As the beat of dhaak fills the air with festive spirits, the fragrance of shiuli flowers reminds you that the biggest festival of Bengalis: Durga Puja is here. From pandal hopping, trying newly purchased pujo outfits to the endless addas with friends and the lip-smacking delicacies which are being offered at various eateries – Durga Puja is definitely one of the much-awaited festivals.
From the mouth-watering aroma of bhog served at the pandals to trying out delicious street food, this festival is not complete without food. And just in case, you are confused about what authentic delicacies to try out this festive season, we bring to you tips from a popular Guwahati-based food blogger on some must-try dishes.
Time8 caught up food blogger, Kabyashree Deka and compiled a list of authentic Bengali dishes for the five days of the festival. Read on!
For all the foodies out there, Daab Chingri (prawns cooked in coconut shell) is a must-try this Durga Puja. It is a popular Bengali recipe that can be easily prepared at home. It is made with fresh river water prawns steamed in the goodness of coconut, mustard and turmeric. Daab Chingri is very creamy and melts in your mouth like a dream. This recipe is just perfect for Shaptami afternoon.
Best place to have: Daab Chingri is a must try at ‘Icchapuron’ in Ganeshguri.
Pro Tip: Have it with a plate of steaming rice and a dollop of ghee (slurpppp)
Kabyashree also recommended phulko (fluffy) luchi with kosha mangsho. “Chicken is pretty awesome but koshano patha or mutton is bae! Kosha mangsho is perfect for Navami lunch.
Kolkata Mutton Dum Biryani
Biryani is love and this dish has apparently undergone a lot of experiments as every part of the country has its own version. Bengalis are truly passionate about their aloo (potato) in biryani as it is the star of Bengali cuisine or the Kolkata-style biryani. A good Kolkata biryani is moist and can be enjoyed without a side dish. Kabyashree says that Kolkata-style biryani is a must-try dish this Puja and also those hot flaming ghoogni. OMG!
Best place to have: Set yourself free on the streets during Puja.
Pro Tip: Kolkata mutton biryani is best enjoyed with chicken chap
Bhapa or Sorshe Ilish is the best pick from the Bengal kitchen which is made with fresh river water Ilish or hilsa fish. The delicious classic Bengali fish curry simmered in a thick broth consisting of ground mustard seeds is a must try this festive season.
Best place to have: Kabyashree said Bhapa Ilish should be tried at ‘O Maa Go’ located at Lachit Nagar as they serve authentic Kolkata-style Ilish. The boneless one is a must try.
Pro Tip: This hearty fish dish is best served with steamed rice.
Bongs love to relish exquisite Bengali thalis, a mix of subtle, sweet and fiery flavours. The world knows them for their love of fish. But that’s not just it, there is more to it. A simple Bengali thali includes Shukto, different types of fries- aloo bhaja, potol bhaja, kumro bhaja, begun bhaja, daal, torkari, chutney, and the star of the thali, maach (fish).
Best place to have: “The authentic Bengali cuisine is a must-try at the ‘Legacy Restaurant’, ‘Hotel Palacio’, also ‘Icchapuron’ serves really good Bengali thalis. They serve you with wholesome amount of traditional Bengali food at affordable prices,” said Kabyashree.
Bengalis are considered the masters when it comes to preparing lip-smacking sweets. Rosogolla, Mishti Doi, Kalo Jaam, Gulab Jamun, Shondesh, the list goes on. So try out some sweets this Durga Puja.
Best place to have: Kabyashree suggests that the people who have a sweet tooth may head to ‘O Maa Go’ and ‘Icchapuron’ to try out their baked Rosogolla and Chana Payesh.
Feature photo credit: Pinterest