6 Summer Vegetables Widely Eaten In North Bengal
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North Bengal culinary traditions and food habits are way too different than the traditions followed in Southern Bengal. However due to globalisation and easy transport medium almost all vegetation and authentic culinary techniques do get exchanged, not just within Bengal but in other states too. 

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Among the myriad vegetables that grace the tables of North Bengal, summer vegetables hold a special place of prominence. With the arrival of warmer temperatures, an eclectic array of seasonal delights emerges, offering a tantalising glimpse into the culinary treasures of the region. From the strong bitterness of bitter gourd to the crisp freshness of cucumber, each vegetable brings its own unique flavour profile and nutritional benefits to the table.

Pointed Gourd

Pointed Gourd, locally known as "Potol," thrives in North Bengal's summer heat, delighting palates with its crisp texture and mild, meaty interior. Commonly featured in regional cuisine, it becomes the star in dishes like "Potol Chingri" i.e with shrimp or "Potol Bhaja" that is simply stir-fried. Its tender flesh absorbs spices beautifully, enhancing curries and stews. Whether stuffed, or simply sautéed, Potol adds a refreshing crunch to meals, making it a beloved summer staple in North Bengal's culinary landscape.

Chayote Squash

Chayote squash, a summer delight in North Bengal's cuisine, boasts a crisp texture and subtly sweet flavour. This variety thrives in the region's fertile hills. Its versatile nature makes it a staple in curries, stir-fries, and salads, adding a refreshing crunch. Paired with aromatic spices like cumin and turmeric, it offers a mild, yet distinctive taste. Whether steamed, roasted, or pickled, chayote squash remains a cherished ingredient, embodying the essence of North Bengal's culinary heritage.

Bottle gourd

In North Bengal, bottle gourd or Lau is a quintessential summer vegetable cherished for its refreshing flavour and versatile culinary uses. Its mild, slightly sweet taste pairs well with spices, enhancing dishes like lau ghonto, a curry with less spices to enhance the natural sweetness and lau chingri i.e bottle gourd with shrimp. With a tender, succulent texture, it adds a delightful crunch to curries. Boasting ample health benefits and easy digestibility, this humble gourd remains a staple during scorching summers.

Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd, cherished in North Bengal's summer cuisine, its distinct bitter flavour adds depth to dishes, balanced with spices like turmeric and cumin. The vegetable's crunchy texture complements soups, stir-fries, and curries, enhancing both taste and nutrition. Popular dishes include "Karela Bharta," a mashed preparation, and "Karela Fry," showcasing its crispy exterior. Bitter gourd's cooling properties make it a refreshing choice during hot seasons.


Pumpkin, a summer staple in North Bengal, tantalises taste buds with its subtle sweetness and earthy undertones. Its tender flesh offers a velvety texture, perfect for curries, stews, and soups. Traditional Bengali dishes like "Kumror Chokka”, a stir-fry to creamy curries, pumpkin accentuates its natural sweetness. Whether roasted, mashed, or pureed, pumpkin adds depth to regional cuisine.


Cucumbers thrive in North Bengal's summer, featuring prominently in local cuisine. With a refreshing crunch and subtle sweetness, they offer relief from the heat. Sliced thinly, they enhance salads, raitas, and pickles  infusing dishes with a cool, crisp texture. The region's cuisine often pairs cucumbers with yogurt in dishes like "Kheera Raita," a creamy, tangy side. Apart from raita and salads, sometimes cucumbers are used in curries too, giving a cooling and refreshing taste. 


During summer okra or bhindi, locally known as dharosh, is a vegetable that is often eaten at Bengali households in North Bengal. This green vegetable is popular for its tender texture and slightly earthy flavour. Throughout India, this vegetable is eaten in various ways, but in north Bengal, it is usually eaten as a stir-fried which accompanies thick lentil soup or dal.