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!



Chicken Bharta

I had been yearning for the last couple of days to write down this post but never got around doing it. First it was BBC’s birthday on Friday, had a few friends coming in so was extremely busy with the preparations. Then came the weekend and we just relaxed and lazed around. Now with the week starting, am back to my journal with the latest recipe of my household – the Chicken Bharta made with minced chicken. A week ago I tried out this dish and it was a superb hit with BBC. Then I again made it on his birthday and I got the impression that it was a hit there too. So it deserves to be highlighted in my blog as well.

I am a big time chicken lover and Chicken Bharta once used to be my favorite restaurant food back in Kolkata, but surprisingly BBC had never had it before. So when we visit India next I need to ensure he has that and can then compare it with the home-made one. You see my husband is the best judge of my culinary skills. Anyways, whoever is reading this and is a non-veg lover, my suggestion is to try this recipe and am sure your folks are going to love this!


  • Chicken – 500 gms
  • Onions, finely chopped – 4-5 medium
  • Tomato, finely chopped – 1 medium
  • Green chillies, finely chopped – to taste
  • Vinegar or lime juice – 1 tbsp
  • Ginger paste – 1 tsp
  • Garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 + 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – to taste
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
  • Eggs, hard boiled – 2-3
  • Tandoori masala – 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Cashew paste – 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Butter – 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Cashew, finely chopped – for garnishing (optional)
  • Freshly chopped cilantro – for garnishing


  • Mix salt and vinegar to the chicken, and set aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • In a pressure cooker heat some water, add the chicken along with vinegar, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, red chilli powder and cook for 4-5 whistles. This may vary so check accordingly and boil till cooked.
  • Peel the boiled chicken from the bones and mince in a mixer. Preserve the stock. Boneless chicken is preferable for this preparation. Alternatively, using a sharp knife finely chop the chicken pieces into shreds.
  • Heat oil in a pan, fry the finely chopped onions till color changes.
  • Add green chillies, ginger and garlic paste and saute for a while.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and tandoori masala and fry well until the oil is released.
  • Add the minced chicken and mix well till all the spices are well blended with the chicken.
  • Add the stock (from step 3) and stir well.Boil until it gets a thick gravy-like consistency.
  • Add the boiled egg-yolk and mash it in and let it cook for a while.
  • To make it richer add butter and cashew paste. Cook till the excess moisture is absorbed. (The egg yolk absorbs the excess water).
  • Garnish with chopped cashew pieces, freshly chopped cilantro and egg whites cut into threads.

Serve hot with bread, paratha, naan or roti!