We are sure that you must have heard of Roshogullas & Sondesh, and may have even tasted the magic of these cultural inventions. But when it comes to Bengali cuisine, there are endless surprises for foodies like you and us. Right from the starters to the main course followed by dessert, the city offers culinary treats on a silver platter, and we bet you can’t just have one! (Shotti!)
So whenever you take a trip to this paradise, make sure you go out and relish these 15 Bengali dishes that would make for an absolutely lip-smacking full course meal!
Traditional Culinary Delights Of Bengal Cuisine
These are some of the traditional dishes which one must taste and enjoy the authentic flavors of the ages old Bengali delicacies.
Macher Jhol (Fish curry)
There is no doubt that both rice and fish are the staple Bengali cuisines. Every restaurant with a Bengali food menu has the famous Macher Jhol. While this traditional dish is a spicy fish curry made along with potatoes & tomatoes, and usually seasoned with turmeric, garlic, onions & grated ginger, it is best relished with rice. If you’re a seafood lover, make sure this is on the top of your list.
Inspired by the Awadhi style, the Kolkata Biryani is a heart winner! It’s captivating aroma and the finely flavored rice with potato cooked in rich spices is served hot with juicy mutton or chicken, which makes it a must-have when you’re in the city. If you’re not an experimental kind of a foodie, and wish to bet safe, rest assured and orders this one from the menu.
Kosha Mangsho (Mutton curry)
One of the famous Bengali food recipes, Kosha Mangsho is a curry cooked with mutton, a variety of vegetables like tomatoes and onions, and topped with a lot of different spices. It’s dense brown color adds on to the feel, and there is no denying that it tastes like heaven, especially if one is a meat lover. To make the most out of it, you can savour it with steamed rice, luchis, or paranthas.
Alur Torkari with Luchi (Potato Curry with Deep fried Puffed Bread)
While it may come across as our usual aloo poori from the North India, know that it is not. With potatoes cooked in a thick tomato gravy, this scrumptious curry is the safest Bengali food to try in the city. Served mostly with breads like luchi or chapati, it is an ideal toothsome snack to have for breakfast.
Counted as one of the best Bengali vegetarian recipes, Shukto is a traditional cuisine that consists of a variety of vegetables like potato, pumpkin, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, and more. Its partly bitter and partly sweet taste makes it a unique concoction, which can be had along with rice or traditional flat bread.
If you’re a hardcore non-veg lover, this platter of mutton seekhs and chicken kebabs is one thing you must definitely try in Kolkata. Served along with steamed rice and veggies, it is an exceptionally lip-smacking cuisine and can be enjoyed both as a starter or in the main course.
This is one of the most famous household dishes in Bengal which is a traditional add-on at every Bengali restaurant and home. Made with banana flower and grated coconut, this vegetarian tastes heavenly with rice. The meaning of “Mocha” in Bengali is flower which is cleaned properly and requires a lot of time and patience. After removing the petals, the flower is pressure cooked and later the spices are added to give a relishing flavor.
Katla Kalia ( Katla Fish Curry)
The Katla Kalia is a traditional delicacy which is made of 3 kg weighed Katla fish. This dish holds quite an importance in a bengali household. Cooked with onions, bay leaf, ginger and garlic paste which is further curd with spices, garam masala and ghee. This is one of the most preferred dishes for a Sunday lunch.
Macher Muri Ghonto ( Rice preparation with Fish head)
This is another traditional bengali dish and its recipe has been passed down by generation after generation. The Macher Muri Ghonto is made of Rohu fish and the gravy is made of onion, chili, cumin paste, ginger paste which adds all the authentic flavor to this ancient recipe. This fish dish is served with white rice and makes a delicious delicacy to enjoy in the city.
This is an old traditional delicacy which is served as a side dish in every Bengali household. This is considered as a saviour when the guest comes over surprisingly. Made of poppy seeds and potato, this is the perfect side dish with dal and white rice. In the Bengali cuisine, this is one of the best dishes
Bengal is particularly known for its delicious street food and from the traditional bengali delights to other flavors, there is a lot to discover.
Also known as gol gappas and paani puri, these tiny water-bombs with spicy masala and meethi chutney are one of the best things to have in the streets of Bengal. While they look light, they are quite filling and toothsome, and that is exactly the reason why you just can’t stop at one.
Telebhaja (Vegetable Fritters)
A famous snack in the city that continues to successfully retain the essence of Bengali cuisine, Telebhaja are best enjoyed in monsoons with a cup of tea. From beguni (brinjal fritter) and phuluri (cauliflower fritter) to peyaji (onion fritter) and alur chop
(Potatoto fritter) , these crunchy snacks covered in besan (corn-flour) have something for everyone’s taste buds.
Amongst the best street foods in Bengal, Jhalmuri is the most perfect snack that you can relish whilst exploring the streets. These look like puffed rice or muri and are mixed along with peanuts, coriander and other spices, which make it an appetizing quick bite.
Chop (Vegetable/Non – Veg Cutlet)
Also known as cutlets in a few parts of North India, Chop is one of the most filling yet delicious snack to have in the city. This Kolkata cuisine is prepared by stuffing alur, prawns, or chicken into a ball made of dough, which is then deep fried for attaining crispiness. You can enjoy it dry or have it served with your favorite chutney and tea!
Unlike any other ordinary roll, the Kathi Rolls in this city are exceptionally lip-smacking. Egg, mutton, chicken, or paneer, you just name your favorite and you’ll get it. They are mostly made like a flaky flour paratha, which is further rolled up with the chosen stuffing and is laced with irresistible sauces, spices, and veggies.
Sweets are the foremost items for which this city is widely famous. From the delicious Rasogullas, to the dry sweets, there is a lot to explore and get a taste of.
Popular across the states for being the best dessert in the city, Bengali rasgullas are like balls of cottage cheese and semolina dough, which are dipped in a sugary syrup to add sweetness to them. They are best had right after the main course, but it’s true that if you have been born with a sweet tooth, one just won’t be enough for you.
Sandesh is a popular dessert in Bengal, which is made from milk or cottage cheese and sugar, and is one of the most famous snacks that you would come across in the city. Molded into a variety of shapes like the little balls and circular discs, this doughy and buttery sweet dessert puts a perfect end to our any main course traditional Bengali cuisine.
There is quite a high possibility that you may have heard of Chom Chom if you love taking a tour of the sweet shops. Also called as chum chums, this sweet is made of flour, cream, sugar, saffron, lemon juice and, coconut flakes, and is usually served during the festive season.
Consisting of a fermented sweet yogurt, Mishti Doi is one of the area’s most famous culinary delight. While you can also buy packaged mishti doi in grocery stores in your own city today, the fresh ones from Kolkata’s legendary sweet shops is definitely worth trying at least once.
This is quite a famous sweet delicacy which is a favorite for every Bengali out there. Patisapta is made during the ‘poush parbon’ along with other traditional sweet delicacies like Dudh-Puli, Malpua and Kolar Bora. Made of milk and refined flour, this is made in a round shape and stuffed with coconut, dry fruit and mawa and served like a roll.
“Both the food and culture of Bengal speak volumes about it, and there is nothing that could even be a little close to its beauty. So, don’t think too much and give your tummy a treat by heading on a gastronomical joyride to this State”.
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