Durga Puja not only comes with new clothes, jewellery and makeup, it also comes with varieties traditional delicious foods. And Bengalis know how much they are passionate about good foods. From breakfast to dinner everything must be very special in these 5 days because Devi Durga comes only once in a year and only for 5 days. I belong to that family who are one of those Bengalis who can literally die for good foods. So foods are something that every Bong people indulge in themselves and I am not an exceptional. I do maintain a proper diet throughout the year but never keep up anything in Durga Puja days. I love to eat and cook as well. Here in this post I am sharing top 13 dishes you have to try in Durga Puja whether you are a Bong or not…
1. Luchi & Aloor Dom- Luchi and allor dom is the best breakfast option for Durga Puja. This traditional combination is a common weekend breakfast menu but in Durga Puja special ‘luchi-aloor dom’ has some extra power 😀 . Because this is the time when you are actually having your breakfast with everybody with your family. It really gives too much positivity. Luchis are mainly made of flour and aloor dom is a potato curry infused with Indian spices.
2. Begun Bhaja- Begun Bhaja fried brinjal and this is kind of staple item in Bengalis menu. This can be perfectly served for vegetarian and non-vegetarian both. This can be combined with Luchis, parathas, even with main course also. Brinjals cut into thick or semi-thick portions, marinate with turmeric and salt and deep-fried into mustard oil.
3. Shukto- ‘Shukto’ is a must-served dish in Bengali cuisine. This dish prepares with different around 7 to 9 vegetables and different spices including milk and ‘Bori’. It doesn’t contain onions, garlic. So it considers as vegetarian item. This serves at the beginning of the menu. Shukto comes with a combination twist of bitterness and sweetness.
4. Mochar Ghonto- This traditional Bengali side dish is a must-try in this Puja. ‘Mocha’ means Banana flower and ‘Ghonto’ means everything cooked together. Cutting banana flower properly is truly a tiresome and time taking task. So better to plan one day prior cooking this. But when you taste this , you can’t feel the effort which you have given to prepare this. The combination of ‘Mocha’, chickpeas and coconut give the ultimate favour to this vegetarian dish.
5. Aloo Posto- Aloo’ means potato and ‘Posto’ means poppy seeds in Bengali. This is also a vegetarian dish cooked with poppy-seed paste, potatoes , kale jeera (Nigella sativa) and dried chilli. This classic Bengali dish very simple to make yet very delicious.
6. Murgir Mangsher Jhol- ‘Murgir Mansher Jhol’ means Chicken Curry. We Bengalis can die for this and it can be of different types as you wish. If you want you can make it simple, if you wish you can make it rich also. Depending upon how much spices and other ingredients you are adding on. This typical Bengali special curry made with mustard oil, onion, ginger-garlic paste and potatoes. So this traditional Bengali food you have to try in this Durga Puja.
7. Chingri Macher Mailaikari- Bengali foods couldn’t be a proper ‘Benagali Meal’ unless there in a prawn menu. It could be anything of prawns. But I would definitely go for Chingri Macher Malaikari which usually made of lobsters. In this dish prawns cooked with freshly scrapped coconut paste, mustard seed paste, raisin paste and other spices. It has a unique texture with great flavours.
8. Bhapa Ilish- Talking about Bengali foods and not mentioning fish is absolutely a crime. 😀 So here presenting the ultimate fish recipe to binge on this Durga Puja: Bhapa Ilish. It is easy to make and this is a signature Bengali dish. ‘Bhapa Ilish’ means ‘Steamed Hilsha’ . It named so as the fish cooked in steam. Ingredients are simple to deal with this dish like, mustard paste, turmeric, curd, mustard oil and salt.
9. Mutton Biriyani- Bengalis have their own version of biriyani. It may differ from any other biriyanis but we have our own style of eating and we proudly can customise it in our own choice. Mutton Biriyani is something that Bengalis can dig into anytime. This is made with basmati rice, spices and goat meat. Kolkata is popular for ‘Kolkata Biriyanis’ which said to be evolved from Lucknow when Awadh’s last Nawab Wajid Ali Shah exiled in 1856 to the Metiabruz area of Kolkata. The nawab brought his personal chef with him and introduced potatoes and eggs into biriyani which later became the speciality of the Kolkata special Biriyani.
10. Mishti Doi- This may that desert which is only made for Bengalis. ‘Mishti doi’ is basically a sweet yogurt.The sweetening element of this desert is either sugar or jaggery. Now Mishti Dom comes with different favours like, mango, chocolate, strawberry etc. But trust me, nothing can be compared with authentic ‘Misti Doi’ seasoned with a pinch of cardamom powder. It is real love!
11. Sondesh & Rosogolla- From ‘Mahashasthi’ to ‘Mahadashami’ everyday used to be full of sweets, sweets and sweets. No Durga Puja completes without Bengali’s Sondesh and Rosogolla. These world-famous deserts are the must-have in this festival. Even if you are visiting any Bengali’s house during Durga Puja, this would be a compulsory dish to serve you. Made of ‘chhena’ (paneer) and sugar or jaggery, these are the ultimate delicacies for Bengali.
12. Ghugni- ‘Ghugni’ is a kind of mandatory dish for ‘Mahadashami’, just after the visarjan (immersion). Even sometimes this can be paired with ‘luchi’ as well. This dish is made of yellow dried peas (after soaking in water) and different Indian spices. Ghugni mainly considered as evening snacks. A lot of pandals have several food stalls around their premises sell different snacks. If you want you can pamper your ghugni binge over here also.
13. Misti Nimki- Misti Nimki is also an unavoidable part of ‘MahaDashami’. This is a sweet platter which made with flour. The nimkis are deep-fried in oil or ghee. Later it dipped into sugar syrup. These diamond-shaped snacks are the all time favourite of Bengalis. It can be stored for couple of months as well. This is a must try food in Durga Puja.
These are the top 13 dishes to binge on this Durga Puja. These are absolutely of my choice but I have researched quiet to shortlist these dishes. I have talked a lot of Bong people who are real foodies. Do let me know which are those you are going to try on this Puja.
P.S.- All the dishes of this post are cooked by me.
Sondesh – Girish Chandra Dey & Nakur Chandra Nandy
Photographs courtesy: Swarnendu Ghosh
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