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A Dish with Fish – Lata Bharta

A Dish with Fish – Lata Bharta

lata bharta

A sudden phone call hit him like the thunder, but resulted in one of the unique dishes called Lata Bharta. In this story Chef Sandeep Das narrates how he entertained his guest with this dish with fish.

The sudden phone call informing he is coming for lunch hit me like a thunder. I was travelling the next day hence did not shop much for fish. Somashisda has this habit to suddenly appear out of nowhere, and knowing him I know it for a fact that he comes specially to taste something unique. Any thoughts to order something should definitely be avoided.  I know this for a fact because of an experience earlier.  But that is a different story. I have more important things to work on as of now.

I checked my refrigerator. As anticipated I just have some Lata Mach left. Vegetables …well that Somashis da is not very fond of. Eggs? …Nah. Well I decided to start with the rice and then decide what to cook. By this time I realized I had some leftover Dal in the fridge. Adding the rice pot to fire I fetched the Dal.

That actually gave me an idea so I took out the fish from the deep. I cooked Lata Mach Bhorta. Bhorta is a quintessential Bengali food a staple in our diet. I was dressing a salad when the door bell rang. It must be Somashisda I thought, but no it was just the laundryman who had come for delivery.

It was almost 1:30 when Somashisda arrived. I know Somashisda finishes his lunch by 12, I asked him “Ato deri korlay?”(Why so late)

Without answering my question he rushed straight to the wash basin, washed his hands and came to the dining table and demanded “Khete daya” (Serve the lunch)

Looking at his face I realized his hunger level. I quickly grabbed a plate and served him the food and said “Kal aktu barate jachchi tai bajar kori ni, ja ache tai banalam” (I am travelling tomorrow so cooked whatever was available).

He checked out the dishes and said “Cholbe….na na Dourabe” (This will do….no this is actually great).

Mixing the dal with the Bhat he said “Tui toh janish ami shorbobhuk abong sholpahari” (You know I eat everything but in lesser quantity)

I was anxious to see his reaction on the fish. As he  had his first bite on it he reacted “Ah! Ki darun” (Wow it is brilliant). “Ata ki jinish ray?” (What is it that you cooked?)

“Dada ata Lata Macher Bhorta” (Dada it is a bharta made out of Lata Mach)

“Lata Mach means Snakehead fish?”He asked

“Yes Dada”

“Recipe ta day toh amaio banabo” (Give me the recipe for this dish)

I knew he would ask for the recipe so I had jotted it down earlier. I handed over this to him …..

Lata Macher bhorta / Snakehead fish mash


Lata mach – 500 gm

Green chilli – 5 no

See Also
Forest Music Festival

Whole dry chilli – 2no

Onion – 100gm

Coriander leaves – 2 bunches

Mustard oil – 4 tbsp

Salt to taste


First fish is smoked or roasted then it’s scale head middle bone are removed then mashed whole dry chili roasted chopped onion green chili coriander leaves and mustard paste and drizzled with mustard oil salt to taste mix it and served with steam hot rice.

You can use any kind of fish for bhorta is required to give edgy taste and flavour.

Also read: Dish with Fish! 

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