Bengali food is generally synonymous with Maach and Bhat (fish and rice) or Rashagulla. But in reality Bengali food is much more than that, its vast and elaborate. Out of the huge number of dishes that are worth a try by every foodie, here is a list of 15 must try and the best Bengali dishes. We will start with the succulent starters and end with the best sweet dishes.
A very traditional Bengali dish of mix vegetable that is simply irresistible. Made with variety of vegetables and least spices – just salt, sugar and turmeric, this dish derives its uniqueness from one particular vegetable- the bitter gourd.
The bitter taste somehow enhances the flavour of this dish. It is a must try as this is one of its kind dish that can be found in all authentic Bengali restaurants. Shukto is served as the first item to be eaten with rice after the starter, if any.
2. Bhetki Macher Paturi
A starter that is made of fish. The Bhetki fish is marinated in mustard paste, wrapped in a banana leaf and just baked or steamed.
A great dish if you are looking for something healthy and yet tasty. The banana leave used retains the flavour of the fish and the spices in a special way.
3. Dhokar Dalna
A complete vegetarian dish with no garlic and onion that is unique to Bengal. Though the making process is a bit tricky but the end result is simply amazing.
Essentially “Dhoka” is bar or a cake made with a mixture of spices and Bengal Gram paste and dalna is a traditional Bengali gravy. This dish goes well with both stemed rice and Luchi.
4. Potoler Dolma
Potol is Pointed Gourd and Dolma means stuffed vegetable.
A very classy dish where the Pointed Gourd is stuffed with mutton keema or veg stuffing of potato or panner. This is a unique dish that tastes simply amazing.
5. Aloo Posto
Another very traditional Bengali vegetarian dish that is made without the use of onions or garlic.
A dish made with boiled potatoes and Poppy seeds. A very common food of every Bengali kitchen, that is easy to cook and just delicious.
6. Prawn Malai Curry
Any Bengali celebration is incomplete without this iconic Bengali dish made with a combination of fresh prawns, cream, coconut milk and very less spices.
This a must try for all fish and sea food lovers, a divine dish.
7. Illish Maach Bhapa
Hilsa or Illish is the top favorite fish of almost every Bengali across the globe for its taste and aroma.
Bhapa means Steamed and in this dish no spices are used except mustard paste. Its a delicacy , a minimalist dish with really rich taste.
8. Chital Macher Muthia
Fish dumplings or fish kofta in a tasty and rich ginger- onion gravy is one of the classy and a very traditional delicacy of the Bengali cuisine.
A must try as this dish is very different from all the kofta curries we are generally used to.
9. Doi Mach
An easy to prepare and yet lovely way to make fish. “Doi Mach” is generally prepared with either Rohu or Hilsa.
A healthy and tasty dish where the fish is steamed along with plain curd and some green chillies and it really tastes yummy !
10. Daab Chingri
Chigri in Bengal means prawns. This is a delicacy where the prawns are cooked in mustard and served in a tender coconut.
The dish is aromatic and tasty with a subtle taste of the tender coconut seeping into it.
11. Kosha Mangsho
Kogsha mangsho is the typical spicy and rich Bengali style Mutton Curry.
This is a rich lamb or mutton curry that is prepared with yogurt and traditional spices. Tastes best with Luchi or steamed rice.
12. Kolkata Biryani
Kolkata Chicken or Lamb Biryani is really a must try as it is rich in taste and flavour.
A favoured dish in Kolkata this Biryani stands out as along with pieces of mutton or chicken you will find a big piece of well done potato and a boiled egg in this dish.
The most famous Bengali dessert made with milk and sugar.
Come winters and along with sugar Nalen Gur is added to it that enhances is taste and aroma to a completely new level.
14. Misti Doi
A very traditional dessert that is a part of every Bengali meal.
Yogurt made with gur or jaggerry that melts in your mouth and tastes awesome.
Thin sweet crepes made with rice flour and semolina and stuffed with a mixture of grated coconut and jaggery.
A must try Bengali dessert prepared specially in the month of January for Sankranti.
Note: Rice – In Bengali cuisine, plain white steamed rice is the primary accompaniment to all main course dishes.
The list delicious Bengali dishes can be endless as the street food and the snacks in Bengal are equally delicious. Snacks like Jhaal Muri , fish fry, and street food like Phucka are all time must try items. So next time you land up in West Bengal or visit any Bengali Restaurant you know what the the dishes you must try.