Thursday, May 21, 2009

1001 Bharthas - Mashed Indian Curries

Click the image to view and print the cookbook. This cookbook explores variations of the following mashed curries. 

0.: Aloo Bhartha (mashed potato curry ).

1.: Bhindi Bharta ( Mashed Okra curry)

2.: Tomato Bhartha ( Mashed tomato curry)

3.: Makai Bharta (Mashed corn curry)

4.: Banana  ( Banana Podimas)

5.: Baingan Bhartha ( Grilled andmashed eggplant curry)

6.:  Mashed Arrow root/ Tapioca / Colocasia / Yam / Sweet Potato curry

7.: Mashed fish / crab / prawn curry

8.: Minced Meat curry (Keema Bhartha)

Bharthas (podimas in Tamil) are mashed curries. Baingan Bhartha, (Grilled and mashed eggplant) is by far India’s favourite mash. A variety of meats / seafood can also be minced / flaked and cooked into bharthas. Many Bharthas need no flavouring at all. Just mix the mashed vegetable with some chopped onion, tomato, chilies & lemon juice – and your Bhartha is ready.

Indian Bharthas can be used as dips, spreads or curries. They can be eaten mixed with rice, pasta or with a variety of flatbreads. They can be spread over toast, or used as a sandwich spread.

 Unlike Indian cuisine which boasts of a huge variety of mashed curries, only mashed potatoes are popular in other cuisines. Potatoes are either boiled or baked before being mashed with milk / cream/ butter, salt and pepper. Mashed potatoes served with sausages as Bangers and Mash or served with minced beef pie as ‘ Pie and Mash are very popular working class dishes in London. Called ‘Champ / Poundies’, mashed potatoes with spring onions, butter and milk are eaten in Ireland. Mix chopped kale / cabage into poundies and you get another Irish dish, the Colcannon. Mashed potato served with stir fried minced beef as ‘Mince and tatties is a famous Scottish dish.   In France, melted cheese is mixed in with mashed potatoes to make Aligot.

In west and central Africa, starchy goodies like cassava, yam, maize, plantains etc are boiled and pounded into a mash called ‘Fufu. Fufu is eaten dipped into a soup to make a complete meal.

 Pressurecooking Tubers: Tubers can be easily pressure cooked. Peel Chop and add them to a pressure cooker, cover with water and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Potato / colocasia/ sweet potato/ tapioca need not even be peeled as they can be easily peeled after cooking.

Boiling Veggies: Boil two cups of water. Add the chopped vegetables and cook for five minutes.
Grilling / Baking: Cut the vegetables into thick slices. Brush with oil and grill or bake till done.
Microwaving. Take a cup of chopped veggies. Sprinkle water, and microwave loosely covered for 3 -5 minutes.

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