Recipe courtesy of Nidhi Jalan for Food Network Kitchen

Aloo Bhorta

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
This sharp and tangy mashed potato dish is delicious and a breeze to make. There are various iterations of it: bhorta (meaning mashed) in Bengal, bharta in Northern India and chokha in Bihar. In Bengal, raw mustard oil is added to give a magical zing to the side dish, which is often served at room temperature. These scrumptious and slightly pungent mashed potatoes will add a buzz to your Thanksgiving meal and lead to some interesting discussions.



  1. Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Generously salt the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and gently simmer until the potatoes are completely tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes, peel them carefully and return them to the pot. Mash the potatoes well with a potato masher.
  3. Add the cilantro, mustard oil, chiles, red onion, lime juice and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. With a fork (or with your hands), mix into the mashed potatoes until evenly distributed. Taste and add more lime juice, salt and chiles if needed. If you like a sharper, more pungent taste (as I do), add a little more mustard oil.
  4. Serve in a bowl or make individual balls the size of Ping-Pong balls. You can make this up to a day in advance and keep in the refrigerator. But remember to remove it about an hour before serving so it comes to room temperature.

Cook’s Note

You can find mustard oil in any Indian grocery store. It is, however, usually labeled "for external use only." For some obscure reason, it is banned in the U.S. for cooking purposes. But it is a key ingredient in Bengali cooking, and I use it all the time. Note that the only FDA-approved food-grade mustard oil is manufactured by an Australian company named Yandilla.