Manorfield Primary School



Bengali Cooking Tutorial, Parents grow to cook course week 4


Today on our parents Grow to Cook course we had Farjhana and Shaheda leading our session, where we cooked a range of Bengali dishes. We made Buna Kichuri, which is a spicy rice, vegetable and lentil dish. There are two types of Kichuri, Buna and Zhao. Zhao has a porridge-like consistency and is thought of as a comfort food, often made when one is feeling unwell. Kichuri is a drier dish. We also made a Sag. Sag refers to any leafy vegetables and for this dish we used our old favourite, swiss chard from the schools edible garden with black chillies grown in our greenhouse. Our third dish was buna chana; a spicy chickpea and potato dish. Traditionally these dishes are eaten during Ramadan as the combination of rice and pulses are particularly filling.

It was good fun trying to pin the chefs down on the recipes and quantities, as it was very much a Jamie Oliver kind of style, of a glug of this here and there. Traditionally Bengali food does use a lot of oil and salt, but our chefs were encouraged to reduce this in the dishes to make them healthier. Our measuring spoons were useful in this instance so that we could be conscious of the amount going in and also enabled us to put them in recipe format. To make the Kichuri healthier we also swapped white basmati rice for brown basmati rice. If you are a parent/carer/relative and would like to share a recipe, get in touch with Zoe or Holly (emails below). Next week two more parents will be teaching the group how to make samosas followed by a fruit carving tutorial.


Buna Kichuri


2 onions, thinly sliced

Half a bulb of garlic, chopped finely

230 g of red lentils

300g of brown basmati rice

2 tablespoons of sunflower oil

1 bay leaf

1 and a half teaspoons of turmeric

Cardamom pods,

3 star anise


2 inch piece of ginger, grated

2 carrots, diced


Heat the oil and add the spices, bay leaf, and onions and sautee for 5-10 minutes until the onions starts to go golden. Add half a teaspoon of salt, ginger and garlic to the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the carrots and continue cooking. Add the rice and lentils, stir and add in 700 ml of hot water. Once boiling, stir, turn the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for approximately 25 minutes until the rice is cooked.


Buna chana


3 tins of chickpeas drained

1 tablespoon of oil

6 new potatoes chopped up into small pieces

2 onions, finely chopped

3 green chillis

1 tablespoon of curry powder

5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped

Handful of carrot tops (we used what was in the edible garden!), chopped or coriander

10 cherry tomatoes, quartered


Heat the oil on a low heat and add the garlic until it starts to turn brown slightly. Add the onions, half a teaspoon of salt and the chillies. Sauté for approximately 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and the chopped coriander/carrot tops. Continue stirring, adding a little more water if it starts to dry out. Once the potatoes are tender, add the curry powder, tomatoes and the chickpeas and cook for a further 10 minutes.


Chef in Residence Zoe Marks and Gardener in Residence Holly Martin run Parent Grow to Cook courses throughout the year. If you are interested in joining  on the course,  email