"Hey do you have the Labra recipe on the blog? I don't think so!" Mehebub asked and replied to his own question.
It was then I realized so far I have not written a single word about Labra. Needless to say, it took me no time to check whether I have the pictures of the famous Bengali delicacy Labra Tarkari in the archive or not. Fortunately, I clicked a few pictures during Saraswati Pujo Which I now can use to complete this post.
- Pujor Bhog without Labra!
- Labra aka Labrar Tarkari, is a dish loved by Shri Chaitanyadev himself!
- Labra; then and now!
- Bihari Da; the Rannar Thakur's take on commercial cooking of Labra!
- Here's how I cook Labra at Debjanir Rannaghar!
- Recipe Card
- No onion no garlic Bengali Recipes aka Bengali vegetarian recipes from Debjanir Rannaghar!
- Have you tried the Labda Torkari recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
- Here's the Labra Recipe Pin for your Pinterest Board!
Pujor Bhog without Labra!
A typical Bengali Pujor bhog is incomplete without Labra. For those who think Bengali cuisine is dominated by Non-vegetarian dishes, Labda is probably our answer to you. A Bengali mixed-veg cooked without onion and garlic and is believed to be loved by none other than Shri Chaitanyadev himself!
Labra aka Labrar Tarkari, is a dish loved by Shri Chaitanyadev himself!
সার্ব্বভৌম পরিবেশন করেন আপনে। প্রভু কহে মোরে দেহ লাফরা ব্যঞ্জনে।।
(Sarbabhoumya please serve me. Prabhu is asking for the Lafra)
Above mentioned lines are from Krishnadash Kabiraj's Chaitanya Charitamrita's Madhya Lila. This book talks about the life and Philosophy of Shri Chaitanya Dev (1478- 1533) and also Bhakti Yog. The Madhya lila is all about Prabhu's middle life and especially the years he spent in Puri Dham. In this chapter, it was found that he liked a certain kind of dish which was then known as Lafra.
Again, in the same book, another line is found which is referring to the same dish.
প্রভু কহে মোরে দেহ লাফরা ব্যঞ্জনে। পিঠা, পানা, অমৃতগুটিকা দেহ ভক্তগণে।।
According to these lines Prabhu asked to serve him Lafra while the followers are to be served with Pitha (Sweet dumpling); Pana (Bitel leaf cone); Amritagutika.
Labra Torkari is still cooked at the Nabadwip Thakurbari. The word came from the Bengali word Alabu (অলাবু).
Labra; then and now!
From the beginning, Labra is cooked with different vegetables. Initially Gorbho Mocha was a mandatory ingredient while these days at least when cooked commercially, garbha mocha (Banana Flower) and thor (banana stem) are not used while making Labra. Aloo aka Potato, as well as tomato, are late inclusion as well.
These days, Labra is cooked with Potato, Broad bean, pumpkin, sweet potato, Taro, Eggplant, Plaintain, Radish, etc. In some families, they do not add green such as spinach while cooking labra while in some families they do add the same. In our place, no green is used in making this delicacy. However, I prefer to add Spinach to balance the flavors. So the choice is yours.
Bihari Da; the Rannar Thakur's take on commercial cooking of Labra!
I talked to a veteran Rannar Thakur (a Commercial Bengali cook who is in the business for more than 50 years and is a regular at my ancestral house). Bihari da confirmed Tomato is now used to balance flavors and so is spinach. He even informed me that they fry the veggies lightly before cooking. I followed his recipe to get the "Barowari" flavors and it worked.
check recipe card for measurements
- Sweet Potato
- Broad Bean
- Ridge Gourd
- Coconut paste
- Bay leaves
- cumin seed
- fennel seed
- Dry Red Chillies
- Panch Phoron
- Hing/ Asafoetida
- Turmeric powder
- Red Chili powder
- Cumin powder
- Salt or to taste
- Ginger Paste
- Mustard Oil
Check the recipe card for details
dry roast and ground cumin seed, bay leaf, red chili, and fennel seed to make bhaja moshla
cut potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, radish, and eggplant into cubes; cut beans into pieces.
roughly chop spinach
temper mustard oil with bay leaf, red chili, and Bengali panch phoron
Add potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin and fry for 3-4 minutes
Add remaining veggies except for spinach and fry
Now add turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, salt, and sugar, and mix and cook
Add coconut paste and ginger paste mix
Mix and cook till veggies soften
Now add ghee
Add Bhaja Moshla
Now add some more coconut paste and mix
Serve labra hot with steamed rice
Here's how I cook Labra at Debjanir Rannaghar!Print
Labra | Bengali Labra Tarkari
Labra is a classic Bengali Vegetarian dish cooked without onion and garlic
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 6 Portions 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: Bengali
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 2 Potatoes
- 1 Sweet Potato
- 1 Eggplant
- 1 Radish
- 4 Broad Bean
- 150g Pumpkin
- ½ Spinach (completely optional)(chopped)
- 1 Ridge Gourd
- 5-6 florets Cauliflower
- 1 Tomato (Optional)
- ½ cup Coconut paste
- 3 Bay leaves
- 2 Dry Red Chillies
- 1 Tsp. Panch Phoron
- ¼ Tsp. Hing/ Asafoetida
To make spice paste!
- 1 Tsp. Turmeric powder
- 1 Tsp. Red Chili powder
- 1 Tsp. Cumin powder
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar
- 1 Tsp. Salt or to taste
- 1 Tbsp. Ginger Paste
- 1 Tbsp Mustard Oil
To make Bhaja Moshla:
- ½ Tsp. Cumin seed
- 1 Dry Chili
- 1 Bay Leaf
- ¼ Tsp. Fennel Seed
- 2 Tbsp. Mustard Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Ghee
- Peel the skin of Potato, Sweet Potato, Radish, Pumpkin, and also Ridge Gourd.
