It’s raining outside, and I have just been back from home, Bengal, the best place on earth for a foodie. You can probably guess how I feel right now!
When I say that I nearly stuffed myself to death with food, believe me, I am not exaggerating. What with trying to make my numerous grandmas and aunts and my mum happy, I hogged like a pig, because “aha, okhane toh bangali ranna pabi na!”.
And despite being a hardcore non-vegetarian, each time home, I eat more Bengali vegetarian dishes than non-veg, courtesy the old-timey ladies in my life. And since I’m feeling generous, let me share some of those vegetarian gems that come from the mine that is a Bengali ‘ranna-ghor’.
1. Shukto, because we start our food with the beautiful bitter
This bitter-sweet dish is made with common veggies like papaya, carrots, but bitter-gourd steals the show. Try it out, you won’t regret. Here is a recipe.
2. Naksha bori (designed and sundried lentils fried) bhaja
Shada bhaat with sona mooger daal, gondhoraaj lebu, and this baby. I can’t even.
Or call it daal poori if you must, but it can beat all kinds of bread any day. Here is a recipefor you.
4. And some chhoto aloor dum
They may be baby potatoes, but the dish is super rich in taste. It’s not hard to make, so go try cooking it.
5. Mishti polao, that beats all kinds of rice preparations any day
Heaven on earth, this sweet pulao dish. Here’s a recipe.
6. With dhokar dalna (curry made of fried chana daal patties) maybe
Care for some awesomeness? Here’s a recipe.
7. Or do you prefer chhanar dalna (cottage cheese curry)
And some more of that awesomeness? Check out the recipe.
8. Let us not forget the beauty that is potoler dolma
I can die every day, eating this dish of stuffed pointed gourds!
9. Bhaja moog daaler khichuri
The staple food for Durgapuja, Saraswati puja, Lakshmi puja and rainy days, this special khichdi is made with fried moong daal. It’s also super easy to make.
10. Accompanied by some labra
Because khichuri is not khichuri without some labra (a mixed veg curry, Bengali style).
The bad guy of Bengali cuisine that nobody can resist, this curry is made with potatoes, pumpkins and generally fish head, but believe me, the veg version is even more rad! Here’s a recipe.
12. And chapor ghonto
*Wishfully types* Here’s a recipe for this vegetable curry made with lentil patties.
13. Or mochar ghonto (banana blossom curry)
This is not food. This is art. Here’s how to make this art.
14. Sojne dantar chorchori
Chewing, that’s how we do it. Here’s the recipe for the drumsticks curry made with mustard and poppy seeds.
15. Mohanbhog (sweet sooji)
Because “sesh paate mishti”. Here’s a recipe!
Are you having second thoughts about turning a veg? I know the feeling, bruh!