Green Beans Bharta – Mashed Green Beans


As a child, have you ever been enamored by magic? I used to be. And I wanted to be special, to be different from others, to have uncommon abilities. I so aspired to be a brilliant child and to be at the top of my class. Whenever I would get weary of studies my imagination would run wild. In that wild world I would be transformed into a person with a special photographic memory so that every thing that I read would be etched in my memory forever; that way i just needed to glance through the pages of my study-books and I would top all my exams. As I grew up, I secretly started hoping that maybe someday I would discover this extraordinary power of mine.  And when I traveled with J.K.Rowling to the world of Harry Potter, I found myself again nurturing that exotic dream.

In hindsight I am glad that I do not possess any such photographic memory because (a) some lessons are best learnt the hard way, so they go a long way; (b) forgetting is sometimes a bliss for only then can we move ahead in life; and (c) Being Normal is the best thing that can happen to you.

But that does not mean I totally deny the existence of magic.

“Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.”
Nora Roberts

In perspective it just holds a different meaning. You have known magic if you have ever fallen in love, ever created a child, if any of your dreams have ever come true.. you have known magic if you have looked at the creation around you, the world around you, if you have witnessed the change of colors and seasons or the mesmerizing view of a sunrise or the sun setting across the ocean.

I have seen the impossible and the unimaginable happening, so I will never close my mind to such a magic.

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
Roald Dahl


Today’s recipe is of Green French Beans. If you are like me who only cherishes the thought of beans in Fried Rice or Chowmein then I can assure that you will be pleasantly surprised with this. I had never known such a bharta to even exist till I came across BongMom’s Cookbook. According to her this Bharta – spelled as Bhorta with an ‘o’ – is made in Bangladeshi style with mashed beans and coconut. Now, I love coconut and anything with coconut in it and was very happy when it turned out to be so good. I have to confess that though I make it as a second side dish, I end up
having my whole meal with just this and whited steamed rice.

So if you love beans, you will love this dish too. And if you are not a beans lover, then for sure do try this once and let yourself be beguiled with this magical dish.

Ingredients: DSC_0117

  • French Beans, cut into 1′ length – 2 cups
  • Oil (preferrably mustard oil, but vegetable oil will do) – 1 to 2 tbsp or as required.
  • Onions, thinly sliced – 1 small
  • Garlic, chopped or grated – 1 tbsp
  • Green chillies, slit lengthwise – 5 to 6 or to taste, can use red chilli powder instead
  • Salt – to taste
  • Coconut, grated – 1/2 cup to 1 cup; I use it generously
  • Coconut, grated / Coconut flakes – for garnishing (optional)


  • Heat oil in a pan, once hot add the thinly sliced onions and saute.
  • Add garlic and green chillies and fry well.
  • Once the onions start getting translucent add the beans and salt. Mix well. Cover and cook till the beans are tender stirring in between.
  • Once cooked, transfer the fried beans mixture on a plate and allow it to cool completely.
  • Once cooled add it to a blender along with coconut and little water and blend to a thick wet paste.
  • Heat the same pan, add a few drops of oil to it and add the wet paste.
  • On medium flame cook the paste till most of the moisture is dried up.
  • Garnish with grated coconut and serve with hot rice.

Suggestion: Mix small portions of the paste and rice with your hands/fingers and enjoy!


Rajma/Kidney beans curry

The longing for home never stops, even after years of staying away from home the desire to be at home, with the known faces around, the painted walls, the familiar scent, and the all too blissful warmth of the bed and pillows is incomparable to any place in the world. No luxury is bigger than getting bed tea in mornings and home cooked meals!The other day I was longing for some comfort food… something that would bring home back to me. Though in our household, the typical comfort food would be fish curry and rice, and so would be in many of the Bengali household, yet my favorite is Rajma Chawal (Kidney beans curry and rice).

Rajma could be classified as a North Indian dish, however it is pretty much famous all over the country. My favorite combination is Rajma with Jeera rice, however it tastes fabulous with plain rice, roti, paratha and naan.


  • Rajma/Kidney beans – 1 cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Onion, grated or finely chopped – 1 medium
  • Ginger paste – 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Green chillies, slit – to taste
  • Tomatoes, pureed or finely chopped – 1
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – to taste
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 2 tbsp


  • Wash and soak the Rajma in 3-4 cups of water overnight.
  • Pressure cook Rajma along with the water and salt till completely cooked and soft. (Add the 1/2 tsp ginger and garlic paste, green chillies in the cooker though this is optional an can be added at later stage as well).
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions till they change color.
  • Add green chillies, ginger & garlic paste and saute for a minute.
  • Add tomatoes and cook well.
  • Add cumin powder, coriander powder,red chilli powder, turmeric powder and cook till the oil leaves the masala.
  • Add the cooked Rajma along with the water and add salt to taste.
  • Cook all the spices have blended well and moisture has evaporated to the desired consistency.
  • Add garam masala and mix well.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and serve hot.