In Bengali households you will hear about various baata’s all the time. Bata is essentially some paste which are simple, and easy on stomach. These are eaten at the beginning of a traditional meal. Depending on the seasonal availability, baata has a wide range from posto baata (poppy seed paste) to maan kochu bata (taro root), kolar khosha bata (plantain peel paste) and in winter dhane pata bata (cilantro paste).
Traditionally baata always involves mustard paste, green chilies and a generous amount of pungent mustard oil in it. Occasionally depending on the main ingredient, freshly grated coconut also plays an important role.
In this post I will share with you my Dad’s favorite maan kochu bata recipe. I had to do an international consultation with my aunt before finalizing it.
- 1 lb. maan kochu (taro root, I got from local Asian store)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 2-3 hot Thai green chilies (I put some ripe red ones along with it)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. mustard oil
- Salt to taste
In a grater grate the taro root. Take the grated taro root on a big strainer or colander and put it under running cold water. You will see that the water running out of the strainer is milky white. Continue rinsing till the water runs clear. This step prevents the itching in the throat.
Once you are done with rinsing squeeze out any excess water out of it.
In a grinder make a past of mustard and green chilies with a pinch of salt.
Now add freshly grated coconut and taro root to the grinder and grind everything together to a fine paste. The paste will be thick and not slurry.
Add sugar and adjust salt. Drizzle mustard oil all over.
Eat with hot rice.