Kharkol Varta - A Tribal recipe

Varta or Bhorta in Bengali cuisine is a mashed vegetable or fish item and this is a super tasty edible green local recipe. Indian population lives in villages and a considerable proportion comprising of tribal communities are living in remote forest areas. These group of people possess the distinct food habits & culture which reflects the use of medicinal values of herbs as edibles by tradition.

Kharkol/ghatkol pata bata, Tribal recipe

About 80% of the India is very rich in ethonobotanical information. The different traditions, beliefs, needs and cultures of the various tribes and the diversity of flora in India richly contribute to plant folklore. My aim is to collect some undoubtedly tasty recipes of some medicinal plants from the natives who have been practicing the preparation of such dishes from generations together.

Typhonium trilobatum [Linn.] Schott has proved their efficiency in treating many diseases like acute constipation and stomach ache, haemorrhoids and bleeding, skin diseases like eczema, insect sting wounds are cured with immediate relief from sting wound pain. This leaf preparation is used by the tribal people in Bangladesh and Assam to treat various disorders by employing in the form of extracts, pastes, juices, etc .

The use of kharkol or ghatkol as a food additive, which contains potential source of mineral matters 1.6%, calcium 35mg, phosphorus 20mg, iron 1.3mg, sodium 9mg, potassium 237mgm, thiamine 0.07%, niacin 0.7mg/100g, carotene 78%, folic acid 17.5mg/100g, iodine 0.8ppm, fluorine 3.7ppm, and choline 232.8mg/100g [as chloride] provides for significant amount of nutrition.

Prep time: | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total time: 25 min | Yield: 1 cup [for 5] | Serving size: 1 tablespoon | Calories per serving: 26.0


  • Whole leaves : 500g ,
  • Sliced shallots: 2
  • Garlic: 5 to 6 cloves
  • Whole green chili: 2
  • Whole black pepper: 2 teaspoon
  • Mustard oil: 2 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

No-drug lifestyle - What they eat why they eat

Assamese - chema kachu, samakaru,
Bengali - kharkol, ghet kachu, ghrtkocho, bhetkal


1.  Take only the leaves for this recipe, wash and clean well. Let the water dry completely.

2.  Take a flat iron skillet to dry roast the leaves, put on fire. Add leaves, shallot, garlic, whole chili, and whole black pepper on the hot skillet.

3.  Keep the fire to simmer. Let all the ingredients roast slowly until it become crispy.

4.  Put off the fire. Add salt now. Wait until the skillet becomes completely cool.

5.  Grind everything with the help of mortar and pestle or flat grindstone [kal chatti/shil nora]

6.  Take the paste or varta in a bowl, add raw mustard oil and enjoy the hot and spicy edible greenery with hot rice at the beginning of the meal. It is really simple to make and an immmensely tasty dish.