The festive season is upon us with Navratri and Durga Puja just around the corner and we just can't contain the excitement. In just a few days we'll be celebrating the nine-day extravaganza of Navratri followed by festival of Goddess Durga whose festivities would begin on 3rd October and will end with Vijay Dashami on 8th October, 2019. Durga Puja festivities coincide with Sharad Navratri with some difference in the rituals. During this period the devotees of Durga, decked up in new clothes, gather in pandals to worship the deity and later indulge in some delicious delicacies and cultural programs.
The pujo is extensively about basking in the celebration with good food, Dhunuchi folk dance and a lot more. Feasting forms an integral part of it and how! The pandals are loaded with scrumptious delicacies like mutton chops, fish fry, ghugnis, Mughlai paratha and much more. And while it is foodie's paradise, Durga puja's highlight would still be the traditional rituals that are performed each day along with the aarti, one of the most important parts of which is the bhog offered to Goddess Durga. The lavish bhog is offered to the deity and then served to those present in the pandal during the lunch hour. It consists of about 8-10 scrumptious homemade Bengali dishes that are prepared fresh in the pandal. It includes khichuri, chachari, beguni, mishti doi, luchi, badha kopi, labra, chutney, rasogolla, dal, shukto, aloo phoolkopi, etc.
The chutney in Durga Puja bhog is a special one made with a hint of sweet. It is not just an accompaniment but an intrinsic part of the bhog and goes absolutely well with the khichuri. Made with a mix of panch phoron, sugar, tamarind and tomatoes along with a host of other spices, this tomato chutney can also be relished with fried papads. Here we have a quick and easy Bengali tomato chutney recipe to prepare at home for bhog. You can experiment with a few ingredients or adjust the quantities according to your taste.
Bengali Tomato Chutney-
5 large tomatoes (chopped)
1 1/2 tablespoons raisins
5 dates (chopped)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons panch phoron powder (five spice powder)
3 green chillies
2 teaspoons ginger (grated)
2 teaspoons dry mango powder (optional)
Salt as per taste
2 1/2 tablespoons oil
Heat oil in a heavy wok on a low flame.
Add five-spice powder followed by green chillies; fry for a while till the spices crackle.
Saute ginger and then add the chopped tomatoes along with salt and all the other spices.
Mix well and leave it covered to cook for a few minutes.
Make sure to cook till the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
Now add raisins and dates followed by sugar and mango powder.
Mix well and let the sugar dissolve completely. Make sure to mash the mixture so it becomes a little thick.
Add water if needed for the desired consistency.
Serve this delicious tomato chutney in the bhog during the Durga Puja and make the most of the festivities.
Have a happy Durga Puja, everyone!
About Aanchal MathurAanchal doesn't share food. A cake in her vicinity is sure to disappear in a record time of 10 seconds. Besides loading up on sugar, she loves bingeing on FRIENDS with a plate of momos. Most likely to find her soulmate on a food app.