- Cut all those into small cubes inclusive of Eggplant and Tomato as well.
- Now cut bread bean aka sim into small square pieces as well.
- If using chop spinach.
- Dry roast dry chili, bay leaf, fennel seed, and also cumin seed for 2 minutes on a flat pan.
- Make a coarse powder of the spices. One Tbsp. The powder will be used in making the Labda.
making of spice paste:
- Take the Ginger paste and mustard oil along with turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, sugar, and also salt in a bowl and make a thick paste or else you can add the spices directly.
Making of Labra!
- Heat oil in a pan and temper the oil with Bay leaf, red chili, and also panch phoron followed by asafoetida.
- Now add Potato followed by sweet potato and also pumpkin and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Now add the rest of the veggies and give a thorough mix.
- Add the spice paste and mix thoroughly.
- Add coconut paste as well.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook till the veggies soften.
- Veggies will release moisture and hence no need to add water.
- Adjust the spices if needed.
- It will take around 15-20 minutes to cook on a low flame the labda.
- Once done add Ghee followed by the Bhaja Moshla and give a generous mix.
- Serve Labra hot with Khichuri.
- The dish should be mushy and without curry.
- You may skip Tomato and Spinach completely.
- Ghee can also be substituted with some more mustard oil or Only ghee can be used in making Labra.
- Some people fry the veggies beforehand, however, I prefer cooking the veggies together.
- Serving Size: 100g
- Calories: 240
- Sugar: 9.2g
- Sodium: 470mg
- Fat: 14.1g
- Saturated Fat: 5.5g
- Carbohydrates: 27.1g
- Fiber: 7.4g
- Protein: 4.2g
- Cholesterol: 11mg
Keywords: Bengali Labra Recipe, Labda recipe, Labra Torkari recipe, Bhoger Labra, Debjanir Rannaghar
No onion no garlic Bengali Recipes aka Bengali vegetarian recipes from Debjanir Rannaghar!
- Tok Dal (Also known as Kancha Aam diye Toker Dal)
- Jhuri Aloo Bhaja Also known as Bengali Aloo Bhaja)
- Bori Aloor Jhal (also known as Bengali Bori’r Jhal)
- Lau Shaker Chorchori (also known as Bengali Vegetarian Mishmash with Bottle Gourd Greens)
- Sheemer Jhal (Also known as Bengali Shorshe Sheem or Broad Bean Curry with Mustard Paste)
- Plastic Chutney (also known as Raw Papaya Chutney or Bengali Peper Chutney)
- Rosogollar Dalna (Also known as Roshogollar Torkari)
- Aloo Posto (also known as Aloo Postor Torkari)
- Sada Aloo Chorchori (also known as Bengali Aloo Chorchori)
- Postor Bora (Also known as Bengali Poppy Seed Fritters)
- Bengali Kolai Dal (Also known as Biulir Dal or Bengali Urad Dal)
- Phulkopir Roast (also known as Bengali Roasted Cauliflower!)
- Papor er Dalna (also known as Bengali Papad Curry)
- Bengali Soru Chakli Pithe (Also known as Soru Chakuli Pitha)
- Shukto (Also known as Shuktoni)
- Kumror Chakka (Also known as Bengali Kumror Torkari)
- Narkel diye Niramish Ghugni (Also known as Bengali No Onion No Garlic Ghugni or Yellow Peas Curry with Fried Coconut
- Bengali Niramish Khichuri (Also known as Bhoger Khichuri or Bengali Khichuri)
- Bhaja Moong er Daal (also known as Sona Muger Dal)
- Gur diye Topa Kul ar Tomato Chutney (Also known as Kuler Tok)
- Chanar Dalna (also known as Bengali Cottage Cheese and Potato Curry)
- Aam Kasundi aka Bengali Style Mustard and Mango Sauce
More veg recipes
- Katoya Data Chorchori (Also known as Bengali Style Mix-veg with Drumsticks)
- Natun Aloor Dum (Also known as Bengali Niramish Aloor Dum)
- Panch Mishali Tarkari (Also known as Panch Mishuli Tarkari)
- Lomba Dantiwala Begun Bhaja and Gol Muchmuche Begun Bhaja (Also known as Bengali Aubergine fry)
- Lau ar Aloo er Khosa Bhaja (Also known as Stir-Fried Bottle Gourd and Potato Skin/ Peel )
- Dhokar Dalna (Also known as Dhokar Tarkari)
- Koraishutir Kochuri (Also known as Bengali Peas Kachauri)
- Kumro Phuler Bora (Also known as Bengali Pumpkin Flower Fritters)
- Gota Sheddho (Also known as Bwngali Gota Shidho)
- Narkel diye Cholar Dal (Also known as Bengali Cholar Dal)
Have you tried the Labda Torkari recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
Do let me know how it came out. Also, I would love to see a picture of the same which you can share here at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, on Instagram, you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar and in addition, you can tag me at @foodofdebjani.
Ridhima Banerjee says
The LABDA that I made watching/reading this recipe tasted amazing halfway through the making of the dish....however, the moment I added GHEE & the Bhaja Masala, it ruined the taste. Before adding these two ingredients, the dish tasted like authentic Labda...I guess it would be best if we don't add the ghee and the bhaja masala The aftertaste of the dish now is bitter...
It is up to you whether you would add those or not however, authentically both the ingredients are used. Hope this clarifies. You must understand recipes vary from family to family. Moreover, Ghee and Bhaja Moshla cannot really provide a bitter taste.