July 16, 2008

Panch Mishali Tarkari (Five Vegetable Medley)


I have had a busy week! You see, my parents came last week and I have been showing them around town. They are enjoying visiting the Farmer's Market, different cuisines, walking around the University, parks and other local stores.

While I am enjoying their company and having them around, the best part of the visit is definitely the cooking. It's that invisible touch which makes each meal that much more delicious. Whether it is Chingri Malai Curry (Shrimp in coconut-garlic sauce), or labra tarkari (vegetable medley) So for the next few months, I will be cooking less while my parents whip up various goodies. And I promise to share these recipes :)

I want to start with Panch Mishali Tarkari, which literally means Five Vegetable Medley. Five vegetables (this had radish and radish greens, green beans, eggplant, potatoes, carrots) are cooked with panch-phoron, ginger and chillies and tastes delicious with some rice and simple dal. It's usually eatan as the first course of a Bengali meal. Here is how they made it.

Ingredients: (serves 4-5)
2 carrots - chopped
2 potatoes- chopped
1 small eggplant - chopped
4-6 radish with radish greens - chopped
bunch of green beans - chopped
1 tspoon panch phoron
2 bay leaves
2 dry red chilli
1" ginger
2 green chillies
1 medium tomato- chopped
pinch of turmeric powder
pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
1 tbspoon oil

Grind the ginger and green chilli paste. Keep it aside.

Now heat oil and temper it with asafoetida, panch phoron, bay leaves and red chilli. Then add the turmeric powder to the oil. Then add the chopped tomato and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Next add all the chopped vegetables and let it cook for 7-8 minutes on low medium heat on closed lid. One the vegetables are semi-cooked, ad the ginger and green chilli paste and cook it all together for another 5-6 minutes till the vegetables are cooked and the water has disappeared.

Take it off the heat and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with dal, rice or even with chapati.


This delicious vegetable medley is going to Weekend Herb Blogging being hosted this week by Archana at Archana's Kitchen. WHB was started by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen.


  1. name sounds so good,..looks delicious too,..

  2. Looks delicious, simple and flavourful

  3. Mandira, how lovely!!...so nice to know your parents are there with you...enjoy to hilt ok...and you know what I thought of asking you to send this to my curry mela..but can you send another authentic bengali gravy for the mela..would really love to know them...:))..and do convey my regards to your mom for giving us such a lovely dish!!

  4. such a delicious medley. looking forward to more of your parents' recipes.

  5. Looks delicious and nutritious.....love the name...First time at ur blog.U have nice and lovely blog......

  6. tarkari looks so very delicious! and yes it's the invisible touch indeed :)

  7. very diff name....lovely recipe...yummy and great that ur parents r with u now...enjoy:)

  8. lovely medley dear

  9. Love the name, love the colour and I am certain it tastes lovely too..
    I had a little confusion, sorry, if it is stupid, but is this different from chorchori?

  10. This sure looks so deliciuos , and mayer hate rannar alada hi taste ..
    convey my regards to them ..
    hugs and smiles

  11. Wow the name itself is very pretty :) Lovely veg :)

  12. delicious curry indeed! Pretty name too.

  13. Mmmmm, those veggies look so good! I love when my mom cooks for me, you are so lucky to be eating your mom's food :)

  14. good one. Looking very tasty. Perfect post.

  15. I've just come back from a trip to Calcutta and have a renewed interest in Bengali cooking - I often used to make chorchori and mustard fish but haven't for a while now. This is on my to-make list.

  16. mystic6:53 AM

    yummy! Darun lagche. Eta try korbo once I get all the veggies together. My Ma has slightly different take. Convey my regards and gratitude to Mashi and Mesho (if you don't mind) for sharing this lovely dishes with us.

  17. This looks and sounds wonderful. Have added it to try right away with some of the summer veggies. What type of oil do you use here - mustard or some other?

    btw, hello. I started reading your blog very recently, but stopping by for the first time.

  18. It is so much fun taking your parents around town, isn't it? And getting to enjoy their cooking is just icing on the cake.. Have fun with your parents Mandira!

  19. Great recipe and delight for vegeterians. God bless you.

  20. looks very delicious.

    zainab :)

  21. Great colours. So healthy! love this recipe:-)

  22. This sounds like it would taste fantastic. My nephew once made a curry for me with Panch Phoron and I loved it.

  23. Picture is so gud and tarkari looks delicious...enjoy the days with your parents and have fun...

  24. This veggie delight looks so promising.. and rich in nutrients, will give it a try soon!

  25. Only now can I appreciate the full delight of a pach mishalir torkari. I used to hate it as a child.

  26. Notyet100, miri, bee, sireesha, richa, sangeeth, kalva, jaya, cham, uma, meeso, bhawna - thank you. It came out delicious, and my parents are so excited by your comments.

    Srivalli - thanks, I will surely ask my parents for a bengali recipe for your curry mela!

    Delhibelle - there are no stupid questions dear, chorchori, labra and panch mishali are different styles of cooking. Each of them taste different even if they are cooked with same veggies.

    Sra - I am also hoping to add to my collection of Bengali recipes while my parents are here.

    Mystic - thanks, they are so excited to read your comment and say hello back to you. :)

    Evolving Taste - I don't use mustard oil for all my cooking. I use it for some dishes esp the ones with mustard paste.

    Thanks Sig - I completely agree with you. :)

    Thanks Raj, Zainab, Shreya, Priti, Padma

    Kalyn - Panch Phoron does have a unique taste. It is also added to lentils and I have also used it in potato zucchini recipe.

    Mallika - I used to be the same way. I used to hide some of the veggies under my plate when I was younger!

  27. gautam6:35 PM

    Hi Mandira,

    Lovely site. Am always curious to add to my understanding of the many variations of West Bengal foodways. Malai kari has several redactions but the mention of "mustard" in conjunction with it made me curious as that was one combination I have not experienced.

    Steamed shrimp with mustard and coconut in several forms, yes, but not with respect to malai kari that is strictly mustard-free, so far as I hae founfd it. Additionl variants, with a note such asthe geograhical location where this originate or any specific community would be highl apreciated, aong with recipe [of course!!]

    I have been collecting variants aso where the prawns are pre-fried, not fried, even boiled! So you can see, families, regions, time periods [e.g. North Calcutta/Shyampukur, c.1920-40 Kayastha zamindar vs. brahman recipe same locality vs modern CCU redactions] make a difference.

    Thanks much.


  28. Ahmmmmmmmmmm.............Looks great.Watered in mouth.........
    I pick it from monitor screen and eat it.

  29. Gautam - you're right. Malaikari has coconut and garlic which gives it that unique taste. Your collection sounds very interesting. I would love to know more. Please send me an e-mail when you get a chance.

    Online Gourmet cakes - thanks, I am sure my parents will be really happy to hear about all the comments.

  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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