The Bengali word for grinding is bharta. Although it is commonly referred to as Makha in "Epar Bangla" West Bengal and "Opar Bangla" in Bangladesh refers to it as Bharta. All varieties of Bengali bharta, including potato, eggplant, and other vegetable-based bhartas are made by hand like mashed boiled potato, mashed boiled or charred eggplant, mash boiled green banana etc. The only difference in the cooking process is a slight variation in the main vegetable or fish.
Bharta used to be the staple diet of the poor. If nothing was available, whatever was on hand was used to make a small amount of bharta. Bharta is now being recognized as a tradition. Bharta isn't just consumed with rice. In Bangladesh's winter months, bharta congregate in pitha shops, particularly with Chitai pitha.
- Baby shrimp 250 gm with shells (washed and cleaned with salty warm water)
- Garlic 8 to 10 cloves
- Dried red chillies 3 to 4 or as required
- Salt and sugar as required
- Green chillies
- Mustard oil, 2 tablespoon
- Stir fry all the ingredients and make a paste in a simple traditional and rustic way, for the authentic taste it is recommended to use mortar and pestle.
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 15 min | Total time: 30 min
| Serving size: 4 persons 50g | Calories per serving: 200
Bharta is of various types. Potato, eggplant, shutki or dried fish, and egg bhartas are just a few of the bhartas that Bengalis typically eat daily. On occasions, the ingredients used to make Bharta are numerous.
Bhartas can be prepared with or without onions. In Bengali authentic recipe no onion is added for the following bhartas :
Ladies Finger/ Carrot/ Bitter Gourd/ Green Banana/ Raw Papaya/ Sweet Pumpkin/ Aram/ Spinach Leaf/ gourd Leaves/ Sweet potatoes/ Centella leaves/ Coriander leaves - main item, Mustard oil, salt and green chilli
Onion variations available for
Potato/ Brinjal/ Jackfruit seeds/ Raw tomato/ Vegetable peels/ Peanuts Deboned Fried Fish and Boiled Egg Bharta etc.
Many bhartas can be prepared with garlic in this same way:
- Raw Mango Bharta - Raw Mango Cuts, Garlic, Chilli, Mustard Oil, Kasundi
- Charred Garlic Bharta - Stuffed Garlic, Fried Red Chilli, Mustard Oil
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