Recently on 15th April 2022, the people of west bengal in India celebrated New Year as per the Bengali calendar. The day is popularly known as Poila Baisakh, the 1st day of the month of Baisakh. The Bengalis usher the New Year by offering pujas, greeting friends and family, and especially cooking various traditional Bengali dishes. Today I thought of sharing some of the delicious mouth-watering lips smacking traditional Bengali dishes to try in your kitchen.
Shukto is one of my favorite traditional Bengali dishes. The main ingredient is the bitter gourd. The other vegetables added are drumstick, flat beans, raw bananas or kachkola, brinjal, papaya, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Grated coconut and a solution of milk and flour (maida) are used to prepare the gravy. Mustard paste is added to create a special taste. Ghee can also be poured at the end for the extra flavor and aroma.
Luchi – Aloo Dum
Luchi and Aloo Dum are an integral part of Bengali cuisine. They are preferably one of the most popular traditional Bengali dishes. Luchi is prepared with flour (maida) mainly. It is prepared in round shapes with flour dough and fried in white refined oil. The Aloo Dum is essentially potato curry with thick gravy. Savoring the Luchi with the potato curry is extremely delicious and lips-smacking.
Dhokar Dalna is again one of the popular traditional Bengali dishes. The word “Dhoka” converted into English, literally means betrayal. The recipe once prepared resembles meat yet it is a vegetarian dish and hence the name. The main ingredient is the chana dal or the baby chickpeas. The dal is soaked, crushed, and then mixed with the spices like cumin powder, hing or asafoetida, turmeric powder, and salt. The paste is then placed on a flat vessel and cut into several diamond pieces. These are the Dhokas which are fried in oil. You can either consume them as snacks or dip them into a curry made with ginger paste, turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt, and water.
The beauty of traditional Bengali dishes is that there are options for all types of foodies. Some are simple and less spicy whole there are others with rich gravy. Aloo Post is one such simple and light dish for those who do not prefer spicy foods. Posto or poppy seeds are roasted, pasted, and mixed with boiled potatoes. Sometimes onions are fried and added along with nigella seeds.
One of the simplest traditional Bengali dishes. Begun is a colloquial word and is brinjal. The brinjals are cut in long shapes and smeared with salt, sugar, and turmeric powder. They are then deep-fried in oil. Sugar adds a crispy effect to the fried brinjals. It is consumed mainly with rice and dal (lentils).
Cholar dal is the Bengal gram or baby chickpeas. The process is similar to the way lentils are prepared. The extra effect is added by mixing tiny pieces of coconut or grated coconut. You can either consume it with Luchi or rice too. The dal is best savored with some sugar and raisins; the sweet flavor is the specialty.
Muri Ghonto is one of the signature traditional Bengali dishes. It is made with rice, potatoes and fish head. The fish head is marinated well and shallow fried in oil. The gravy is made with onion, tomatoes, and other spices like turmeric powder, cumin powder, and ginger garlic paste. The rice used must be either Basmati or Gobindobhog.
Bhapa means steamed. Ilish maach or Hilsa fish is steamed using the mustard paste, yogurt, coconut paste, and sometimes poppy seeds paste too. The mixture with the fish is kept inside a closed vessel, steel utensils are preferred. The vessel is then kept inside another container, maybe a pressure cooker containing boiled water. It is one of the simplest traditional Bengali dishes; easy to prepare and cook.
Kasha Murgir Jhol
Murgi is chicken. Kasha murgir jhol is essentially chicken curry with a thick red-colored gravy and with potatoes. It is better consumed with rice and is one of the most delicious traditional Bengali dishes. The chicken must be marinated well with curd for flavor and softness.
Aam is mango as termed in the colloquial language. Raw mangoes are used for the chutney. The mangoes are cut into long pieces and then boiled. The chutney is prepared with a combo of sour and sweet, sometimes with a spicey touch by adding some dry red chilies.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about the traditional Bengal dishes.
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.