Wednesday, July 24, 2019 | ePaper

Boishakhi delights

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The ultimate form of comfort food, bhortas are the perfect companions for Paanta Ilish. Together, they are an inseparable combination that triumphs all. The not-so-secret key to a good bhorta lies with its ingredients. At the heart of every delicious bite of this mashed goodness are mustard oil, garlic, onions and red chillies. Here are some favourites:
Aloo Bhorta
Ingredients
o 3 medium sized potatoes
o 2 tbsp mustard oil
o 4-5 garlic cloves
o 2-3 red chillies
o 1/4th of an onion, thinly sliced
o Cilantro (optional)
o Salt to taste
Method
Roast garlic cloves and chillies on stovetop and set aside. Boil, peel and mash potatoes until they are soft and smooth. Mash together your garlic, chillies and salt. You can add in your onions as is, or you can sauté them first if you hate raw onions. The bhorta might taste different, but it'll still be delicious. Mix your mashed potatoes with the mustard oil and your paste of spices. Top it off with a cilantro garnish, and dig in!
Begun Bhorta
While it isn't as smooth as its aloo counterpart, begun bhorta stands proud as a chunky, spicy mash of delicious goodness.
Ingredients
o 1 medium eggplant
o 4-5 garlic cloves
o 2-3 red chillies
o 1/4th of an onion, thinly sliced
o 2 tbsp mustard oil
o Cilantro
o Salt to taste
Method
Roast your eggplant, garlic and chilli on stovetop. You can also do this in the oven until tender if you don't care much for the charred begun taste some of us love. Make a simple spice paste by mashing together garlic, chilli and salt. Mix in your thinly sliced onions. Mash your tender, roasted eggplant with your flavourful spice paste and add cilantro. Mix well with the mustard oil.

Daal Bhorta
Served together with piping hot rice, spicy mashed lentils are absolutely delicious. Did we mention they are oh-so-simple to prepare?
Ingredients
o 1 cup lentils
o 2 tbsp mustard oil
o 4-5 garlic cloves
o 2 green chillies
o 1/4th of an onion, thinly sliced
o Cilantro
o Salt to taste
Method
Boil lentils in one and a half cups of water; by the time the water is all dried up, the daal should be tender. Roast garlic and chilli on stovetop. The drill stays the same for your staple spice paste; mash together garlic, salt and chilli. Incorporate your spice paste with the cooked daal, onions, mustard oil and cilantro and mix well. We are often critiqued for deviating from our cultural roots, but no more of that nonsense.
This Boishakh, impress everyone who ever doubted you - your parents, in-laws, significant other and your friends - with your expert know-how of authentic and traditional Bengali recipes.

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