Bengal is famous for food. Spicy street foods to authentic homemade recipes, there are numerous finger licking dishes that we die for. We foodies love to eat especially when it is cooked by our mother. There’s always a secret magical touch that is there in the preparations made by our mother. A special taste that we only get back at home and nowhere else in the world. Here you all will get to know about some secret Bengali traditional recipes made by our mother.
1Postor Bora (Poppy seed chops)
Posto or poppy seed is a famous ingredient in Bengali cuisine that we all love. Poppy seed is a kidney shaped oilseed. This seed has a really different flavour and tastes creamy and smooth and thick when made into a paste. Postor Bora is an authentic Bengali starter that tastes incredible with rice and Dal.
Ingredients: – Posto (Poppy seed), onion, green chili, white oil, boiled potato, salt.
- Paste the poppy seed in a mixer grinder.
- Keep it a little rough (granulated).
- Pour the paste into a bowl and mix chopped onion and green chilies with it.
- Add salt and mashed boiled potatoes.
- Mix all the ingredients properly.
- Make small chops out of that mixture.
- Heat white oil in a frying pan and fry the chops.
- Serve with Rice and Dal.
2Chirer polao (Flattened rice pilaf)
Chire or flattened rice is a popular food of Bengal. Chire bhaja is a famous crunchy and salty tea time snack that all Bengalis love. Bengalis have experimented a lot with this ingredient and have come up with innovative preparations. Chirer polao is one such delicious dish made with this ingredient.
Ingredients: – white oil, chire (flattened rice), Chopped potato, cauliflower, carrot, peas, green chilies, turmeric powder, chili powder, salt and sugar.
- Heat the white oil in a pan.
- Add the chopped vegetables and stir fry until they get boiled.
- Add chira and fry with the veggies.
- Add salt, and sugar.
- Serve hot.
Payesh is a sweet dish made with milk and rice/simai. This recipe is majorly liked all over India and is very famous in Bengali cuisine. Gurer payesh is a different type of payesh because it is made of jaggery which adds a different taste and flavour to this sweet dish.
Ingredients: – scented rice, milk, jaggery, cinnamon powder, salt and sugar.
- Boil the milk in low flame.
- Pour the scented rice in it when the milk reduces to half.
- Add jaggery and sugar (if needed) and a little salt.
- Add cinnamon powder at last.
- Serve hot or cold.
This is another exclusive traditional Bengali dish that is relished by all Bengalis. This is a thick curry made with poppy seed paste and potatoes. An extraordinary treat with plain steamed rice, and biulir (black gram) Dal on a hot Sunday afternoon. Aloo Posto has awesome flavour and taste which makes it so characteristic.
Ingredients: – Potato cut in small cubic pieces, Posto (poppy seed paste), green chilies, turmeric powder, salt, sugar, mustard oil.
- Heat mustard oil in a pan.
- Add the potato cubes and saute.
- Add the Posto paste, turmeric powder, salt, and water.
- Cover it with a lid and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add sliced green chilies.
- Serve hot.
5Bhetki macher paturi
Bhetki is a local term for (barramundi fish). This fish is popular amongst Bengali people. They consider this fish to be a royal fish that is served on royal occasions. This preparation is specially served in festivities. This is an innovative dish made with coconut paste, Bhetki wrapped in banana leaf.
Ingredients:- Bhetki fish, mustard seed, lemon juice, mustard oil, grated coconut, salt, green chilies, turmeric powder, banana leaves, thread.
- Wash the Bhetki pieces and marinate it with lemon juice and salt.
- Paste the mustard seed and green chilies. The consistency should be thick.
- Now in a bowl pour the mustard and chili paste, grated coconut, little more salt, Bhetki pieces and mustard oil and mix. Marinate for about 6 hours.
- Place one piece on a banana leaf and put some gravy and tie it all up with the thread. Repeat for all the pieces.
- Now heat some mustard oil in a pan and put the parcelled fish and cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes in low flame. Repeat for the other side of the leaf.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.
