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Friday, 30 December 2022

Sojne Pata Bata / Bhorta (Moringa Leaves Chutney - Bong style)

 

          Check out this dish indigenous to Bengal, the recipe of which is slowly fading away from cookbooks. 'Sojne Pata Bata' or Bengali style Moringa / Drumstick Leaves chutney is a traditional dish and has its roots in the very heart and soul of Bengali cuisine. In fact, it has been an integral part of Bengali cuisine for generations. 

          Less common these days, it is mostly sourced only in the interiors of West Bengal and Bangladesh. This is almost a lost and a forgotten recipe and is a far cry from any restaurant style food. It is an extremely easy, simple and a quick recipe that consists of all the flavors infused in it. Do give this dish a try by following an easy step by step pictorial recipe to prepare this traditional rustic fare. 

          



            Moringa leaves is a good source of vitamins, minerals, calcium, protein and iron. It also contains anti-oxidants, boosts our immune system, fights inflammation, lowers blood sugar and cholesterol. 

          This dish is prepared by sautéing together onion, garlic, green chilies and moringa leaves. It is then ground into a paste. I stir fried it again in some oil with a tempering of nigella seeds.  

          To get a pungent kick out of this bata, a tsp. of raw mustard oil is added to the end product. This is mostly consumed as a side dish with hot steamed rice. 


        



           In Bangladesh, this dish is popularly know as 'Bhorta' and is prepared in many ways. In fact, each household has it's own recipe.

          The present generation is not much aware of this recipe. So to revive a lost culinary art, I though I'd give it a try. It is probably my Bengali instincts talking, but in the end this dish was out of this world. 




  • 3 cups moringa / drumstick leaves, washed & drained well
  • 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. mustard oil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 1-2 green chilies
  • 3-4 dry red chilies
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. nigella seeds




           Heat a pan and stir fry the drained moringa leaves till all the moisture has evaporated. Keep it aside. 

           Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry the garlic, onion and green chilies till light brown. 

          Add the sautéed greens and salt. Cover and cook on a low flame for 2-3 minutes. Keep aside to cool.


          Grind to a fine paste by adding very little water. It should not be runny. 

          Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and fry the dry red chilies. Keep aside. When cool, crush them. 

          Temper the same oil with nigella seeds. Sauté for a few seconds and then add the ground paste. Sauté till dry. 

          When done, switch off the flame and add the crushed red chilies. Give it a mix and transfer to a serving bowl. 

          Drizzle remaining mustard oil and enjoy with hot steamed rice. 



                              Heat a pan & stir fry the moringa leaves till dry. Keep it aside. 


                   Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a pan & fry garlic, onion & green chilies till light brown. 


                   Add sautéed greens & salt. Cover & cook on a low flame for 2-3 minutes.

                   Keep aside to cool.


                                     Grind to a fine paste by adding very little water. 


                     Heat 2 tbsp. oil & fry the dry red chilies. Keep aside. When cool, crush them. 


                              Temper the same oil with nigella seeds. Sauté for a few seconds.

 

                                   Add the ground paste. Sauté till dry. 



                              When done, switch off the flame & add the crushed red chilies. 


                              Drizzle remaining mustard oil and enjoy with hot steamed rice. 












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