Bengalis are known to be full-time foodies. From breakfast to dinner, they don’t undermine any meal. It is this eccentric love for food that makes Bengali cuisine so special!
1. Alur Dom and Luchi
Alur Dom is potatoes cooked in Dum or steam in a variety of spices. The dish is finished with coriander leaves for more flavour. Luchi (or Puri)is a flaky and light fried delight which perfectly complements AlurDom.
2. Cholar Dal
Cholar Dal, or otherwise called Chana Dal, is something Bengalis love to cook and is generally made during special occasions. The Dal is first cooked in oil and water, then spices are added. You can add chili too as per your taste buds. For garnishing, fried pieces of coconut is added. That gives this Dal the ultimate twist.
Rosogolla is a popular Bengali sweet. These little balls are made of Chena and are dipped in sugar syrup. You even get exquisite flavors! Pistachio, almonds, cashew, and what not?
4. Kosha Mangsho
Kosha Mangsho is absolutely gorgeous. The vibrant color and rich tender meat just melts in your mouth! Mutton is loved by many Bengalis so they came up with this curry which is nicely garnished and cooking the meat tenderizes it so much that it gives a succulent taste. Kosha chicken is also a brilliant alternative.
5. Bhetki Paturi
Bhetki fish is a very fatty and oily but a tasty fish. Now here comes one Bengali delicacy. A Paturi fish is wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. In the little package, thick mustard gravy and chili is added. Once it is taken out of the steamer, the fish becomes incredibly soft and mushy. The flavours are infused into the fish and the result is delicious. Ilish or HilsaPaturi is also famous, but Bhetki is much easily available. Having rice with Paturi is the best choice.
BhapaIlish is another Bengali delicacy. The very grand Hilsa fish is cooked or rather steamed with incredibly tasty mustard and chili gravy. Unlike Paturi, BhapaIlish is not wrapped with banana leaves. Hilsa is a very popular fish among Bengalis. Though with a lot of bones, this fish is worth every effort and penny. When it is cooked to perfection, there is no alternative to BhapaIlish.
This welcoming dessert of Bengal fits every requirement. Ranging from mildly sweet to extremely succulent ones, Sandesh can come in so many flavours, types and shapes. This is a daily sweet of Bengalis and is so comforting for the stomach. It is difficult to restrict yourself to just one. Again, made from Chena, it has many nutritional values to it.
8. Chingri Macher Malaikari
Huge prawns are again one more favourite! ChingriMacher(prawns)is cooked in Malai or cream and then coconut milk is added to it. This dish is so rich, creamy, and flavoursome. This preparation of prawn is heavy since it consists of cream. The bright red-orange colour makes it look appealing and appetizing it is hard to stop yourself from jumping in the glory of this grand dish!
9. Begun Bhaja
Begun is the Bengali world for Baingan or Brinjal/Eggplant and Bhaja is meant by fry in Bengali. Begun Bhaja or Brinjal fry is a very simple but tasty and innovative Bengali food. The eggplant is marinated with some turmeric and various spices and then fried in mustard cooking oil. The result of this frying conquest is brilliant! It forms a thick crust on the outer layer which is crispy and the inside flesh stays nice and soft.
Shukto is a famous Bengali vegetable curry. It is a must-have dish in every Bengali household on special occasions. It generally consists of vegetables such as potatoes, radishes, eggplants, beans, raw bananas, and carrots. Garam Masala and pepper are two common seasonings used in this curry. Shukto is also very good for health. Sometimes some fried bits are added to it to add complexity to the dish.
11. Daab Chingri
Daab Chingri probably stands in the highest positions of delicacies. This dish is unique and one of a kind. Prawns are cooked in a mustard gravy and then put into tender coconuts. The tender flesh of the coconut combines with the prawns and gravy to create a mind-boggling taste. It is served directly in the coconut, which adds to the thrill of the dish. This dish is a must have.
12. Mishti Doi
Mishti Doi is a yummy Bengali delight. It is a sweetened processed version of plain yogurt or curd. The curd is churned with sweet date palm jaggery or any other kind of jaggery. It is then allowed to set. This sweet dish is so creamy and lives up to every sweet dream! Easily available nowadays, this sweet will definitely become your favourite.
13. Alu Posto
Alu Posto is a daily Bengali comfort food. Though a regular, it is extremely tasty. This defines true Bengali cuisine. Potatoes are cooked very lightly with poppy seeds. It is then properly garnished and cooked till the potatoes soften. Herbs are used to add depth to the dish as well as freshness. Occasionally, other vegetables such as Parwal are added to this potato dish to enhance flavor.
14. Tangra Macher Bhaja
Tangra is a fish which is available in abundance in Bengal. It is a slim and small fish which is very healthy and tasty. It is a common practice in Bengal to fry these fishes and garnish with masalas. These fish fries are simple but fun and homely. They are fat-free and good for the stomach. Marinating it with turmeric and lemon juice and then frying it is the best way to cook this fish.
15. Jhal Muri
Jhal Muri is basically the Bengali version of Bhel Puri. Cucumbers, carrots, chilis, tomatoes and onions are chopped and tossed with puffed rice (bhel). Imli or chili chutney and a squeeze of lemon juice is added to mix in an extra zing of flavour.
16. Mochar Ghonto
Mochar or banana blossom tastes delicious when cooked in this Bengali style. It has a subtle and delicately spiced taste with a hint of sweetness and rich coconut flavour. The texture and flavours play well with your palette.
An interesting Bengali twist to the pancake, Malpuas a tasty snack and are generally made on the holy occasion of Sankranti. They are dipped in sweet sugar juice or syrup and can be eaten plain or topped with dry fruits and other interesting additions. Malpua is made of flour, sugar, and coconut.
18. Chital Macher Muitha
Chital is a common fish in Bengal. Muitha is the fish version of the Kofta balls. They are soft fish dumplings and can also be termed as minced fish balls. The fish is prepared in ginger, garlic, and cumin powder and then made into balls. You can add vegetables to the gravy or can just let the spices do the talking.
19. Bhapa Doi
BhapaDoi or Steamed Yogurt is no less than a fancy cheesecake. Though a very easy recipe, this has a complexity of taste in many levels. The basic body of this incredible dessert consists of only three main ingredients: milk, condensed milk and of doi (curd) ! It is steamed in such a way that it holds the shape of a pudding or cheesecake and melts away in your mouth like liquid happiness. This one is a must-have!
20. Mustard Parshe
Parshe is another good Bengali fish. Mustard Parshe is simple to cook and tasty to eat. It is a fish curry with mustard as its base.