With an emphasis on fish and lentils, Bengali cuisine is known for its subtle flavours and sweets.
I fondly remember my mom making tok daal or mango daal for us which used to be on particular demand during the summer season. This particular daal is a mixture of sweet and sour taste; will definitely sooth and comfort you on a very hot summer day. It can also be served as a cooling drink alongside a meal during summer. My mom used to make her tok daal extra-special by adding in a few secret ingredients such as ginger, roasted jeera masala. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
This is an ever popular dish hailing originally from West Bengal but equally appreciated by Bengalis from the eastern part as well. This is a dish that is eaten all season but especially during summer. Posto, the key ingredient in this dish helps your body rest and helps in getting a good sleep. It is a delicious dish to eat but simple and easy enough to cook.
Doi maach is a very authentic Bengali preparation served typically at lunch with pulao or white rice on a festive occasion. My aunt almost always made it when any of her special out-of-town friends came to visit her. I myself have always been succesful in impressing my friends with this dish with practically not much hassle at all. Although it is usually made with a good quality Rohu fish, it can be easily supplemented by any fish that is fleshy in nature, like cat fish (aar maach) or bhetki.
This dish is made from baby goat meat, and I love it as much in summer as in winter. This is because it is a soothing dish with an almost stew like consistency while maintaining some spiciness in the flavor. It is a perfect comfort food that mom made for us when either we were sick and had lost appetite or feeling low due to a bad weather or something. It goes well with rice or chapatti.
Begun pora is an authentic preparation eaten in Bengal as part of everyday meal. It is healthy, tasty and simple. Whenever we had a busy day of shopping together as a family, mom would plan something like this as it was so convenient and less work after a hectic day. With a little bit of planning it is easy to make. All you need is a daal to go along. I prefer to eat it with rice, but it is also quite commonly eaten with chapatti as well with some daal and achar to go along with.
This recipe was created by me with inspiration from a childhood friend. During one of our conversations, she reminded me of patal the seasonal vegetable and how she cooks it to please her husband’s taste buds as he would it eat it no other way than this. I had some good tiger prawns in the fridge and decided to add that in as I thought it could enrich the flavor a lot more. Try this dish, I can promise you will like it even if you don’t like patal.
It is the most famous mishti i.e. dessert in bengali cuisine. It is made out of pure chena, i.e. cottage cheese. It is healthy and particularly has a healing effect if eaten warm while having a stomach infection.
If you love pomfret, then you cannot go wrong with this recipe. The spicy rich gravy is perfect compliment to the richness of the fish itself. It is an easy gourmet item. All you need is fresh fish.
My mom would make this preparation on a Sunday. It can be eaten at lunch or for dinner with both rice and roti. A bowl of salad with this preparation alone is sufficient to please your taste buds. Try it.
This is a very versatile item in bengali cuisine. After the bengali festival durga Puja, there's a tradition of all friends and relatives visiting each other wishing good luck and happiness. One of the typical items served at this occasion is ghugni which is popular among kids. Till now I fondly relish those memories of how eagerly we waited for it to be served when we visited our relatives. Try it and hope you and your kids will enjoy.
Ful kofir daalna, is one of those bengali recipe that is very universal and flexible. It can be considered as a regular everyday item or as a gourmet item depending on how it has been cooked. Also, every family has its own variation. This recipe is our family version and it can be eaten at breakfast or in any other meal with rice or parantha or luchi/puri.
This dish is traditional in East India, around West Bengal. It was given to me by my friend, Sunita. It is ideal for vegetarians, or meat can be added if you wish. If pumpkin isn't in season, my friend tells me it can also be made with any sort of root vegetable - butternut squash, yam or sweet potato. Sunita, tells me this recipe was originally her mothers, although she has adapted it, but she doesn'tt know how many generations it has been passed down. It is ideal served with rice or naan.
I have always had Begun bhorta, but this is the first time my sister in law ( Una) made the begum bhorta with an egg (deem). It tasted really good, and the hard boiled egg gave a creamy texture that was quite unique!
If you are a big fish fan, then you must try this recipe! The Foli Fish Kofta is unique for its preparation method. It is great to have with Tetul Chutney or plain Tomato Ketchup.
My sister in law cooks pui shak with chingri in a slightly different way than my mom-she likes the dish a bit dry for which she uses the frying method, whereas my mom likes to have the dish with a lot of gravy and uses quite a bit of water. It is a very popular dish during the season when a lot of shrimps are available.
A chochchori is a rich dish with a lot of onions spiced up with turmeric and red chilli powders. This dish brings back fond memories of my mother calling out from our veranda to a Mach-wala, and buying a bunch of fresh fish jumping up and down in the water of the container. A Mach-wala is a man who goes around neighborhood streets carrying an abundance of fresh live fish in a big pot like container on top of his head. The dish tastes great when the fish has just been bought and cooked fresh.
A simple quick afternoon snack. It is quite popular with kids!
This is a typical everyday dish, and is a favorite to shukti(uncooked dry fish) fans. However, many people do not like the strong smell of the uncooked dry fish, but I LOVE shutki, so I had to share this recipe I have collected recently from my friend, Bina :)
Dal(lentil soup) is an everyday dish that is eaten with rice. I usually have dal at the end of a meal Makha Dal is special because of its thick gravy texture. It is a great pair with mango or tetul achar ( pickles). Some also like to have it with freshly squeezed lemon.
I have never tried this very unique recipe, but my friend, Unaiza, assured that it tastes great! I know some common recipes for frying eggs, but this is the first time I found a recipe for frying eggs over easy with curry. Enjoy!