Shukto is a Traditional Bengali recipe. It is made with different types of vegetables. However, it derives its distinctive flavor from one vegetable in particular: Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon, also known as Karela in Hindi. It is a vegetable stew or you could also call it a bitter gourd stew or bitter melon stew.
Yet, still Shukto has a medley of different flavors and taste. You have the bitter taste of bitter gourd with the unique individual tastes of the different vegetables in it.
I have never had Shukto in my life. The only bengali dishes I have had are baingan bhaja, rosogulla, sandesh and mishti doi.
Bengalis have their own rich cuisine, but I never got an opportunity to partake from this cuisine nor I have made any bengali dishes except baingan bhaja, sandesh and mishti doi. The last two were disasters But I hope I will be able to make the perfect sandesh and mishti doi one day. I will still try to make them once more……. as they say never give up…. keep on trying…..
I am fond of bittergourd or karela as they are called, so its alright for me to make a dish like this one. My hubby, does not like the sight of bittergourd in any way…. and I was a little worried whether he will like this recipe. To my surprise he not only liked it but asked me to make it again.
There are many versions of Shukto recipes on the internet. Personally, I do not know which one is authentic or right. So I decided to take this shukto recipe from the book – The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking.
There was a reason for this. This book has some Bengali recipes. I have made a couple of non-bengali recipes from the book like bhatura, gobhi aloo and the results were too good. So i thought there was no harm in trying the bengali recipes from the book.
Personally, both me and my hubby liked the taste of the Shukto recipe adapted from The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking. We had it for dinner with parathas.
For me, this shukto, somewhat had a faint similarity and tasted like avial. Thats because this recipe uses curd unlike other recipes on the internet. Its healthy, sattvic, nutritious and a complete food when you have it with chapatis or rice.
You could use vegetables that you have in your kitchen. I used cabbage and bottlegourd even though the recipe does not mention it. I used carrots too. I did not have brinjals and caulifower as given in the original recipe. So its alright to use the vegetables you have.
The recipes uses the famous bengali medley of 5 spices: Panch Phoron/Panch Phoran. More on Panch Phoron on this link: Panch Phoron
Now for the Shukto recipe