Ma Eshechen ( Ma Durga has arrived) and while others are on a self-imposed meat ban, here’s a community that’s not just indulging in a high-calorie diet (both veg and non-veg), but making sure that even you get tempted to do so. We at desijam.in are contributing in their endeavour of doing so. Read on to find out …
For every Bengali, Durga Puja is not only about having fun with family and friends amid the festivities but also about the lavish gastronomic affair that follows. While the other communities thrive on just fruits and khichadi during the nine days, this is one community that keeps ingesting copious amounts of delicacies such as Kosha mangsho, koraishutir kochuri (green peas kachori), aloor dum, aloo posto, mishti doi, shondesh and roshogulla, to name a few. So if you haven’t already started drooling, we at desijam.in bring to you ten must- have bengali delicacies, that you should most definitely try out this Durga Puja.
- Illish Maach Bhaat: A much loved delicacy of the Bengali community, Illish or Hilsa is known for its melt-in-the-mouth succulent flesh,distinctive taste, and silvery charm. Bengalis share an irreversible and undying love for this fish. Whether you have Bhaapa Illish (steamed hilsa in mustard gravy) or Patla Illish Macher Jhol (hilsa fish cooked in simple and not to rich gravy) or just Illish Maach Bhaja (hilsa fry) with rice, you will surely be asking for more helpings.
- Kosha Mangsho: While describing Bengalis, writer Purba Ray of Huffington Post had once rightly said, that ‘our lust for mangsho (mutton) is as legendary as our love for maach.” That is true indeed. Infact, most Bengalis consider mutton lovers as the only ‘true non vegetarians’, contrary to popular belief. Kosha Mangsho aka spicy Bengali mutton curry is a delicacy that most Bengalis have grown up eating. Its rich velvety taste cooked in mustrad oil and thick yogurt and onion gravy will leave you spell bound. Make sure you don’t miss out on this, if you haven’t tasted it already.
- Malai Chingdi Curry: And how can chingri be left behind. Chingri refers to river prawns. This dish comprises palatable prawns cooked to perfection in hot spices and then moistened in the creamy flavour of coconut milk.
- Begun Bhaja and Koraishutir kochuri: To most non bengalis, begun bhaja (fried eggplant) is not an unknown concept. Pan fried eggplants, crackling with aromatic spices is what this dish is all about. It can be had with almost anything and everything——daal bhaat, roti, luchi (Bengali version of the puri) and the like. However, we would recommend you to team it up with Koraishutir Kochuri, which is peas stuffed deep fried flat bread. Those who are calorie conscious are recommended to never try this dish out, however a little binging doesn’t harm anybody, does it? It’s Durga Puja after all.
- Luchi Aloor Dom: Another favourite delicacy during this festival is the infamous Luchi Aloor Dom, which is the Bengali equivalent of the Puri Aloo Bhaji that Maharashtrians so fondly rant about. Luchi is a deep-fried bread that is prepared using both refined and whole-wheat flour. Bengali cuisine is a perfect mix of sweet and spicy flavours. The fine equilibrium maintained between the primary ingredients and the seasoning plays a major role. Aloor dum usuallytends to be a little sweet, but is subject to change if you choose to make it differently.
- Mochar Chop: This vegetarian dish finds relevance and mention among the most common list of Bengali snacks and street food. Mochar chop or cutlet is made of banana blossoms but is cooked in such a way that one can easily mistake it for a meat cutlet/kebab.
- Fish Chop: Fish chop is nothing but fish cutlet. The fish in itself is cooked in spices—-corriander, onion, cardamom, cloves, green chillies, lemon and salt— and then dipped in an egg mix and breadcrumb and deep fried in ghee or oil.
- Aloo Posto: Aloo posto or curried potatoes in gooey poppy seed paste with green chillies is a dish, without which the Bengali cuisine as a whole remains incomplete. There are numerous ways of making the dish by modifying the masalas a little here and there, and nearly every family has their own unique recipe of Aaloo posto. Predominantly, a bite of this dish will give a fine sweet and smoky taste the moment you take a bite of it, and leave a unique earthy after-taste.
- Mishti Doi: Mishti Doi or sweet yogurt is a famous Bengali sweet dish, that has a rich flavour albeit its simple appearance. It is usually served in earthen pots, which accentuates the rich flavour even more after the water is thus soaked up. Don’t forget to savour this delicacy for its rich and sumptuous palate this festive season.
- Bengali Sweets: Bengali sweets are made using chenna or fresh cottage cheese as one of the main ingredients. Some of the famous Bengali sweets are Roshogulla, Sandesh, Chum Chum, Malai Pak, Komolabhog, Nolengurer sandesh and roshogulla to name a few.
We suggest you stop reading and rush to your nearest Durga Puja pandal to devour in these delicacies and more before this festive season comes to end.