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Traditional Bengali dinner menu

tanya3286's picture

A simple Bengali dinner is a very homely affair with rice and lentils (bhaat and daal), two fried items like brinjal fry (begun bhaja) and crispy fried potato (aalu jhuri bhaja), mixed vegetable (paanch mishali torkari) and fish in gravy (maacher jhol). The dinner is usually rounded off with sweetmeats (shondesh).

 1.      The rice (bhaat) accompanies every item through the meal. The first course is usually bhaat with daal along with the aalu bhaja. The same course can extend to accommodate the begun bhaja along with bhaat and daal.  

2.      The second course consists of the paanch mishali torkari which is cooked with the five basic Indian spices- two types of jeera (black and white), fennel seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds with vegetables like pumpkin, spinach, potato, radish, brinjal and other seasonal vegetables. It can be taken with the bhaat and daal or just with the bhaat. 

3.      The next course consists of the macher jhol and for dinner there is perhaps nothing better than steamed Hilsa, cooked with grated coconuts and mustard seeds and poppy seeds (crushed to a paste), with some green chillies, turmeric and salt to taste and steamed in the pressure cooker. Steamed Hilsa or Ilish bhape is a mouthwatering delicacy from Bengal that will satiate the palate of all fish lovers. With a taste of its own, this preparation of Hilsa when properly cooked is sure to make the dinner a success.

4.      The last course or the dessert for dinner can be a sweetmeat. My personal favorite is the korapak-er shondesh. It is made from concentrated milk and contains a little jaggery and some raisins.

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vikas.kumar's picture
nice blog...short n sweet, yet informative. have had fish (in the bengali style)...never really tried paanch mishali torkari, unless its like 'mixed vegetable' that i've eaten at many places.
tanya3286's picture
Thank you! You are right, paanch mishali is sort of like a mixed vegetable dish. Pumpkin is the main ingredient along with potatoes and some times beans.
shantihhh's picture
Great information. Begali cuisine is one I know very little about. My favourite is close by in Lucknow - Awadhi cuisine! Shanti/Mary-Anne
tanya3286's picture
Yes... it is very palatable too. I myself have lived in Lucknow for 2 years.... its a lovely place. Kind of like the paris of India I believe with its old world charm and minarets of imambaras and mosques...
mona nath's picture
bengli cusines are really yummy. but i would lik to ask tht is alluo posto and tomator chatni are not included in dinner..?
indian spices's picture
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Traditional Bengali Dinner Menu