Dhaka,  Sunday
21 July 2024

In the World of a Hundred bhartas

Staff reporter

Published: 17:39, 16 May 2024

In the World of a Hundred bhartas

Photo: Courtesy

"Whose taste is good, their every task becomes beautiful.” Farzana Baten, a skilled cook, is described as an invaluable culinary artist by poet Rabisankar Maitri. He remarked, 'Farzana's cooking book will undoubtedly be delightful. I believe Farzana's cooking advice will change the readers' tastes.'

Indian corporate chef Sharmishtha De writes, 'The main reason for my travels to Bangladesh is to taste Bangladeshi food, engage in some writing, gather appropriate recipes for various newspapers, and cook for various TV channels in Bangladesh.' All of that has Farzana by my side. Reading the names of all the items in her book makes my mouth water! Farzana has brought together an extraordinary collection of all positions. Like - sajna leaf paste, hilsa eggplant bhorta, sweet pumpkin bhorta, capsicum shoot bhorta, taro leaf bhorta, minced mutton bhorta, Sylheti Annamukhi bhorta, etc."

Recently published by Kolkata's Bindu Bisorga Publications, the book "In the World of a Hundred Dishes" by Farzana Baten, a writer, culinary artist, and recitation artist from Bangladesh, has been released. The book has been introduced by two writers from Bangladesh and India.

In the introduction to the book, Farzana Baten writes about the various modern interpretations of bhorta and mentions various interesting facts about bhorta. For example, in modern Bengali, the word bhorta is only used to understand food.

The meaning of the word bhorta, derived from Sanskrit 'bhartta' - husband. In Bengali, anything mashed is called bhorta. Elsewhere, she writes that once upon a time, bhorta was the food of low-income people in Bengal.

Bhorta used to be made to eat with whatever was available in hand. Now bhorta has gained historic dignity. Humayun Ahmed wrote about bhorta- Most small fish are born to be bhorta. For so long it was heard 'Bengali eats rice with fish' now I hear- 'Bengali eats bhorta with rice'.

The book is rich in information, references, and commentary on food preservation and presentation. For example, fried fish bhorta, removing tea cup stains, essential tips for cooking and kitchen. Farzana has also shown creativity in bhorta. Like garlic leaf bhorta, garlic paste bhorta, fish-garlic bhorta, tomato-garlic bhorta, garlic-coriander bhorta, garlic-chili bhorta, bottle gourd leaf bhorta, garlic-pea leaves, bhorta, fried garlic kachki bhorta, bel fish bhorta, small shrimp bhorta, sajna leaf - Ruhi fish bhorta, bottle gourd coconut bhorta, sajna leaf bhorta, jackfruit seed-shrimp bhorta, flower bhorta, broccoli-ruhi bhorta, etc.

The book is designed by Abhishek Chatterjee. The book can be found in various libraries in Kolkata as well as in Bangladesh, price TK 250.