Muri ghonto is a recipe made with Katla fish and rice mixed. This dish tastes brilliant and is an old school traditional Bengali preparation. Muri Ghonto has great flavours in it. We don’t need anything else with Muri ghonto. The taste will leave you to spellbound. The taste of ghee makes it more elevated.
Ingredients: – Katla fish head, Gobindo bhog rice or basmati rice, Ginger garlic paste, tomato, onion, potato, cumin seed, bay leaf, dry red chili, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, cumin powder, sugar, salt, mustard oil, and ghee.
- Wash and marinate fish heads and marinate with turmeric powder and salt for some time.
- Wash rice and keep aside.
- Cut the potatoes in small cubes, onion and tomatoes finely chopped.
- Heat mustard oil, in a frying pan and fry the vegetables properly.
- In another pan cook the fish heads nicely.
- Take a kadhai and heat some more mustard oil and put some dry red chili, bay leaves, and cumin seed and saute.
- Put ginger garlic paste and keep cooking until the color becomes golden. Now add the fried veggies, turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt, and sugar.
- Add the soaked rice and pour water. Keep in mind the water should be double the quantity of rice.
- Cook until the rice gets boiled. Add the Fried fish heads.
- Cover with lid and simmer for 2 minutes. Sprinkle garam masala on the top.
7Sweet potato gulab jamun
Bengal and Bengalis are famous for sweets. We Bengalis need some sweet dish at the end of our meal without which our platter looks incomplete. Not only Bengalis but other religions also like sweets and especially sweets of West Bengal. Gulab jamun is a delicious sweet that is soft and melts in the mouth.
Ingredients: – Sweet potato, flour, baking powder, cardamom, milk, sugar, salt, water, white oil.
- Boil the sweet potatoes, peel off the skin and mash it.
- Make a dough of the mashed sweet potato, flour, a pinch of baking soda and salt.
- Make small balls out of it.
- Heat white oil in a pan and fry the balls.
- In another pan pour water, add sugar and cardamom and boil the syrup.
- Put the fried balls in the sugar syrup. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
- Serve hot or refrigerated.
Orange is a fruit rich in vitamin c and is well known for detoxifying qualities. Apart from its nutritious values orange is a tasty fruit with a very refreshing flavour. Orange Kheer is a Bengali traditional dessert made with Orange and milk. This is a toothsome as well as a healthy dish.
Ingredients: – Orange segments, Milk, corn flour, sugar, salt cardamom powder.
- Mix a little milk and cornflour in a bowl.
- In a pan boil milk for about 10 minutes.
- Add the mixture of milk and corn flour and stir for more 10 minutes.
- When the milk starts getting thicker add cardamom powder.
- Cool it down and add sliced orange segments.
- You can use an orange essence for better flavour.
9Tak er Dal
Tak in Bengali means sour, and tak er Dal means a Dal that is acidic in taste. Here the pungent taste does not come from tamarind as this is not a common ingredient in Bengali cuisine. Instead of tamarind, Bengalis use mango. Mango adds great flavour to this mouth-watering dish.
Ingredient: – Matar Dal (yellow split peas), masoor Dal, mustard seed, raw green mango, green chilies, mustard oil, salt, and sugar.
- Wash both the Dal and pressure cook it with double the amount of water for 5-6 minutes.
- Peel and slice the mango.
- Heat oil in a frying pan and add mustard seeds and green chilies.
- When the mustard seeds start popping, add the mango slices.
- Saute the mango.
- Whisk the pressure cooked Dal and add it in the frying pan.
- Cook for few minutes.
- Add salt, a little sugar, and water. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Cook until you get the desired consistency.
- Serve with steamed rice.
Shukto is a traditional Bengali dish from Bengali cuisine. This vegetarian recipe is made with different vegetables. These veggies impart their unique flavour to this preparation making it very tasteful. This curry tastes a bit bitter due to the use of bitter gourd. This dish gets relished as a side dish with plain rice.
Ingredients: – Bitter gourd, pumpkin, potato, eggplant, drumsticks, raw papaya and banana, urad Dal, mustard paste, turmeric powder, ginger paste, cumin seed paste, salt, sugar, bay leaf, mustard oil.
