The Bengali connection

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While I was born in Kolkata, I spent most of my childhood outside of West Bengal, I always had the Bengali connection.

Whenever, I used to visit my grandma in a small but beautiful village in West Bengal, my “Bong” sense used to get activated. As they say, once a Bong, always a Bong!

However, it was only after I got relocated to Kolkata to join my first job, I realised the full potential of my Bengali connection 🙂

The Rabindra sangeet, the Durga Puja, the howrah bridge, the Satyajit Ray, the football, the debate over a cup of tea and of course the bengali food – I love it all. 

The mouth watering bengali cuisine and its world famous sweets are just exotic. You would not understand until you try these bengali dishes and sweets for yoursleves. Here are few of them for you to explore:

Rosogolla, is a syrupy sweet made from ball-shaped dumplings of chhena (an Indian cottage cheese) and semolina dough, cooked in light sugar syrup made of sugar. This is done until the syrup permeates the dumplings. 


Mishti doi is a classic Bengali sweet curd made with milk, curd culture and jaggery or sugar. The jaggery used traditionally to make mishti doi is palm jaggery.


Patishapta are thin crepes or pancakes made with refined flour, rice flour and semolina stuffed with a delicious caramelized shredded coconut filling.


Jhalmuri is a popular spicy street food, made by mixing puffed rice flakes with roasted peanuts, boiled potatoes, chopped onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves and few other spicy fired chips.


Luchi & kosha mangsho is all time favourite tiffin for bengalis. While ‘Luchi’ is a deep-fried flatbread, made of Maida flour, ‘Kosha mangsho’ is a delicious spicy Bengali-style mutton curry that is full of flavors from mutton (goat meat), spices, and mustard oil.


Payesh is the bengali version of ‘Kheer’ – a sweet rice-pudding made with love using simmering milk mixed with special aromatic rice called “Gobindabhog”, sugar and a pinch of cardamom powder with a garnishing of pistachios, raisins, cashew nuts, and almonds.


Khichuri is the Bengali variant of the ever-pervasive South Asian ‘khichdi’ (porridge), made with nutty, roasted moong dal and fragrant gobindobhog rice. Typically a slurpy cuisine served hot with ‘begun bhaja’ (brinjal fry) and papad (Poppadum). It is possibly the easiest food to cook – just mix dal/lentil with rice and water, boil it and tada!….Khichuri is ready.


Chingi macher malai curry is also known as prawn malai curry, is a Bengali curry made from tiger and king prawns and coconut milk and flavoured with spices.


Shorshe ilish is a Bengali dish, native to the Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent, made from hilsa or Tenualosa ilisha, a type of herring, cooked (steamed) in mustard gravy.


Basanti Pulao or mishti (sweet) polao is a sweet, ghee-laden rice dish made from fragrant gobindabhog or kalijeera rice (soaked in turmeric to a get a golden look), cashew nuts and raisins. This is the main rice dish of choice for any special occasion.


Biriyani is a flavourful rice dish made with long flavoured rice, Indian spices and meat (chicken or lamb) and potatoes & boiled egg.


Shuktoni or Shukto is a bengali mix-veg typically includes bitter gourd, green banana, potatoes, drumsticks and brinjal – all cooked with Indian spices and milk. It has typical bitter and sweet taste.


Try these mouth watering cuisine and I guarantee that you will want more. The bengali food is an extravagenza of Indian spices. Must try before you die 😉

Swarup Biswas

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