West Bengal shares its borders with Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam and is located in the eastern part of India. The second largest tea-producing state in India, West Bengal has highly praised the Darjeeling tea variety. It has suitable agro-climatic conditions for horticulture, agriculture and fisheries and natural resources rich in minerals. It is in the vicinity of a mineral-rich states like Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand.
When it comes to West Bengal’s traditional food, there is much more to explore. Bengali food is simply delightful and culturally vibrant, from street food to Mughai foods and the cuisines of the thriving Anglo-Indian community in Bengali. The Bengali traditional food has a unique feature being the digestion of the best Indian diverse cookery. The sweets and spicy cuisines of Bengal are famous all around the world. Let’s have a deep insight into the traditional food of West Bengal.
List of traditional food of West Bengal
1. Daab Chingri
Daab Chingri is one of the famous
traditional foods of West Bengal. In local, Daab means tender coconut and chingri means prawns. So, basically, Daab Chingri is a prawn curry dish with tender coconut. Prawns are cooked together in a coconut shell mixing poppy & coconut seed gravy and mustard oil. This traditional food of West Bengal is very famous in Bangladesh and Bengal. It is one of the most eaten authentic foods in the state.
2. Chingri Malaikari
If you are a non-vegetarian, you must take a look at Chingri Malaikari. It is a traditional dish of West Bengal, loved by every local people. This curry-based dish uses Giant freshwater prawns and tiger prawns. This yummiest creamy dish requires coconut milk for preparing curry. The dish also contains fresh prawns, cooked with onion, spices, coconut milk, and other ingredients. This famous food of Bengal will enhance your taste buds. You can eat it with ghee and hot rice. On every occasion in West Bengal, this famous food is served. Other versions of this juicy dish are Lobster Malaikari, Malaikari, and Machar Malaikari.
3. Bhapa Hilsa/ Bhapa Llish
Steamed hilsa, also known as Llish Bhapa or Shorshe illish Bhapa is a fish dish and a famous staple dish of West Bengal. The gravy-based dish contains Hilsa, which is considered the queen of fish, and Chingri considered as King of Prawns. If you are a fish lover then definitely try this dish. Bhapa means steamed in the local language. In this dish, fish is marinated with a paste of coconut, mustard and curd. Then, it will be placed in a container for steam cooking. The flavours left after eating this dish are unforgettable. It is usually served with rice in the coastal regions of India.
4. Kathi Rolls
As the name suggests, it is a roll or wrap dish and is a famous authentic food of Bengal. Most loved street food, Kathi means stick that skewers roasted Kebab, then wrapped in Paratha. Neither light nor too heavy for the tummy, these rolls are also available with paneer for those who are vegetarians. It is mostly served hot & fresh.
5. Keemar Doi Bora
Another non-vegetarian dish on this list is famous all over West Bengal. A variant of Indian Dahi Bada, Keemar Doi Bora is inspired by Rabindra Nath Tagore’s kitchen. This recipe is also mentioned in a famous book of Purnima Thakur, one of Shri Tagore’s family members. This dish provides a unique taste to those who are non-vegetarian. The dish consists of minced meatballs added in sweet yogurt, served with multiple toppings. It is considered a side dish in West Bengal.
6. Kosha Mangho
A mutton cuisine in West Bengal form, Kosha Mangho is another non-vegetarian dish. In Hindi, Kosha refers to Bhuna, which means cooking over minimal temperatures slowly for a prolonged hour. Also called Bengali mutton curry, in this dish, the mutton piece is diced well and then marinated. Then, it is cooked in yoghurt and spicy tomato on low flame. The slow flames make this food delicious and healthier.
7. Bhetki Macher Paturi
If you want to try the authentic fish cuisine of Bengal, Bhetki Macher Paturi is the only one. The primary ingredient of this dish is Barramundi fish, also called Bhetki. The pieces of fish are marinated primarily in mustard paste and covered in banana leaves. In the local language, the paturi means leaf.
8. Began Bhaja
If you want to try a vegetarian dish, you must try Began Bhaja. Began means Brinjal. It is simple to cook and healthy for your stomach. To prepare this dish, brinjal will be chopped into a round shape and cooked with gram flour and other ingredients. It is particularly a fried dish, served as a side dish in lunch or dinner meals.
When it comes to the famous cuisine of West Bengal, it has a lot more to offer which enhances our taste buds. It is more than the sweets and mach bhaat. It is a retreat for both non-vegetarian and vegetarian foodies and has a lot more to it.