7 Popular Dishes From West Bengal You Can Enjoy
Image Credit: Biryani | Image Credit: Freepik.com

The first phase of voting for the 18th Lok Sabha election ended on Friday in 102 constituencies of 21 states and four Union territories on Friday. It is the responsibility of every citizen to cast their votes for their preferred party. And if you are in West Bengal, then you can easily indulge in some of the most popular foods from the region while celebrating democracy too. 

The state, situated in the eastern part of India, is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and literature. People from West Bengal are foodies and love exploring its diverse and delectable cuisines. From mouth-watering street food to luxurious traditional dishes, West Bengal offers a unique and unforgettable culinary experience. Take a look at the seven most popular dishes from West Bengal:  

  • Kathi Roll  

This is a renowned street food of Kolkata that has over time become a quintessential grab-and-go snack by many foodies. It originated during the reign of the British Empire and the concept of kathi roll came from the then chefs of Nizam’s. Kathi roll consists of a flaky paratha with which a filling of spicy marinated meats (often chicken or mutton) is wrapped around. Besides, there is also the addition of veggies, sauces, and onions. It is a protein-rich food, fulfilling and loved by locals as well as tourists.  

  • Kolkata Biryani  

Without any second thought, Kolkata biryani is considered the favourite food of most Bengalis. The history narrates that Kolkata biryani evolved from the Awadhi biryani, when the last Awadh’s Nawab, Wajid Ali Shah was exiled in 1856 to the Kolkata suburb of Metiaburuz. What makes Kolkata biryani different from others, is the addition of potatoes along with succulent pieces of meat (usually goat or chicken. The basmati rice is slow cooked in ‘dum’, infused with a blend of spices creating a symphony of flavour and texture. It is often served with hard-boiled eggs and a side. 

  • Shukto  

This is a traditional Bengali dish that is cooked with an array of vegetables in a mildly spiced gravy made from poppy seeds, mustard, and other aromatic spices. In Shukto, bitter gourd (karela) is the key ingredient. Karela imparts a distinct bitter note that complements the sweetness of other vegetables like potatoes, drumsticks, and pumpkin. This is a special summer dish and is served with steamed rice.  

  • Luchi-Cholar Dal  

Nothing can beat the fondness of Bengalis they have for luchi and cholar dal. Luchi is a deep-fried puffed bread made from refined flour which is a staple accompaniment to Cholar Dal, a sweet and savoury lentil curry. The dal is cooked with chana dal, coconut, raisins, and a blend of spices. The addition of coconut imparts a sweetness to the cholar dal. The combination of luchi and cholar dal makes a comforting meal that is enjoyed during festive occasions and celebrations.  

  • Shorshe Ilish  

Hilsa, is a prized freshwater fish that holds a special position in Bengali cuisine. Shorshe ilish is one of the favourite dish of the Bengalis. To prepare this dish, hilsa fish is marinated in a paste made from mustard seeds paste, green chillies, and turmeric and gently cooked in mustard oil until tender. The sharp and pungent flavours of mustard complement the earthy essence of the hilsa.  

  • Aloo Posto  

This is a simple and flavourful dish that features potatoes (aloo) cooked in poppy seeds paste with a hint of turmeric. The creamy texture of poppy seeds when combined with potatoes creates a comforting and nutritious dish. Aloo posto is enjoyed with steamed rice alongside dal.  

  • Mishti Doi  

Complete your Bengali meal by serving mishti doi which is loved by kids and adults alike. This sweetened yoghurt is made by thickening milk, sugar, and a hint of caramalised sugar or jaggery for flavour. Mishti doi has a creamy texture and subtle sweetness that melts in the mouth. Mishti doi is usually prepared in earthen pots.