5 Bengali Winter Delicacies That Will Make You Drool
- Sushmita Sengupta
Updated : January 20, 2022 05:01 IST
Every season comes with a different menu in a Bengali household and in winter, it gets a tad more decadent.
The kitchens in Bengal undergo a radical makeover starting from October. Since Bengali cuisine is one of the only few regional cuisines that works in tandem with Ayurveda, a lot of emphasis is laid on eating seasonal food. Which explains our fervent enthusiasm for Nolen Gur or the date palm jaggery, which has been deemed most superior by the confectioners of Bengal. This deep brown, almost chocolatey jaggery is only around from October-end till February, and yielding the same is no less than a ritual in itself. We love our winter greens to an extent that we have dedicated a day for having 14 of them together, no kidding. A day prior to Kali Pujo/Diwali is Bhoot Chaturdashi. On this day, Bengalis observe the ritual of ‘Choddo Shaak’, wherein they prepare a delicacy with 14 types of seasonal greens. Besides the religious significance, it is believed that these greens help fight the seasonal infections that are so prevalent around the time.
To surmise, every season comes with a different menu in a Bengali household and in winter, it gets a tad more decadent. Here are five of our favourite winter delicacies from Bengal
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‘tis the season of Joynagarer Moa for Bengalis. This sweet and crunchy treat made in shape of a laddoo is made with Nolen Gur and Kanackchur Khoi, a rare variety of aromatic popped rice), caradmom and ghee. Both Nolen Gur and Kanchur Koi are winter products, hence you do not find these Moas so easily around the year. Joynagarer Moa also has a GI Tag to its credit.
This Sankranti staple, is essentially a crepe that is made of rice flour on a tawa. This crepe is filled with a crumbly mixture of grated coconut and jaggery. It is then rolled up and soaked in condensed milk. Patishapta comes from the grand family of pithas and pulis of East India, and continues to be a winter favourite among many.
Nolen Gurer Payesh
A festive fixture, this rice and milk pudding is sweetened by the iconic Nolen gur and not refined sugar, making it all the more flavourful and befitting for the season.
Ronga Alur Puli
Ronga Alu is another word for sweet potatoes in Bengali. A winter favourite tuber across India. Sweet potatoes have now also become a name to reckon with among fitness enthusiasts, due to its ‘good carbs’ content. Ronga Alu Puli are fried, sweet potato dumplings. Sweet potatoes are boiled and mashed, after combining with flour, they are made into a dough which is filled with sweet coconut and jaggery filling, and dipped in sweet syrup.
A beloved breakfast staple, Koraishutir Kachuri is a stuffed, deep-fried maida puri that is filled with crushed peas, chillies, ginger, garam masala, salt and a little bit of sugar. Serve these kochuris with alur dom (Bengali Dum Aloo) or yoghurt the choice is yours. Even though the Kachoris are relished across the year, but now that the fresh green peas are all around you, it would be a crime to not put them to good use, right?