Various forms of batas (meaning ground) are always fondly enjoyed in Bengali meals and are very common as a regular item in many households. Not only in Bengali households, they are also very popular throughout the entire eastern part of India. Batas are nothing but a simple ground paste of just anything, seasoned with other ingredients and spices. Different kinds of batas like kochu (Taro) bata, thankuni (Scientific name : Centella asiatica) bata , kaacha kola (raw banana) baata, til bata, posto bata, the list doesn’t end here & many more are enjoyed based on their seasonal demand & availability and these will simply make you fall in love with them when served with freshly steamed rice. But, of course these batas have to be prepared with the correct proportion of ingredients which is key to the making of all batas. My maternal grandmother was a real expert in this & I really miss those batas of hers.
Here I am sharing with you one of the batas that I grew up having. This bata is very common in our home especially in the winters but is equally enjoyable in every season. Since vegetables are no longer considered seasonal nowadays as mostly everything is available every time except a few, carrots too are no more a winter delight and can be found anytime round the year. Carrots are considered as one of the superfoods as they are rich in antioxidants ( Beta-carotene ), Zinc, Vitamin A etc. and is also a naturally immune boosting food. Zinc is essential for the body’s defensive (immune) system to work properly. Carrots are also good sources of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial substances which altogether strengthen our immune system. The antioxidant properties of carrots are well known with the orange ones having maximum Carotenoids or antioxidants. Since Immune System strengthening food are the need of the hour for prevention of the novel Coronavirus infection, having Gaajar Bata is thus a way of incorporating a habit of eating Carrots on a regular basis, especially for those who hate or doesn’t like them much, with an easy, tasty, quick & healthy recipe as this one. This is also a fuel saving & affordable way of including carrots to your daily diet without having to chew your boring salads everyday to get healthy.
Traditionally batas were prepared using Shil Pata (Batan) that were replaced by our grinders with time, but the taste of Shil Pata can never be replaced by a grinder. However to make this bata even more simpler, I have used grated carrots instead of carrot paste but trust me the taste was enhanced in case of carrots, as grated carrots impart a crunchy feel that makes it even more enjoyable.
Today the whole world is oppressed with the global cause of COVID-19 pandemic and trying hard to make a way out from this menace. So the best thing you can do now is to keep yourself calm, positive, happy and most importantly healthy by loading some healthy stuff that should be tasty too..😊
Here, fish & meat are unavailable currently and so we have turned vegetarians for now, but no regrets as Navratri is already on. So, relish this simple, healthy & absolutely cooking free recipe with your family & have fun..🙂
- Carrots (freshly grated) – 2
- Mustard paste or powder – 1/2 tsp ( Note: You may even skip this if unavailable. Alternatively, you may use mustard sauce i.e. Kasundi).
- Green chillies (chopped) – few
- Mustard oil – 2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Take your grated carrot in a mixing bowl, add mustard paste, mustard oil, green chillies, salt.
- Mix everything together and your bata is ready to serve. Enjoy with steaming hot plain rice.
(ALERT: Those who do not like the pungency of mustard or mustard oil may not like this dish)..😊😊