Shukto Recipe, How to make Shukto Recipe

by dassana amit updated November 21, 2013

Shukto Recipe, Bengali Shukto Recipe, How to make Shukto Recipe

Shukto is a Traditional Bengali recipe. Shukto 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, cholar dalluchi and matar kachori.

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. I don’t know if the recipe from the book is authentic or not. Since we found the recipe to be good, hence I have posted it.

For me, this shukto, somewhat had a faint similarity and tasted like avial. This is my own personal opinion. Since the 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.

bengali shukto recipe, bengali recipe of shukto - bitter gourd stew with vegetables

The recipe uses the famous bengali medley of 5 spices: Panch Phoron/Panch Phoran.  More on Panch Phoron on this link: Panch Phoron

Shukto recipe details below:

Bengali Shukto Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Shukto is a Traditional Bengali recipe made with different types of vegetables.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Bengali, Indian
Serves: 3-4
  • 2 or 3 Bittergourd/karelas
  • ½ cup chopped cabbage/cauliflower
  • ½ cup chopped beans/or ¼ cup peas
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup chopped potatoes
  • ½ cup squash or eggplant or bottlegourd
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 inch ginger piece
  • 1-2 fresh chillies. I used 1 chilli
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp panch phoron
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • 1 cup plain curd/yoghurt
  • salt
  1. Peel the skin of the bitter gourd and cut them into 1 inch cubes
  2. Heat 2 tbsp ghee. Fry the fenugreek seeds for 3o seconds.
  3. Then add all the chopped vegetables.
  4. Add the bay leaves and stir-fry the vegetables for 5 minutes on a medium flame. Turn them gently.
  5. Now pour half of the water, cover the pan and cook the veggies on a medium heat for 10 mins.
  6. In a mortar and pestle or in blender, grind together the cumin seeds, ginger, chillies, turmeric with a few drops of water. Make a smooth masala paste.
  7. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp ghee in a pan. Add the masala paste and stir fry for a minute or two.
  8. Then add the panch phoron, coriander powder and asafoetida. Stir for a few seconds.
  9. Pour the remaining water into the masala and bring to a boil for 1 minute.
  10. Empty the liquid masala into the cooking veggies and continue cooking over medium heat for 15 to 2o minutes, stiriring every now and then, until the veggies become tender.
  11. Finally, fold in the yoghurt and salt. Stir and toss gently to mix the spices and sauce evenly with the vegetables. Simmer for a minute uncovered as you do not want the yoghurt to spilt.
  12. Serve Shukto as a main dish with rice or chapati, phulkas, parathas.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3-4