This is from wikipedia on Bengali cuisine,
With an emphasis on fish and lentils served with rice as a staple diet, Bengali cuisine is known for its subtle (yet sometimes fiery) flavours, its confectioneries and desserts, and has perhaps the only multi-course tradition from South-Asia that is analogous with the likes of Japanese, French and Italian cuisine in structure.
From the culinary point of view, a key influence to the food came much later, when Wajid Ali Shah, the last Nawab of Avadh was exiled to Metiabruz, in the outskirts of Kolkata. He is said to have brought with him hundreds of cooks and masalchis (spice mixers) who, on his death, dissipated into the population, starting restaurants and food carts all over
Bengalis also excel in the cooking of vegetables. They prepare a variety of the imaginative dishes using the many types of vegetables that grow in the country year round. They can make ambrosial dishes out of the oftentimes rejected peels, stalks and leaves of vegetables. They use fuel-efficient methods, such as steaming fish or vegetables in a small covered bowl nestled at the top of the rice cooker.
The use of spices for both fish and vegetable dishes is quite extensive and includes many combinations not found in other parts of
Fish is the dominant kind of meat, cultivated in ponds and fished with nets in the fresh-water rivers of the
Bengali people are primarily rice eaters, and the rainfall and soil in
Luchi (circular deep fried un-leavened bread) or Porothha (usually triangular, multi-layered, pan fried, un-leavened bread) are also used as the primary food item on the table. It is considered that wheat-based food came in from the north and is relatively new in advent. Both Luchi and Parothha (paratha) could have stuffed versions as well, and the stuffing could vary from dal, peas etc.
This is followed by shaak (leafy vegetables) such as spinach, palong chard, methi fenugreek, or amaranth. The shaak can be steamed or cooked in oil with other vegetables such asbegun (eggplant). Steamed shaak is sometimes accompanied by a sharp paste of mustard and raw mango pulp called Kasundi.
The đal course is usually the most substantial course, especially in
Another accompaniment is a vegetable preparation usually made of multiple vegetables stewed slowly together without any added water. Labra, chorchori, ghonto, or chanchra are all traditional cooking styles. There also are a host of other preparations that do not come under any of these categories and are simply called tôrkari - the word merely means 'vegetable' in Bengali.
Now, most of the dish seen in this post do not have names or labels so if anyone could help me name them, I’d appreciate it.
Acknowledgement: Wikipedia’s entry on Bengali Cuisine.
New Alamin Hotel and Restaurant. This hall is for their male customers only. Females are sequestered at a separate cloistered cranny at the side of this hall.
Chicken is a relatively new entrant in Bengali cuisine, but I had to have something that's "familiar".
This is a mint-flavored post-meal confection, served with a toothpick to somehow "freshen" your breath from all the spices. This is free, and a common feature in most meals across the sub-Indian continent from India to Bangladesh and Nepal.
There wasn't a proper breakfast to be had early in the morning, and I wasn't too happy with the hotel restaurant's paratha so I ventured outside and bought some bread (notice the accompanying spicy sauce). Sprite seems to be the most common soda, not Coke.
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