Bengalis simply call the four days of revelry as ‘Pujo’, and Durga Pujo is all about family, friends, worshipping Ma Durga, adda with friends, music, rituals, and, of course… food… lots and lots of mouthwatering food. From ‘Pujo’r Bhog’ that includes a particular type of ‘Khichudi’ made with rice, lentils, potatoes, and a mixed veg preparation called labra, to non-vegetarian items like Kolkata-style mutton biryani and Ilish maach… one is simply spoilt for choice.
Started drooling, already? Yeah us too! So if you are a noob in this matter, let us give you a quick guide to eating your way through Durga Pujo! As the Bengalis say it… Maa Ashchen… and so are these yummy traditional Bengali dishes…
Feasting is an essential part of Durga Puja in Kolkata and the bhog offered to Maa Durga is something people queue up for every day. After all, the pujos are the homecoming of the daughter returning to her maternal home with her children. Typically, the bhog is vegetarian, contains no onion and garlic, and is served with delectable bhoger khichuri as the staple.
Begin your day with this delicious pair! Luchi, also known as ‘poori’ in Hindi, is made with maida and deep-fried in refined oil. It goes well with ‘Aloor dum,’ made with baby potatoes, ginger-garlic paste, onion, and spices. It is simple on the palate but bursts with flavours.
This dish has a different fan base. Remember, during your college days, when one of your Bengali friends must have brought Aloor poshto and roti for lunch. This dish, prepared with baby potatoes and poppy seeds cooked in mustard oil, is a favourite of vegetarians at pandals.
Bhapa Ilish, which means ‘steamed hilsa fish,’ is a popular dish among Bengalis who enjoy Hilsa. In this recipe, the marinade is steamed, which gives the dish a particular taste and unique flavour. It goes well with steamed white rice.
Let us not even start a biryani war. The best biryani in Kolkata can be found at street-side biryani stalls! However, Kolkata-style mutton biryani is made with a unique blend of spices and ‘desi ghee,’ which gives it a thick and rich flavour. The juicy mutton pieces are the icing on the cake for this biryani!
In a nutshell, ‘Muri Ghonto’ is a dal recipe with fried fish heads. Doesn’t that sound strange? Maybe it does, but once you try it, you’ll want to have it again and again. This tasty dish goes well with steamed rice and that too Gobindo rice.
This delectable mutton recipe goes well with ‘Luchi’ and ‘Bhaat.’ This mutton curry, made with a lot of love and spices, is ideal for serving at the dinner table. This dish’s rich texture will undoubtedly elevate your dining experience! So, give it a shot!
In Bengali, a banana flower is known as mocha, and to make mocha chop, you’ll need mocha, potatoes, green chillies, tamarind, and some spices. These deep-fried chops are ideal for an evening snack with tea. During the festive season, Bengalis also prepare Aloor chop and vegetable chop.
Even if you dislike sweet dishes, you will be unable to resist this delectable recipe! These crunchy fritters, made with maida, rice flour, and ripe bananas, can be served to anyone because they are moderately sweet and will definitely satisfy your appetite!
During Pujo, this delectable street snack is a must-have. It consists of white peas in a semi-thick gravy with onions, green chillies, and coriander.
This sweet and sour ‘Chatni’ (chutney) is made with raw mango, dry red chillies, and sugar and is served with ‘Bhog khichdi,’ but it also goes well with ‘fried papad.’
Without food, Durga Puja in Kolkata is incomplete. If you haven’t seen the madness for yourself, there’s no way reading about it online will do it justice. Experience it yourself and let us know!