top of page

Bengali Cuisine

Bengali cuisine is a culinary style of eastern India (Bengal region), which is now divided between Bengal and the Indian states of West Bengal and very similar to cuisine of Tripura, Assam's Barak Valley and north east part of Orissa. With an emphasis on fish, vegetables and lentils are served with rice as a staple diet (মাছে ভাতে বাঙালি - translates as "Bengali by fish and rice).

Bengali cuisine is generally multi-course cuisine, with food served in courses rather than all at once (Analogous in structure to ‘A la russe style of French cuisine’)

Bengali cuisine is known for its varied use of flavors, as well as the spread of its confectioneries and desserts (Bengali Sweets).

Except northern Himalayan region, geography of Bengal region is mostly plain with good quality soil due to surrounded by many rivers and tributaries, ponds and lakes, Fish is one of the main and must course of Bengali cuisine. Besides fish, an everyday main course consists of plain rice, served with a wide range of curries, leafy greens, lentils and vegetables and potato as side dishes, often also include proteins like eggs, chicken and goat meat. Various combination of spices like Cumin, Coriander, Poppy Seed, Mustards, Chilies, Ginger, Garlic, Onion with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, saffron, dill, mint, tomatoes, cilantro and aborigines, along with mustard oil and ghee, is used in Bengali cooking, exhibit strong aromatic flavors. A flat, stone mortar and pestle called "shil noda" are used to grind spices into a paste (Modern era it is replaced by mixer and grinder).

Although there are regional variation cuisines across the many districts and regions, use and consumption of the following items are common throughout the entire region and characterize Bengali food: Rice, Fish, Potato, mustard oil, fish, fish head, fish egg, shrimp/prawn, egg, chicken, goat meat vegetables like cauliflowers, cabbages, pointed gourds (potol), ridge gourds, bitter gourd, stalks and roots of taro , bottle gourds, pumpkins, radish , carrots beat roots and spices like mustard paste, poppy seed, ginger, fresh & dry chilies and aroma spices. Other common ingredients include but not limited to water lily and lotus stems, drumsticks, banana blossoms and stalks, plantains. Other ingredients like tamarind, coconut, date palm juice, khejurer gur (molasses from date palm syrup) also used but not a regular.

Bengali cuisine famous for its cottage cheese based sweets such as rosogolla, pantua, chomchom, Sandesh, misti doi served as deserts.

(will be continued… )

109 views0 comments


bottom of page