Durga Puja has finally started with today being Maha Saptami. With a dull spell last year due to the outbreak of coronavirus, this year, people have got the opportunity to go pandal hopping and hogging on food while following all safety protocols.
It has become way easier than last year to dodge the virus as people are getting vaccinated.
Durga Puja means good food and by food, we mean mouth-watering Bengali cuisines that are a must-try during this festive season. There are a huge array of possibilities that include sweet, spicy, vegetarian, non-vegetarian, simple and exotic.
With so many options to choose from, I am already salivating. Without any further delay, let's look at these five Bengali dishes that you can enjoy in the spirit of the festival.
Durga Puja is synonymous with street food and what better food is there than ghugni. It is prepared using white peas and can be enjoyed with hot white rice with chopped onions on top of it. It can also be enjoyed as a complete whole dish. The choice is yours.
2. Luchi and Cholar Dal
Luchi is said to be the Bengali cousin of pooris. It is a thin fried flatbread prepared with maida or wheat flour. You can accompany them with cholar dal, a lentil dish made with grams or split chickpeas. This is a dish that Bengalis swear by during Durga Puja.
Apart from cholar dal, you can also have other curries like chicken gravy, mutton gravy and many others.
Khichuri is one of the important Bengali dishes during Dura Puja. It is a crucial element in the bhog prepared during Mahanavami. The dish is made using rice, lentil, potatoes, cauliflower and spices. It is served with papad, chutney, labra (mix veg) at community puja pandals where you can long queues of people just have khichuri.
Also known as kheer, it is a common sweet dish across India, and is usually cooked on special occasions. In Bengal, the use of regional Gobindbhog rice makes it heavenly and the special aroma is to die for. During Durga Puja, payesh is offered to the Goddess as part of the ritual offering - bhog.
5. Aloo Murgi Jhol
Aloo diye murghir jhol aka homestyle chicken curry is a comforting curry recipe that is relished with plain white rice or Bengali mishti pulao. It is undoubtedly a must-try during Durga Puja.
6. Rui Macher Kalia
A popular Bengali dish, fish kalia is known for its rich texture, irresistible taste and exceptional flavour. This dish goes well with basanti pulao which is also another important dish during the festive season.
7. Basanti Pulao
A pure Bengali delicacy, Basanti pulao is sweet fragrant rice which is also known as Mishti pulao. It is a frequently prepared rice dish during Durga Puja that goes well with spicy curries. The preparation includes rice, whole spices, ground spice, ginger paste and dry fruits and is prepared with ghee (clarified butter).
8. Muri Ghonto
This is a traditional dish that is made with fish head. The recipe includes crispy fried fish head cooked with rice and potatoes in some specific spices. This is a classic Bengali recipe and is a perfect side dish with piping hot steamed rice.
Happy eating, folks!