Today, I am going to share a bhorta hack. If you have great culinary skills and/or a purist when it comes to cooking; please look elsewhere. But check this out if you live in North America, have minimal skills and maximum heartache on pohela boishakh. I hear you, my friend.
Last year, I hosted a small party for my in law’s anniversary which happens to be Pohela Boishakh ( 14th April). I wanted to make as many bhortas as possible, so I did what everyone else of our generation does: I searched for bhorta recipes on YouTube. I found hundreds of recipes online which were more or less the same and didn’t seem daunting at all. The problem was, I planned a surprise party and didn’t have the time to go back and forth to check out all the recipes I liked. I am also absolutely horrible at giving directions under pressure. I felt that my two helpers, husband and sister-in-law would just stand there trying to help me and I would run around like a headless chicken. You may think why would I think that? The answer is: that has happened multiple times before. While I am not great at verbal direction I am excellent at writing plans and step by step instructions. After all, there is some use of having experience in technical writing. I needed the recipes to be on one page, with clear instructions. That’s when I decided to make an infographic. I sat with a good old Hilroy notebook and my stationeries, watched all the YouTube videos again and created my masterpiece. Nothing fancy, but extremely helpful if you want to make multiple bhortas on a short notice. Please note that this is not a “recipe” post. I am just sharing an efficient process. You can create your own with just a piece of paper and some pens or create an excel sheet. A great way to save hack is to pin it on your pinterest boards. The amount of ingredients vary depending on how spicy or mild you want your bhortas to be so be your own judge. Don’t roll your eyes because I like fried onions in my tomato bhorta. You don’t have to do it the same way!
Here are the steps that you can follow to make the best use of your time:
- Use your stove top and oven and simultaneously fry, boil and grill. Boil the potatoes and zucchinis, throw the tomatoes and eggplants in the oven.
- Prepare your onion ( both fried and raw), Chilies ( red and green, fried and raw), coriander leaves and sauté/fry garlic if using any.
- On the same working station set aside mustard oil, ghee and salt.
- After everything is neatly organized like those YouTube recipe videos, look at the infographic and Mix! Mix! Mix!
- If anyone asks you ” what do I add in the aloo bhorta?” just give them a death stare and point at the infographic.
Additional tip: when possible prepare one or two bhortas ahead of time. I made my kalijeera bhorta ahead of time and boiled the daal the night before.
If you have any questions please let me know in the comment section!
Day 3: 09 March, 2019