'Maach, Mangsho Aar Mishti', for the most part of the country, Bengali food revolves just around these three components: fish, meat and sweets. However, the reality is strikingly different. The ever so rich and varied Bengali goes back thousands of years. Making use of local and seasonal produce, working on the right balance between flavours and textures are some of the defining features of Bengali cuisine, and a quintessential Bengali lunch is the true testament of the same. In a traditional Bengali set-up, food is consumed in courses. The first few courses include shukto, a bitter medley of vegetables, shaak or green leafy vegetables, bhaja or fried vegetable fritters, aloo posto, a dry preparation of potatoes and poppy seeds, and dal and rice. Then come the mighty mains like soothing fish curry or thick meat preparation, sweet chutney and sweetmeats follow suit soon after.
If you are planning to host a big Bengali lunch at your place, here are some options you will love:
1. Chana Dal
The special dal made with cholar dal or Bengal gram is of pale-yellow colour and is tempered with choicest masalas. It goes best with luchi (or maida puri) or piping hot rice. Try making the tadka in ghee for the distinct aroma it is known for.
2. Dhokar Dalna
This unique dish is made with diamond-shaped lentil cakes that are doused in a fiery gravy and served with rice. Intrigued much? You have to give it a try!
3. Bhapa Chingri
'Bhapa' means steamed in Bengali, and chingri means prawns or shrimps. While prawns are made in a variety of ways in Bengal, this preparation is both special and unique. Prawns packed with smoky flavour is a treat you don't want to miss.
4. Kosha Mangsho
This thick and robust mutton preparation is bursting with sizzling spices. The juicy mutton recipe is popular for its rich taste and hot quotient.
5. Maachcher Jhol
You saw this coming, didn't you? This soothing fish curry, with watery thin gravy, is all things spicy and delectable. Yet it is not too hot either. Just the perfect blend. Pair with rice - and enjoy ultimate Bengali comfort meal combination.
Try making these recipes at home and let us know how you liked it!
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