Instagram Post 10/28/2017
The medium is the message. I thought it looked rather like an artist’s palette, loaded with an assortment of rich colors poised to caress a canvas. Rather, it was an assortment of rich flavors in the form of bhortas (aka bhartas) poised to impress our palates. Start here to learn about Bangladeshi food because these spicy mustard oil and onion infused mashes are a staple of the cuisine, and are considered by some to be comfort food. They begin with virtually any vegetable (and sometimes dried fish) and are certainly a complement to rice but are comfortable with any dish. Obviously, the flavors vary depending upon the main ingredient – a fish bhorta will taste quite different from one made from dal – but I was intrigued by the subtle variations from one alu (potato) bhorta to the next. Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s not too difficult to identify potato, tomato, dal, eggplant, fish, etc. but the helpful folks behind the steam table at Haat Bazaar, 37-11 73rd St, Jackson Heights, Queens patiently identified all of the dishes they had to offer (see photo 2 for a helicopter view of our feast) – which was necessary for us since there are no menus. Definitely worth another visit.