Thursday, February 11, 2016

Shaak Bata -- Sweet pea green Paste or Pate

Saraswati Pujo is a few days away and this is the time of the year when my Dida's Gota Seddho drifts up in my memory, which is otherwise inundated with a lot of fluff. At all other time, the Gota seddho is pushed beneath deadlines, middle school tests, elementary school valentine's day, snow forecasts, and seasons of Parenthood yet to be watched on Netflix. I don't think of Gota seddo at any other time of the year but come Ma Saraswati and this post hovers in my sub-conscious.

Sweet Pea Tips

I don't usually make it. I am not sure if I will make a Gota seddho this year either. The whole essence of eating gota seddho during the season is not lost on me though. I appreciate the immunity boost that these vegetables gives at the turn of the season. And to do my part, today I have all greens in my blog.

The Asian Market in my town is a veritable feast of leafy greens all year round. When I say Asian Market, it actually means Chinese/Korean market, teeming with fish, noodles, variety of sauces and unfamiliar vegetables. They have greens there like no bodies business and with names that no one would have thunk. I have learned not to be flabbergasted by the names though and with help from some of my blog readers, I confidently buy watercress and Yu Choy from there. Baby Bok Choy is now my favorite green.


Now my side of the family was never big on different variety of greens but the husband-man's is. His mother usually makes a lot of different kinds and cooks them in innumerable ways. The last time that we visited them, my mother-in-law made a mean "mulo-shaak baata", radish greens sauteed and made into a paste. I think the "baata" or turning every thing into a paste is more of a East Bengal thing and I must say it is brilliant idea. The "mulo shaak baata" tasted really amazing.

So last time when I was at the Asian Market and saw these tender sweet pea tips and bunches of dark green watercress, I decided to make a "shaak bata". I wasn't sure of the outcome but decided to give it a try. And guess what ? My daughters were in love with "shaag bata". I guess the Bangal blood in them really appreciated it. I also found that it was easier to make LS eat shaag baata than just plain old sauteed greens. They loved the sweet pea greens bata more than the watercress but ate both. You can make them all together too.

Now honestly you don't HAVE to make the baata. You can just saute and eat these greens. They are sweet, light and really delicious. Or you can take a step ahead and make the paste or pate. When I made it, i did with Olive oil. However a dash of Mustard oil could have added a new dimension to it.

Shaak Bata -- Sweet pea green Pate

A bunch of sweet pea tips and/or a bunch of watercress. You can do with any one of these or both.

Wash the greens well and let it sit in a colander to shake off the excess water

Warm some olive oil. (If you have Mustard oil use that.)

Temper with 1/2 tsp of Kalonji/Nigella seeds.

Throw in 3 cloves of garlic chopped in slices and 4 green chillies chopped.

When you get the flavor of garlic put in the greens

Saute at medium heat until the greens wilt. Add some salt to taste.

Cook until they are done. For both sweet pea and water cress, they cook pretty quick.

To make the bata or paste:

Let the greens cool

Now put the cooked greens in a blender jar

Pour some olive oil (Go with Mustard oil if you have it at hand).

A squeeze of lime juice.

Blend to a fine paste.

Tip: You can add some grated coconut to the paste to punch more flavor.

Last Step:

In real life, we ate it just like this with rice

Ideally, you are supposed to heat some mustard oil and saute the paste until it becomes little more dry

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Its a nice blog about mulo shaak bata recipes. I try it at home and it is very yummy.
    New York Pizza

  3. Sandeepa ,thanks for this new Sak bata recipe, i just like to share that other vegetable like fulkopi pata bata and green banana skin bata are the good options too!!

  4. Thanks for this new recipe, I would like to experimenting with my cooking and will try it definetly.


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