Sōjnē Dãtā is Bengali for Saijhan, Sajna or Drumsticks (Moringa oleifera). Its essentially a summer “vegetable”, where the local bazaar would get these fresh-looking, juicy pods packed with vitamins, calcium, and other important nutrients.
But nutrients are not exactly the reason I got these juicy Sōjnē Dãtā and made a Chorchori out of them, even though I did not have all the ingredients at home. Traditional Chorchori will have a medley of vegetables and greens, sometimes even fish head.
4 drumsticks, cut into two inch pieces
1 potato, peeled and cut into wedges
2 tablespoons mustard paste
1 tablespoon poppy seed paste
Half teaspoon paanch phoron
Half teaspoon turmeric powder
Half teaspoon red chili powder
1 bay leaf
Heat oil in a wok, toss the drumstick pieces in and sauté for a couple of minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
In the same oil, add the potatoes and get some color on them. Remove after 3-4 minutes. You can also add thinly cut eggplant and pumpkin to this dish. I did not have either!
Toss in the paanch phoron and bay leaf and sauté for a minute. Add the already sautéed vegetables, spices and the salt and sugar. Give everything a good mix, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
Check the seasoning and balance the sweet and salt. If too much water remains in the dish, just crank up the heat and cook for a few more minutes.
Enjoy the juicy taste of this Drumstick chorchori with some plain rice. A dish like this is usually preceded by some daal and bhaja and then followed by a fish or mutton curry.