Author: Shubhobrota Dev Roy
George Bernard Shaw once said, “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” The adage encapsulates the proposition that food always keeps our memory alive with its melange of flavours. When it comes to authentic Bengali cuisine, well it has traversed in the sphere of cordon bleu across the world since time immemorial.
Bengali cuisine is so distinct and diverse from other cuisines in India that the tempting piquancy and its intoxicating aroma of spices will crave you back to steal the spotlight. With time, these mouth-tingling Bengali recipes with munificent use of spices, mustard sauce and chilli have continued to remain at the core of impulse comprising an astounding number of intricately appetising dishes.
Ranging from shukto (comes from the word shukuta for dried leaves), bhaja, dal, tarkari, macch(fish) and mangsho (chicken or mutton) followed by misti (sweets) served in feast specialities always gain an exquisite identity for Bengalis.
It is also believed that the Bengali cuisines pertain to certain European influences like the cutlets, chops and snack food tradition which are prepared in every Bengali households but has a British touch by origin. Besides, Indian history also says that Nawabs were intensely in love with the cuisine for its combination of fiery and subtle flavours.
The Bengali curries always delicate distinguishing flavours of poppy seeds and turmeric with sweet undertones that warm spices like cardamom and cinnamon impart. While delicious fish curries are always served with the Bong’s staple diet rice, misti doi, a sweetened yoghurt and other sweets are the usual accompaniment served at the end of the meal.
Bengalis always share an irrevocable relationship with some of their cuisines which are popularly served almost on each occasion or are enjoyed in every household. The most loved cuisines take in- chingri malai curry, bhappa aloo, dimer dhokkar dalna and lucchi, sorsebata ilish macch, lamb curry, doi macch, baigun bhaja, chor chori, patishapta and sondesh.
With time Bengalis have embraced different culinary influences as well comprising that of the Mughals, Chinese and British subtly twisting these to suit their tastes.
About the Author
Shubhobrota Dev Roy is a journalist currently working with Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) as Sub-editor. Prior to joining IANS, Shubhobrota, had work with UNI as Sub-Editor, and Brand-comm, a leading PR agency.
An avid reader, Shubhobrota loves to listen to rock and jazz music, play football. He is a foodaholic and loves to talk and write about different cuisine..