FOOD AND BENGAL:  FLAVORS 101

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when someone says Bengal; the Magnificent Howrah Bridge, Rabindra Da, or Bengali Sweets; the mouth-watering Rosogolla or Mishti Doi!  It tells how popular (read stereotyped) these delicacies are, but the people of this land of Rich culture and Art have much more on their plate. In reality, the cuisine of the Bengal is similar to the place; colorful, vibrant, rich in culture, and tasty to say the least! So, let’s explore the Bengali platter with 10 selected Bengali Dishes; one dish at a time.

 

Best 10 Bengal Food

 

SHUKTO

Do you also think that Bengalis are only limited to fish and non-veg? Then, you are probably mistaken, my friend. The Bengalis also very well know how to do their vegetables too. Generally being served as the first meal in the diet, Shukto is a mixture of different Vegetables including Drumsticks, Brinjals, and Bitter Gourd combined with milk and spices to provide a gravy, nothing can be more apt to start your meal with.

LUCHI


No celebration in a Bengali household is complete without Luchis. It is a deep-fried dish that is prepared with maida and looks like a fluffed and smaller sized Chappatis (it looks like it but not Puris though; Puris are made from Whole Wheat flour whereas Luchi is from maida). The dish is as golden in its color as its importance and taste.

 

 

 

LAU GHONTO


Never thought of Bottle Guard(Lauki) as delicious food, try Lau Ghonto. This delicacy is cooked along with Udad Dal mixed with other light spices. The dish is not very spicy in its taste, so not sure whether it will satisfy your hunger for spice but will surely satiate your taste buds, and it's good for your stomach too, A win-win deal.

TANGRA MACHER JHOL

Bengal and Fishes, are a dream combination. As you are already aware( if focused In geography classes) Bengal has plenty of fresh water sources and with it, and also a lot of varieties of fishes also. This dish is made from the Tangra Fish, a catfish that can be spotted in the freshwater in the region. The dish is prepared with mixing ground spices and also a thin curry. Ask a Bengali about it, and they will tell you about its Taste.  

AAM PORA SHARBOT

Summer and Mangoes go hand in hand and different regions of the country have different variations of mango drinks; all doing the same magic- satisfying your soul in the heat. In the Bengali variation of the Mango Drink, the raw mangoes are burnt; not fully but partially, and with a little charred skin, mixed with sugar. It is easy to make the drink and is best served chilled and boy, you be needing it in a Kolkata Heat!

  1. KOSHA MANGSHO

If you want to go high on spices and want to feel the flavors to their fullest, Kosha Mangsho should not escape from your list. It is a mutton dish and tends to be high on spices which include onion, cinnamon, garlic, and cloves. The dish has all the aroma and richness to make your taste buds go oozing.

IILISH MACHER JHOL

It is one of the most popular dishes in the region and can be considered a staple food of Bengalis. Hilsa or as we call it Iilish is one of the much-liked fish in the area, and the curry of it is prepared with nigella seeds and chili making a complete balance in the taste- the reason for its perfection.

ALUR DUM

There is an Irish Saying which goes- “Only two things in this world are too serious to be jested on, potatoes and matrimony.” The former has experimented in all the possible ways to make innumerable different dishes from it, Bengal chooses Alur Dum. There are many different methods to prepare it by mixing different spices. The dish is usually consumed with our beloved Luchi.

MISHTI DOI

If talking of Bengal and not of sweets, such a shame. One of the most famous sweet dishes originating from Bengal and now has made its place in every sweet shop across the country, Mishti Doi is sweetened yogurt served at the last meal- as saving the best for the last!

SANDESH

Another stiff competitor to Rasugulla and Mishti Doi in being the most famous Bengali Sweet, Sandesh is made of khoya, basically a version of condensed milk and is also not overly sweet allowing people with not have sweet tooth(Are there any!!!) to also enjoy the delicacy. Take a piece of it, close your eyes, put it in your mouth and just focus on its taste- A shortcut to heaven😉)

In the article, your dear friend has tried to list some of the most authentic Bengali Dishes. So, on your next journey to Bengal, you know which cuisine to try!!

FAQs-

Q.1 Is the Bengali cuisine One Dimensional?

  1. Of Course, not. The place is very rich in its culture as well as in its cuisine. From having plenty of varieties in non-vegetarian food to equal options among the vegetarian delicacies, spicy enough to make your taste buds go rolling to best sweets (No Cap), it has all.

Q. 2 What are dishes made of fish that can be tried?

  1. Although, Bengal has loads and loads of fish and dishes from them owing to it being near to water bodies, the author would recommend Tangra Macher Jhol and Iilish Macher Jhol- two of the most famous fish dishes of the region.

Q. 3 I am a vegetarian. What are the options available to me?

  1. Don’t be disappointed about being vegetarian as the Bengali Cuisine is rich in this aspect too. You can put your hands upon Shukto, Lau Ghonto, or have Alur Dam with Luchi as your meal.

Q. 4 What is the Best Bengali Dish?

  1. I won't do sin by choosing one, it's your food journey to explore.
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