Think Bengali food and you instantly picture all decadent chenna-based sweets. If not our sweets, it is our dozen fish preparations that tend to clout popular perception about Bengali cuisine. In the midst of these stereotypes, there are tonnes of Bengali savoury preparations that go unnoticed. Bengali cuisine has a rich history that goes back thousand years, somewhere along the way Mughal and British influences also played their part into shaping the Bengali cuisine we understand today. In this article, we are paying a tribute to some of our most favourite Bengali snacks. Snacks that you can have with your tea, or while taking a stroll down your street, these famous Bengali snacks that can set any foodie's heart aflutter.
Here Are 7 Bengali Snacks That Should Be On Your Foodie Bucket List:
Made with puffed up rice and a spice mix of mustard oil, green chillies and freshly cut onions, Jhalmuri is one chilly, pungent treat you have to try once. The spicy snack is an adda staple. It is not uncommon to find a group of people across a street, having an impassioned discussion about something while munching into a plate of jhalmuri. Jhalmuri is super easy to prepare at home too. Here's a recipe.
(Also Read: 5 Best Puffed Rice Recipes | Popular Murmura Recipes)
Famous Bengali snacks: Jhalmuri is one chilly, pungent treat you have to try once
Among the number of snacks and sweets that were born during the British rule in India, are the chops. Fish, mutton and aloo, there are chops of different kinds. Chops are basically deep-fried spicy cutlets coated with bread crumbs. Chops became popular in the cabins of Kolkata, and through the decades became a street-side speciality. Chops are served with ketchup or kasundi, a special kind of mustard sauce.
Famous Bengali snacks:Chops are basically deep-fried spicy cutlets coated with bread crumbs
3. Kathi Rolls
Kolkata kathi rolls are flaky, egg-based parathas filled with meat chunks/veggies, onions and a pool of sauces and spices. Kolkata Kathi rolls has found fans beyond Bengal too - the on-the-go snack rose to popularity in the times of Raj. It is believed that kathi rolls were born in Nizam restaurant in Kolkata. They thought wrapping their kebabs inside a roti will minimise the use of hands and increase the convenience to eat. By 1930's, the snack became a hot-seller in streets of Calcutta.
(Also Read: Where to Get the Best Kathi Rolls in Kolkata)
Famous Bengali snacks: Kolkata kathi rolls are flaky, egg-based parathas filled with meat chunks/veggies
Ghugni is a delectable snack made with boiled chickpeas cooked in a pool of rustic spices, topped with chopped onion, green chillies and chunks of mutton. A similar dish is popular in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh known as Matar Chaat or Matra Chaat.
Shinghara is a tea-time staple in Bengal and is one of the most easy Bengali evening snacks to prepare at home. Shaped like a samosa, this triangular puff pastry is filled with a spicy potato mix or keema, which is deep-fried in oil. The piping hot samosas are traditionally served with chutney or tomato ketchup. But to take the Bengali quotient of the snack higher, you can also team the snack with kasundi.
Phuchka is a spicy cousin of gol gappa. Deep-fried round balls of semolina filled with a mixture of boiled and mashed potatoes, green chillies, masala and chickpeas. Phuchkas are served with delicious tangy and spicy water made with jeera, chillies, tamarind and pudina. The lip-smacking treat is one of the most loved street foods of Bengal.
(Also Read: 11 Best Bengali Recipes | Easy Bengali Recipes)
7. Mughlai Paratha
This deep-fried egg paratha filled with mutton keema cut in squares is so greasy and good that you may want to skip your dinner plans post. Mughlai paratha is often served with salad, spicy aloo sabzi and ketchup.
How many of these have you tried or want to try right now? Do let us know in the comments below.
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.