The daily grind has made eating, a more banal mechanical activity rather than a family oriented one. For us urban dwelling citizens cooking has become merely a task. The more we resort to instant and frozen foods, the more we are leaving behind various methods in which we cooked our meals and those recipes.
But the perfect time to revive these forgotten recipes is during the festive season. When a desire to eat something new, yet familiar to the taste buds takes precedence.
With Durga Puja around the corner, we thought we would take a trip down memory lane and talk about some lesser known Bengali recipes.
Macher Ganga Jamuna:
Blessed with several sweet water fish options, it is no secret that Bengalis love their Maach – Bhaat. This unusual dish is a fish preparation made by cooking Koi – maach (climbing perch) in two separate gravy sauces. The words Ganga and Jamuna, like the rivers coming together, symbolize the combination of the two gravies that the fish is cooked in. One curry is made with tamarind and is Tok (sour) whereas the other has a mustard base making it Jhaal (spicy and pungent). The fish dipped in both sweet and spicy gravy tastes delicious as both the flavor profiles complement each other perfectly. Recipe Here
Mangsho Doodh Korma :
With fish stealing the spotlight the meat is usually served after the fish in a traditional Bengali meal. Generally a crowd-pleaser at festivals and celebrations, a thick gravy of Mangsho (mutton) is served with luchi (puri). The Mangsho Doodh Korma is a royal twist to a classic recipe. As the name suggests the mutton is slow cooked to perfection in milk. By just adding a few spices this gravy becomes absolutely fragrant and rich in texture.
The British influence on traditional Bengali cooking can be seen through the meat recipes. The foreign influence resulted in the chicken and mutton gravies being thick and creamy. This chicken recipe uses both cream and khoya to give a rich texture to the chicken gravy. The saffron strands , raisins and fried onion all make this recipe grand.
It is said that a Bengali can eat Bhaat (rice) for lunch, dinner and even for breakfast. With such a strong love for Rice, there are numerous recipes for rice. The humble Khichuri (Khichadi) is one such recipe. What the rest of the country identifies as a quick evening dinner is a grand affair for the Bengali palette. To make this particular Khichuri grand a lot of vegetables and dry fruits are added to the rice and topped with golden fried paneer. Yum! Recipe here.
Poddo Luchi : Poddo Luchi or Kheer –er Luchi :
We cannot talk about Bengali food and ignore ‘Mishti’ (sweet) Bengalis are known to have a sweet tooth so the varieties of sweet meat are abundant. So it comes to no surprise that this recipe makes the simple luchi, sweet. The Poddo luchi is nothing but a luchi (puri) filled with sweet mawa. The cardamom powder in the mawa will perfume your kitchen and make this luchi irresistible.