Taste of Bengali Sunday Meal

A Bengali is stereotyped by three things- Football, Politics, and Food. A Bengali might choose between East-Bengal or Mohanbagan, Red or Green, but there is no choice on the food vs no food. If you are not a foodie, you are not a Bengali. Seeping in the tradition, I myself, am in awe of Bengali cuisines. Here, I am portraying a glimpse of a typical Bengali Sunday menu.


Photo from Flickr

On Sunday morning, there is no other alternative than Luchi-alur dum (poori and dum alo). Chholar dal is often an accompaniment. No Sunday breakfast is complete without a misti (sweet)- be it jilipi, or rosogolla, or shandesh or chomchom, Bengalis ache for a sweet tooth in the end.

Sunday lunch is the most awaited thing in the whole day, at least I eagerly wait for the noon. The heart-rendering smell from the kitchen which enthralls us since the morning finally can be savoured! To start with, Bengali meal offers something better as a starter. A Bengali meal system is very scientific because in an empty stomach bitter items work well. It is served in small quantities comprising neem or uchchhe (bitter gourd) boiled or fried along with potato. Shukto, a thick curry with vegetables and bitter gourd is also served as the first item. Shak, a preparation with leafy vegetables with mustard sauce is a massive hit starter. Then comes spanking white boiled rice, with dal.

Though fish is popular food item for Bengalis, they not only devour Non-veg items but they are voracious herbivores too. With dal, bhajai (fried item) is a must- bora (pakora), fried potatoes, sliced pumpkins, brinjal- any fried item can go with dal-bhaat. Torkari, (curry) is prepared with vegetable using various methods and varied spices. And then comes the Queen- fish! Bhetki, pabda, rui, pona, chingri- the name goes on, but to make your Sunday lunch special, Ilish (Hilsa) should be your take (during rainy season). Ilish bhapa and paturi are traditional items, absolutely loved by the Bengalis.

And when Queen’s near can the King be far behind? Not it’s not chicken- we Bengalis are mutton lovers. Kosha mangsho with spice and masala is our most favorite.

Next, it’s the time for chutney or tok. This special tangy and sweet delicacy is typical of Bengali cuisine. We have chutneys made of pineapple, tomato, tamarind, coriander-pudina, papaya, mango and at times even with some fish and their eggs! Unbelievable? It’s true.

If you are wondering that this is the end of our Sunday lunch, then let me remind you, who will eat the desserts? Mishti doi or payesh can be left out at all.

Again, a touch of science, sweet in the end, helps in digestion. So, how much you gorge on Ilish and mutton, you cannot be sick! This is the magic of Bengali meals. So, what are you waiting for, come to the City of Joy, and let’s dig a spoon together!

Author:

A post graduation student of Media, an avid traveller with a nose of searching something unique.

Comments

  1. Though I didn’t know these food items, it looks delicious to me. In US typical Indian restaurants do not serve these types of Bengali good.

  2. Satavisa Chaudhuri says:

    Well, let me inform you that even the restaurants in Kolkata often do not serve most of these items! These are typical home-made items, and traditional ones.. 🙂 We inherit their recipes from our mothers and grandmothers.
    Thank you so much for going through the blog. 🙂

  3. Bengali meal looks interesting to me, but I don’t understand any of the food items you specified in your blog. It would be nice you can mention what each food item is made with, that would help me a little. I love Indian food and want to know more about authentic Indian food.

    • Satavisa Chaudhuri says:

      Thank you so much Tanya for your comment. I will surely mention the recipes of these aunthentic Bengali items in my next blog. You wont get these items in 98% restaurants in Indian or Bengal coz these are traditional items being cooked since ages in Bengali households.

  4. I had an opportunity to share such delicacy in Siliguri fortunately in a restaurant name “Golden moments”. Though without the king’s and queens ( As I am a pure vegetarian) I really enjoyed the curiosity for next item’s serve.

  5. Nice blog, I don’t know most of the Bengali food items you mentioned, but I am sure it will be tasty to eat.

  6. Very interesting info. Keep up the good work.

  7. Resham Virk says:

    I had been always fond of Bengali sweets. But recently had a taste of Bengali cusine and I would bet that it was so simple yet so tasty.

  8. Raaduni raajbhoraaj says:

    This is because there is a difference between typical Indian or Hindustani food and bengali food. If u go to California then u would find my restaurant there it’s called BONG BONG BIDESHE. Pls try out morralla maach er jhal with narkel er bhaat. Or if u want to go for my speciality then u may try out Shukto, narkel bhaat, elish shorshe, chola dal, kasha mangsho, aalu bhala, begun er kalmia and bong raita along with my favourite Nolan guru er sandesh. Would want everyone to come and enjoy this food. Pls do give a visit

  9. I am not a bengali, So I couldn’t understand what all are there in the meal. So can you tell me what all are there in the picture, so that it will be easy for me to prepare or find the recipe.

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