Getting to know a new place takes time, more if you are not familiar with the local language. But that doesn’t mean, I shy away from interacting with local people over here. As my solo outings means most of the time grocery shopping for the family. One of those many outings, one day I was intrigued to a corner shop where there was hordes of people queuing to purchase something or probably many things. I thought since its holy Ramadan month over here, there must be something happening which I am not aware of. And as I went near, I saw myriad display of assorted, coloured and exotic little square blocks, stocked neatly besides each other. And as I saw those little beauties, the cook inside me, replied, here you go sweets and more sweets for you. I had no idea what exactly they are called, how they are made etc .So, I asked a graceful local Malay lady and with broken English she told me these are various assortments of sweets – ‘Malaysian Kuih’, also that they are called ‘Binga Ubi Kyu’ and ‘Tepung Pelita’ as that is what, I later choose to buy. She went to finish her grocery after that, even before I could thank her for her time and effort. And while I waited for my turn to pick sweets, another lady standing behind me in queue, who till now was a silent listener, took over, and told me how some of them are made, and if those sweets have eggs or not etc. Now after I have tasted those sweets, especially the coconut milk one- ‘Tepung Pelita’, I am craving more for them. I will leave the exact process of making it for some other day as that requires another detailed post.
As of now it’s stir/fried Tofu with Ung Choi.I have used hard pressed tofu for this recipe, as I wanted tofu to be bit chunky.You can make it with normal tofu as well, but it will scatter through once the stir/fry is done.Ung Choi is Kolmi shak in Bengali. A nice and light cooked tofu with ung choi is very healthy and makes a great side-dish with warm cooked rice as well.
Now to the recipe
Pan fried Tofu with Kolmi Shak/Ong choi
About 500 gms – Ong choi/ kolmi saag –
250 gms of cubed hard tofu pieces or 2 cups of tofu pieces.
1 medium size onion
1 tsp of red pepper powder
½ tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of panch phoron/ or nigella seeds
2 dry red chillies
3-4 tsp of cooking oil/mustard oil
Salt as per taste
Wash ung choi /kolmi shak thoroughly well in running water to get rid of any dirt or mud.From the bottom side, discard 2 inch of the stem. Cut the leaves with tender stem finely. Again wash them well in water to make sure the dirt or mud is not present.
Take out hard pressed tofu, discard water if any and make cubes out of the block.
Heat up a fry pan/ kadai .Add in cooking oil. Add in panch phoron , dry red chillies and temper the oil.Or if you are using nigella seeds /kalo jeerey then you can temper it with also.
Add in finely chopped onion.
Add in chopped ung choi/ kolmi shak and fry well or till they shrink and release some water.
Add in spices- red pepper powder, turmeric powder and salt, pinch of sugar.
Add in cubed hard pressed tofu and stir/fry it very gently. Do not try to move them frequently otherwise they will start to break. We need firm cubed pieces.
Cover the pan and lower the flame. Cook further for about 7-8 mints or till the leaves turn soft. One last stir very gently with the spatula and its ready to eat.
Serve with gram bhaat.
You can add freshly grounded cumin+ coriander powder as well for some extra flavour.
Another archived post for Ong Choi recipe here - Kolmi shak bhaja