- Soak the urad Dal for about 5 hours and make a paste.
- Heat some oil in a kadai, add bay leaves, ginger paste, cumin paste and all the chopped vegetables and fry.
- Add turmeric powder, salt, and sugar.
- Add water and let the veggies boil.
- Add the urad Dal paste, mustard paste. Cook on low flame for about 10-12 minutes and serve hot.
Parshe is a famous fish in authentic Bengali cuisine. This fish is 20-30cms in length and is silver in colour. This fish tastes lovely. Shorshe is a Bengali term for mustard. This dish is prepared with mustard paste and parshe fish which tastes heavenly with steamed rice with an awesome flavour of mustard.
Ingredients: – Mustard paste, parshe fish, green chilies, Kala jeera, mustard oil, salt.
- Marinate the fish with turmeric powder and salt.
- Heat oil in a Kadhai.
- Fry the parshe fish.
- In another pan heat oil and put some Kala jeera and green chilies. Stir fry.
- Add the mustard paste and salt.
- Put the fried fish and sliced green chilies. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove the lit and pour some more mustard oil and serve hot.
12Bhapa aloo or steamed potato curry
Aloo is such a vegetable that is there in our everyday menu. Steamed potato curry is a very easy recipe which can be cooked in minimum time and you can surprise your guests with its taste. The ingredients are effortlessly available in our kitchen. Bhapa Aloo is an old recipe of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Ingredients: – Mustard oil, small potatoes, five spices (paanch foron) consisting of black mustard seed, Kala jeera, saunf seed, methi (fenugreek) seed, cumin seed. Dry red chilies, mustard paste, curd, coconut paste, green chilies, mustard oil, turmeric powder, coriander leaves, salt and sugar.
- Boil the potatoes and cut into cubes.
- Heat mustard oil in a non-stick pan, add five spices and dry red chilies.
- Put the potatoes and fry.
- Add coconut paste, mustard paste and turmeric powder.
- Add salt and sugar according to taste.
- Add a little water and sliced green chilies.
- Cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
This recipe is a well known Bengali dish which is fully vegetarian. Every Bengali mother prepares this whenever there is a party or get-together. This dish is enjoyed, and the sweet and sour taste of the curd makes it an absolute delight. Try it out for an evening party and surprise your guests.
Ingredients: – Eggplant, cumin seed, curd, salt, sugar, ginger paste, mustard oil, coriander leaves.
- Cut eggplant into round pieces and marinate it with turmeric powder and salt.
- Heat mustard oil in a frying pan. Add cumin seed and saute. Put the egg plant and fry properly.
- Add ginger paste, salt and sugar and fresh curd.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
Ilish or Hilsa fish is the most favourite fish for more or less every Bengali. This fish is there in the menu whenever there is a royal occasion. This fish is tender and melts in the mouth. This dish is prepared with mustard paste and is steamed which keeps the fish so soft. Though Hilsa has a lot of bones, but its taste is so good that the bones are negligible.
Ingredients: – Hilsa fish, Curd, mustard paste, mustard oil, grated coconut, turmeric powder, salt, green chilies.
- Paste mustard seed and green chilies together.
- Rub the fish with turmeric powder and salt.
- Mix the mustard and green chili paste and grated coconut, a little more salt, the fish and mustard oil altogether.
- Pour about 6 cups of water in a pressure cooker.
- Put the marinated fish in a lunch box and cover tightly.
- Place the lunch box in the pressure cooker and steam.
- Wait until 2-3 whistles.
- Bhapa ilish is ready to be served.
Trikon is the Bengali term which means triangle. Trikon paratha is a paratha that is triangular in shape. This paratha goes great with potato curry and can be a delicious breakfast on holiday. This dish is made of flour, but I use both wheat and flour which makes it tastier.
Ingredients: – Wheat, Flour, Baking soda, water, salt, sunflower oil.
- Mix equal quantity of wheat and flour.
- Add a pinch of baking soda and salt to taste and two tablespoons full of white oil.
