Bengali’s are one of the most classic food lovers ever to have existed. It is a tagline that follows this culture where no Bengali ever said they hate food varieties. Growing out of this is the traditional rich cuisines masked in the never before spices and herbs. Bengali’s have always had a knack for true flavors when it came to food making. From the mustard fish curries to the traditional chicken curry filled with red chili hot spices, you can never go wrong with a classic Bengali dish and here’s why.
1. Shorshe ilish (mustard Hilsa):
The richness of this dish can only be understood by a classic food lover. Hilsa is a type of a fish and the mustard masking Hilsa is one of the prides of Bengali cuisine. The soft fish is simmered to a golden brown in oil and then boiled in with mustard and herbs and poppy seeds and the end result is simply mouth watering.
2. Koraishutir Kochuri:
Now breakfast in a Bengali cuisine means Koraishutir Kochuri which is pea infused flatbread. To start, boil the peas and mash them together along with cardamom, garlic and kosher salt. Now roll the dough into flat bread and with a spoon place a little stuffing inside. Roll again to conceal the stuffing within and then deep fry it.
3. Brinjal curry (begun pora):
Basically pora in Bengali means burnt but this is one of the delicacies of Bengali cuisine. Start by horizontally making slits on the egg plant and then mask it with oil and leave it off in a griller or open flame. Dice onion, tomatoes, chilies and some coriander leaves and now peel off the skin from the egg plant and mash it along with the dicing. You may even add sour curd or vinegar for taste.
4. Aloo Bhapa (steamed potato):
This has to be hands down one of the classic and easiest Bengali side dish where simple boiled potatoes in whole are tossed and masked in mustard, curd, coconut puree and the five mixed spice along with some mustard oil. One may even add some spinach and vinegar soaked onion to the mix.
5. Doi maach (curd fish):
Doi means curd and just like the earlier recipe here too the fish is lightly tossed and turned in oil to get the soft color and then in a pan the essential mix of curd alongside herbs and spices is mixed in. this is for the gravy for the fish. Once done the fish is added and tossed in a pan and put to saute to integrate the flavor of the curry within itself.
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6. Chingri maacher malaikari: (prawn curry)
This is yet another favorite straight from the cores of the Bengali cuisine where prawn or shrimp is smeared and seared in the rich spices and herb mixes along with some gourd or curd for extra seasoning. This is one of the classic side dishes often enjoyed with rice. Often creamy coconut milk is added to the mix to heighten the flavor.
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7. Ilisher paturi:
Once again Hilsa comes to the scene where the Fish is bathed in mustard amongst other spices and then wrapped in a banana leaf and tied with a string and then put under stern steam. While serving, the entire banana leaf is placed on the plate and then the string is removed. The soft steam rising from the freshly steamed Hilsa is simply stupefying.
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Patishapta is a classic Bengali desert that is widely a requirement during the Bengali New Year. This is made from soft crispy flours dipped in jiggery and stuffed with a jiggery enriched coconut puree. These resembles spring rolls but is a sweet dish.