Dharosh Bortha Steamed Okra

Dharosh bortha, steamed Okra
A mashed medley
Garlic, onion, chillies and mustard oil
A traditional Bengali dish
A spicy mish mash medley

Bengalis love a shido/bhortha, whatever you want to call it! It depends on whether you live on the west side or east side. Either way, it’s a mash of sorts.

I used Dharosh today, okra, fingers, bhindi. There are many names for this. In Bengali, it’s dharosh. Now we can make dharosh shido as I call it. It’s obviously a little slimy, but I like that slippery texture. More about Dharosh here Let’s talk about Bengali veg

Take pretty much any ingredient, and you could potentially make a shido or bhortha out of it! We Bengalis know just how and believe me the shido/bhortha is sometimes the humblest and most simple of food and it’s appreciation.

That term ‘guilty pleasure’ sums up a plate of shido vath for me. Simply a vegetable boiled, steamed or roasted mixed with an array of additional flavourants, the usual culprits that produce a sensational mash/hash that you can eat all your rice with.

Pretty much any veg…any will be transformed with the process.
It’s like making a base, then adding your preferred chosen veg!

There are numerous ways of having Dharosh shido. The stripped back butter or ghee combo or this slightly more elaborate one that has big flavours!

So where to start. There are no specific measurements for this. It’s about the combination and individual preference.

I used about 20 Dharosh that I topped and tailed.
Approx 15 birds eye dried red chillies
1 garlic bulb
Mustard oil or ghee
1 Red finely sliced onion
5 or 6 finely chopped fresh chillies


Boil or steam your washed Dharosh. Drain and set aside.

Steam/ boil dharosh

Place the garlic cloves in the microwave in their skins for 30 seconds. Let it cool, then peel.

Heat a little oil in a small pan. Add the garlic and birds eye dried chillies and on a med/low flame gently fry till the chillies darken and the garlic goes golden.
Do not burn. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and place on a plate. Sprinkle with salt. This will keep the chillies crispy.

Gently saute
Gently sauté till soft and golden

That’s the cooking done. Now you bring it all together!

On a plate, take your onion slices, add a sprinkle of salt, and bruise the onions with salt. This will soften the onions. Crumble the red chillies, as much as you want, into the garlic and bruise them into the onions.

Onions, salt, and dried chillies
Mix in the dried chillies

Next to the onion, bruise the fried garlic together.
Next to this, get the dharosh and squish them till its a fleshy mash.

Now combine everything on your plate. Mix well, add salt, and a little drizzle of mustard oil.

Use the dried chillies to your palate

Taste for salt. Adjust.

You’re done. Garnish with a few dried chillies to the side. Simply serve with steaming hot rice and indulge. Trust me, the garlic, chillies, and zingy mustard will really hit you!

This can be all you need!

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