Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Chandrani and Pia's Dhonepata Bata Sheem

Yesterday around lunch I asked a question on FB. Here is what I asked.

While I was eating my oatmeal at lunch, going through suggestions of excellent recipes with sheem, my tummy growling, my heart aching, I suddenly realized I did not have sheem at home. I had snow peas. There was no way I was going to make a stop at Patel in the evening to get half a pound of sheem. Jalebis might have made me do so, but not sheem. Thank you.

Now a lot of the time when I am making dishes like paanchmishali or labra, I throw in the snow peas and call them sheem. Of course that doesn't make them sheem but they are sheem like -- sweeter, tender and at the risk of being lynched tastes better than sheem to me.

When I put them in any non-Indian dish, I just call them snow peas. That sounds very right for the soy sauce infused stir fry.

But I have never told anyone about my habit of dual naming of the snow peas. I mean what if people think I am tarnishing the Bengali culture by substituting snow peas for sheem.This simple act of mine might might ban me from my BongMom-dom.

But then Sharmila asked --"Can snow peas be replaced for sheem?"

And I heaved a sigh of relief. So there are people out there who think like me. Who sub sheem with snow peas in times of great need and depression.

That issue resolved I went ahead with Pia's Mom's and Chandrani's excellent recipe of Sheem with Dhonepata Bata -- Hyacinth Beans with Coriander paste.Ok, ok in my case snow peas. But we will not tell anyone that. We will stick with sheem.

This recipe was very different from the shorseh-posto bata ones I have always had. The paturi and shorshe sheem are the ones I am more familiar with.

The fresh scent of coriander in the Dhonepata Bata sheem inspired me.That someone's Mother's recipe would be made in my kitchen and the same flavor will bond families who have never known each other and yet share the same food culture, sealed the rest.

Thank you Chandrani and Pia who blogs at Peppercorns in my Pocket. Loving it.

Dhonepata Bata Sheem

I used 3/4th of the amount  of snow peas as shown in the second pic. Around 25 snow peas, estimated.
Chop the ends of the sheem and then chop in half

Make a paste of
fistful of coriander leaves
3 fat cloves of garlic(6 regular sized ones)
4 hot green chillies
with a splash of water
I think a thicker paste was required but mine was more liquidy.

Heat 1/2 tbsp Mustard Oil

Temper the oil with 1/4th tsp of Kalonji/Kalo Jeere and 2 slit green chillies

When the seeds sputter and hiss, add the chopped sheem. With a sprinkle of turmeric and salt saute till raw smell is gone. Around 5 mins

Now add the coriander-garlic paste. Add salt to taste. Mix well. Cover the cooking pan and let the vegetable cook. If needed remove cover, add little water. cook till veggie is done.

Add a pinch of sugar and adjust for salt.

Serve with white rice and a touch of kashundi if available.


  1. snow peas for me too. a lot of times. the sheem is often stale and old. eta amar next sheem recipe. eta oi dhone pata r chuntey add kora r moton almost. makes everything good.

  2. I liked the way you used the paste for snow peas...I usually stir-fry with cumin and tumeric. It is a clever recipe, have tagged it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nice post, dear! Did I tell you I ate a Bengali meal on Saturday? Fish, jackfruit, and what not! We got cheated on the desserts, though!

  4. Love the recipe and going to try very soon. I am in love with simple dishes that are healthy and soul-satisfying. Nowadays, our dinner usually consist of a simple veg dish, dal/raita, cucumber salad and rice/roti. Ekdom simple and no-fuss. This is a very good recipe for dinnertime and perfect with musurir dal and bhaat.

  5. I tried this one today morning for my dabba..it tastes yummmm with rotis even when cold..thank you thank you..usually I am not a sheem fan..but this one converted me :)

  6. And to think of it you got the kind of recipe you were looking for in no time !! All thanks to FB :-)Quick, light sheem ok ok snow peas fix

  7. This one could be a great quick dish, didn't make anything than stir fry with snow peas!

  8. You can get pack frozen sheem from Bangladeshi stores. However snow peas being in season looks great. I plan to grow sheem this summer. Fingers crossed.

  9. And it looks just as it does at home :) Perfect!

  10. i just made it tonight, ahh the fragrance of dhonepata bata. I added a tomato to the past to suit my tangy palette, very cool. Thanks so much for yet another simple, lip-smacking recipe :)

  11. Thevsame can be done with raddish (mulo) cut into long pieces and steamed. Unlike sheem it does nt needs to be fried.
    The recipe with sheem came out too yummy

  12. I have peas similar to your's and wanted a recipe with the same spices as in an old recipe with panch puran,pumpkin and potatoes. I stumbled upon your post. So funny. In trying this now! :)


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