15 Dishes and Foods from Bengal You Should Try

If you ask someone who hasn’t been to Bengal about the Bengali cuisine, they would probably tell you about the roshogolla, the machher jhol, and the mishti doi. At the most, they will tell you about the phuchkas on the streets. The reality, though, is different. While there are no doubts about the competence of the roshogolla or the machher jhol, there is more to the Bengali cuisine than that. And here we are to prove that to you by listing some of the foods from Bengal that you should definitely try to have a taste of Bengal lingering in your mouth after you are done.

   

1. Mutton kasha

Mutton kasha is a favourite among many parts of South Asia. The uniqueness of the Bengali version lies in the thickness of the gravy. The mutton is slow-cooked to perfection, with spices to taste, and then served with steamed rice. This is a delicious dish served as a mandatory item in Bengali weddings.

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2. Bhapa ilish

Steamed mustard hilsa, or bhapa ilish, is a fairly easy to make, and one of the most  popular foods in Bengal. It is among the most sought-after dishes in a Bengali household for when guests visit on a rainy day.

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3. Chingri maachher malaikari

Fresh prawns cooked in a spicy mixture of coconut milk makes this a hot favourite Bengali dish for special occasions. We promise that it will leave you licking your fingers no matter how sophisticated you think you are.

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4. Shukto

Health and taste usually don’t see eye to eye. And this is especially true when it comes to authentic Bengali cuisine. The love for elaborate meals often causes health concerns to be sidelined. Shukto comes to the rescue in this case. A preparation containing essential vegetables that taste, well, not so good, Shukto makes sure that there’s a tasty way to achieve your health goals by being the first item to be served in every important meal. The taste of the gravy cancels out the bitterness of the bitter gourd and gives your appetite a boost.

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5. Luchi-alur dom

Luchi-alur dom makes for the perfect brunch. The magic starts with the pleasing sound and aroma of the soft white luchis simmering in oil, while the red hot pieces of aloo beckon you to put just one piece in your mouth. Luchi with alur dom is the best way to start the day on a positive note.

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6. Alu posto

Poppy seeds are a favourite among the Bengali community. It enhances the taste of almost anything it touches. Potatoes are no exception, as the poppy seeds, or posto as they are called, promise to tantalize your taste buds with thein fun, unique taste. It is usually eaten with Bhaat (Rice). 

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7. Lau Chingri

Lau chingri is a Bengali dish made from bottle gourd and fresh shrimp, served mandatorily at every celebration along with rice.

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8. Muri ghonto

Muri ghonto is a mouthwatering preparation involving the rohu head, rice, and other ingredients. It is a form of fish pulaav served with rice.

 

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9. Maachher matha diye moong dal

Usually made with the head of the Rohu fish in moong dal, this dish is a favourite delicacy served with rice, giving the dal an extraordinary dash of flavour.

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10. Pati Shapta

Bengalis are famous for their sweets. Pati Shapta is a sweet in the form of a crepe, with fillings of either kheer or coconut and jaggery. It is made during the poush sankranti in mid-January, when date-palm syrup is available to serve the pati shapta with.

Image Source: Abhinaba Basu (Flickr) 

11. Sandesh

Another sweet that has been referred over and over again in popular culture as a symbol of Bengal along with roshogolla and mishti doi, is the sandesh. Sandesh comes in various shapes and sizes, even commemorating special events with their unique designs. The principal ingredient of the sandesh is fresh cottage cheese, flavoured with various other things to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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12. Mihidana and Sitabhog

Mihidana and Sitabhog are Burdwan special dishes made legendary with their numerous references in popular media. They look like fine grains of cooked rice, thus giving the entire item an appearance of sweet pulaav with gulab jamun mixed in them.

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While most popular Bengali dishes cater to the non-vegetarians, there are also a plethora of dishes  for vegetarians to choose from. So try out the exquisite foods from Bengal and tell us how your tastebuds savour them. Also let us know about more foods from Bengal that we missed but taste divine anyway.

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