Bengali cuisine is famous for the variety of its dishes made with fish. Every dish is unique in its taste and preparation. “Bhorta” is a dish where the ingredient is mashed, usually consumed with white rice at the beginning of the meal. The preparation is simple but a bit systematic. This dish is usually prepared using a rolling pin and a board like material made out of stone called “pata” (stone board) and “puta” (rolling pin). It has been traditionally used in Bengali households to make masala pastes such as ginger/garlic pastes used for cooking and to make different types of Bhortas. The ingredient is well mashed on the stone board with the rolling pin using both hands simultaneously. If you ever ask a typical Bengali housewife, she would always say the masalas/Bhortas made in the stone rolling pin tastes better than those made on the grinder/mixer. However, the use of pata and puta has minimised a lot because it takes a lot of effort and time. People have now switched to using a mixer-grinder for the preparation of bhorta.
- Shrimps – 300g (small-sized, please remove the heads and shells)
- Onions chopped – 3 (small-sized)
- Dried red chillies – 3
- Coriander leaves (finely chopped) – half cup
- Salt, to taste
- Garlic, chopped – 1/2 tbsp
- Turmeric powder – 2 tsp
- Mustard oil – 3 tbsp
- Heat a pan with mustard oil.
- Once the oil is heated up, add the shrimps and sauté it for about 4-5 minutes.
- When the shrimps are well sautéed, they will shrink in size.
- Now add the chopped onions and chopped garlic and sauté it for more 3- 4 minutes.
- After the onions become soft, add the dry red chillies and salt and give it a good toss, so the salt is well mixed with the prawns.
- Now take out the prawns and put them in the mixer.
- Along with the prawns, add the coriander leaves to the mixer and mix it well first for approximately 3- 4 minutes.
- After four minutes, open the mixer and check if the prawns are well mashed or not. Small chunks of the prawns are fine. It does not have to be completely mashed.
- After the prawns are mashed, take it out in a bowl and add 1/2 tbsp of mustard oil and coriander on top of it as a garnish. And it is ready to serve.
*Best to have with plain rice