I cook 'Sukto' when I am in my rare golden mood for cooking an elaborate and authentic Bengali lunch. Below is how:
2 big Potatoes
3 or 4 medium size Sweet Potatoes
5 Drum Sticks
7 or 8 small sized Bitter Gourds
2 medium sized Brinjal/ Egg Plants
2 Green bananas
1 Green Papaya
½ bowl Milk
1 table spoon Ginger paste
1 table spoon Mustard paste
1 table spoon Ghee
1 table spoon Panch phoron
2 Dried red chillies
Sugar & salt to taste
1 table spoon Turmeric powder
2 bay leaves
Cut Bitter Gourd into very thin pieces. Then sprinkle salt & Turmeric powder and mix with it. Keep aside. Cut all other vegetables in medium pieces. Then stir fry other vegetables & bori separately, one type at a time. Then put all vegetables (except Sweet Potato, Drum Stick, Brinjal & Bitter Gourd) in a Pressure cooker with water, turmeric powder & salt. Allow two whistles.
Heat mustard oil in a Kadai. Add dried red chillies, bay leaves and panch phoron. When the spices start to splutter add the boiled vegetables from pressure cooker along with the stock. Also add rest of the fried vegetables (except Bitter Gourd) and bori in the Kadai.
Adjust the salt & sugar per taste. Add water per your requirement of gravy. Cover the kadai and cook for 10 minutes in low heat. Check if all the vegetables (specially which you added later) are cooked. When all the vegetables are cooked add the ginger paste. Simmer it for 2 minutes.Then spread the crispy fried Bitter Gourds on top. Again cover & simmer for 2 minutes then turn off the oven.Mix mustard paste and milk in a bowl. When the 'Sukto' is cooled a little bit add this mixture of milk & mustard paste while stirring. Never add milk straight into the hot 'Sukto' because then the milk may disintegrate & spoil the entire dish. Finally sprinkle ghee on top to add a nice aroma.