mins add chopped coriander leaves to the pan and mix it with the vegetables. And cover it with the lid and cook it for some time. Let the masalas infused in the vegetables. Stir the vegetables occasionally.
- When the vegetables almost cooked then add grated coconut to it and mix it nicely. Once again cover the pan with the lid till the vegetables cooked properly.
- When the vegetables are perfectly cooked then add slit green chillies to it.
- Now dry roast the spices and ground it to mix it well with the veggies and let it get infused in the curry.
- About after 2-3 mins add 1 tsp ghee to the labra tarkari. stir it well. Switch off the heat. And cover the pan with the lid.
- Serve it( labra tarkari) hot with bhoger khichuri or niramish khichuri, even offer it to the deity of your house.