- Knead it properly and make a dough.
- Prepare small balls out of it and make a circle. Then fold it into a triangle and roll.
- Put some white oil in a tawa and fry a little.
- Serve it with a curry or simple mango pickle.
16Channa Bhape(steamed cottage cheese in mustard sauce)
This is an authentic Bengali dish that people love. This preparation is tasty as well as healthy. This is made in mustard oil and also the use of mustard paste gives it a flavour of mustard which is its speciality. Coconut gives it a little sweet taste and balances the taste of mustard.
Ingredients: – Channa (cottage cheese), grated coconut, mustard paste, Posto paste (poppy seed paste), green chilies, green chili paste, salt, mustard oil.
- Mix Posto paste, mustard paste, green chili paste, grated coconut, and salt.
- Add the cottage cheese to the mixture.
- Heat some water in a pressure cooker. Put the cottage cheese mixture in an airtight container, add some sliced green chilies and mustard oil and place box in the cooker. Steam for 10 minutes.
- Serve with plain rice or chapatti.
The name might sound a little strange, but don’t worry, this chutney is not seriously made with non-biodegradable plastic but is made up of raw papaya. The name is used because the papaya slices are so thin and transparent that it resembles plastic. This chutney is sweet and sour in taste.
Ingredients: – Raw papaya cut into thin small slices, lemon juice, raisins, water, salt, and sugar.
- In a kadhai add water and boil it.
- Add the papaya slices to it and cook for 5-6 minutes.
- Add some salt and sugar to it.
- Let it cook until the papaya becomes soft and transparent.
- Now add raisins and lemon juice. Cook for more 2 minutes. Switch off the flame.
18Beguni (eggplant chops)
Beguni is a lip smacking snack which is like heaven to have on a rainy evening with tea. We get small stalls on the streets of Kolkata where beguni is sold. This snack is generally relished with puffed rice. Beguni is made with eggplant cut into very thin slice and then dipping it in a batter and frying it.
Ingredients: – Eggplant cut into vertical slices, besan (gram flour), salt, water, turmeric powder, Kala jeera and Hing (asafoetida).
- Make a batter of gram flour and water. Add salt to it, a pinch of Hing, turmeric powder, and Kala jeera.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Dip the eggplant slices in the batter.
- Deep fry it until golden brown in colour.
Mocha is a Bengali term used for a banana flower. This recipe is a very old and traditional food, especially from grandmother’s recipe book. This dish is spiced in a very balanced way and is sweetish because of the presence of coconut. The texture of the banana flower is unique and tastes lovely with plain steamed rice.
Ingredients: – Banana flower (peeled and the florets need to be finely chopped), potato, bay leaves, cumin seed, grated coconut, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt, sugar, mustard oil.
- Boil the chopped florets with a pinch of salt until nearly cooked.
- Heat oil in a pan, add bay leaves and cumin seed, stir fry and add the boiled banana florets.
- Add turmeric powder, salt, and cover and cook.
- Add chopped potatoes, a little water, salt, and sugar.
- Cover and cook until the potato softens.
- Add grated coconut and mix well until it becomes dry.
- Serve with steamed rice.
Gayna in Bengali means jewellery. Gayna bori is basically sundried designed lentil paste. This is not a very usual dish that is served everyday but is a very loyal recipe that is becoming extinct now-a-days. Lentil paste chunks (bori) is a common food that is used in many curries and also served fried with rice and Dal. But gayna bori is a designer bori which looks like jewellery. This is also known as “Naksha bori”.
Ingredients: – Black gram lentil, poppy seed, salt, oil.
- Wash the lentils and soak them in water overnight.
- Blend the lentils the next day in a mixer grinder. Make a thick paste.
- Pour out the batter in a big bowl, add salt and whisk until the batter becomes fluffy.
- Pour the mixture into an icing bag.
- Grease a plate with oil and sprinkle poppy seeds on it.
- Now press the icing bag and make beautiful designs with the batter.
- Let it dry for 4-5 hours in the sun. Keep overnight.
- Next day deep fry it and serve.