West Bengal is known for its sinful and rich fish curries and sweets. But, the land of Macher Jhol, and Roshogollas, also has many vegetarian dishes that may not be popular but are delicious. One such shining star in Bengali cuisine is 'Shukto.'

A staple in a Bengali household, Shukto is a bitter-sweet medley of vegetables that often features in the lunch menu during all Bengali festivals. The deceptively simple-looking dish, Shukto, has complex flavours, and every bite feels like a warm hug. 

Did you know?

The term 'Shukto' comes from the Bengali word shukta, which means the dried leaves of a bitter gourd plant. Food researchers suggest that Shukto was considered a cooling appetiser, and it was consumed in the kingdoms of undivided Bengal to combat the hot and humid climate in the region. Also, eating Shutko at the start of a meal is said to cleanse the palate.

Preparation time of Shukto: 45 minutes

Ingredients needed for Shukto Recipe

  • Eggplant/brinjal
  • Potatoes
  • Raw banana/plantain
  • Drumsticks
  • Bitter gourd
  • Ivy gourd
  • Radish
  • Bitter gourd
  • Mustard oil
  • Urad dal badi
  • Panch phoron – mustard, fenugreek, fennel, black cumin, jeera seeds powder
  • Bay leaf, dried red chillies
  • Mustard Seeds

 How to Make Shukto Recipe

  • Heat cooking oil in a pan, and fry 10g each of all the vegetables and urad dal badi for a couple of minutes. 

  • In a new pan, cook all the fried vegetables, except bitter gourd and urad dal badi, in 250g of mustard seeds paste. Add a spoonful of ghee, green chilli paste, sugar, salt (as per taste), and a glass of water. Mix all the ingredients well, and let it cook. 

  • Temper a couple of red chillies, bay leaves, and panch phoron powder in a different frying pan. Add the tempering to the pan of vegetables and mix well. Add coconut milk, bitter gourd, urad dal badi, and a couple of spoonfuls of mustard oil. 

  • Let all the veggies simmer for a few minutes. Voila! Shukto is ready. 

  • Transfer to a serving bowl and relish.

About Shukto

It is often said that Shukto originated from Portuguese cuisine, whose influence was quite prominent in the region during the colonial era. The Portuguese made a similar dish using local ingredients like bitter gourd and used it to refresh their palate. The locals later adopted it with minor changes, adding coconut milk, badi, and mustard oil. 

Some food historians dispute this theory, saying the practice of eating something bitter at the start of the meal existed in India much before the Portuguese arrived during the 16th century. The dish also finds its mention in the ancient religious texts.

 Gourmet Getaways by Club Mahindra

At Club Mahindra resorts, we strive to serve our patrons the best of the local cuisine. The chefs at the restaurants in our resorts bring with them years of experience and expertise. They have a deep understanding of flavour profiles, and every dish they create is high on flavour, and taste. 

Our chefs also source the best local ingredients to serve the most authentic regional cuisines. You can enjoy Shukto, Radhaballabhi, and other Indian delicacies at Club Mahindra resorts. 

About Club Mahindra Chef – Debraj Bhaumik 

Trained in many international cuisines like Italian, Mexican, and Lebanese, and having worked in the middle east under eminent chefs of the world, Chef Debraj Bhaumik is a culinary master in the kitchen. With over 26 years of experience, Chef Bhaumik has won many coveted awards, including the National Award – Chef of the Year in 2007. 

Currently the Cluster Executive Chef at Club Mahindra Tamil Nadu and Karnataka resorts, Chef Bhaumik has an undying passion for Indian cuisine. He has done extensive research on the different regional cuisines in India. He has been using all his knowledge, skills, and techniques to curate the best menu for the patrons at Club Mahindra resorts.

About Club Mahindra

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.

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