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Labra

28 Apr

labra
Labra.

Labra is a simple, traditional and flavorful Bengali mixed vegetable dish. In labra, most common vegetables like red pumpkin, sweet potato, cauliflower and eggplants are diced, tempered with panch phoran (mixture of cumin, fennel, fenugreek, nigella and mustard seeds) and cooked along with mashed or ground ginger on medium low heat till all the mixed vegetables are tender and just cooked.
Makes: 3 – 5 Servings

Ingredients:

Sweet Potato 1 small
White Radish 1 small
Carrot 1 small
Green Plantain 1/2 of small one
Cauliflower 1/4th of small one
Red Bell Pepper 1/2 of small one
Ridge Gourd 1/2 of small one
Small Eggplant 1
Lady’s Finger 2
Tindora 3
Green Chiles 2
Ginger 1 inch piece
Whole Red Chiles 2
Panch Phoran 1 – 2 tsps
Tumeric Powder a pinch
Sugar a pinch
Mustard Oil 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

Peel, remove ends and chop sweet potato, white radish, carrot and plantain into small cubes.
Wash and break cauliflower into small florets.
Chop red bell pepper into small chunks discarding the seeds.
Wash, remove ends, peel and dice the ridge gourd.
Remove stem and dice eggplant into salted water.
Wash, remove ends and chop lady’s finger into inch sized pieces.
Wash, remove ends and quarter tindora.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.
Peel, mince and lightly mash ginger.

Heat mustard oil in a pan, add panch phoran and red chiles.
Fry till the seeds crackle and release the aroma.
Stir in all chopped vegetables, sufficient salt, sugar and turmeric powder.
Sprinkle few tbsps of water and cook covered on medium – low flame.
Stir occasionally and cook till all the vegetables are soft and still holding their shape.
Serve labra with hot steamed rice or khichri or wrapped in a roti.
Notes: Make sure not to over cook or under cook the vegetables.

Suggestions: Use mustard oil if possible and don’t leave out ginger. If any of the vegetables are uncooked, return to the heat and cook them covered with a splash of water till done.
Variations: Few spices like asafoetida, bay leaves and garam masala can also be added while tempering to make it more complicated. Labra can be made with any combination of vegetables like fresh beans, red pumpkin, potato, ridge gourd, cabbage, zucchini, broad beans and some leafy greens like spinach, cilantro etc…
Other Names: Labra, Gujarathi Style Stir Fried Vegetables, Mixed Vegetables with Panch Phoran.