Bengali Gondhoraj Culinary Fares: A Full-Course Meal
Image Credit: Gondhoraj lebu Bengali dishes, Image Source: earthycooking

Bengali cuisine has a special sentiment for gondhoraj lebu or the kaffir lime, makrut or Mauritius papeda. This oblong-shaped lime or lebu (as called in Bengali) is lavishly used in an array of Bengal's regional delicacies. One of the humblest ways to enjoy this flavourful lime is to squeeze it on a plate of steaming hot rice smeared with desi ghee and let its aroma hit the sensory organs. That's just the beginning! Bengalis can cook an entire full-course meal, including beverages with Gondhoraj lebu. So, if you are in for a citrus tweak to your Diwali festive spread, try these Gondhoraj lebu Bengali dishes. 

Gondhoraj Lebu Ghol

As the name suggests, it can be the perfect drink to start your meal. It requires one gondhoraj lemon juice, 1/2 cup curd, 1 cup water, 1-2 tablespoons of sugar and black salt to taste. Whisk the curd briskly and slowly keep adding the water to thin its consistency once it turns smooth. Add the sugar and stir till it melts. Squeeze one lime juice and add a pinch of black salt. Give it a thorough stir and serve. 

Gondhoraj ghol, Image Source: titlis_homekitchen

Gondhoraj lebu soup

Prepare a nourishing soup with each cup of red and yellow lentils. Wash and soak the lentils. Chop 100 grams of red pumpkin. In a pressure cooker, heat ghee, add 1 cinnamon stick, and five crushed garlic. Fry for a couple of minutes and add one sliced onion. Fry, it turns pink. Add the pumpkin cubes and stir for a while. Add the soaked dals and mix all the ingredients. Add salt and turmeric powder for seasoning. Pour around 3 -4 cups of water and 5 gondhoraj leaves and put the lid on. Cook till it gives 3-4 whistles and reduce the flame. Cook for another 5 minutes. Open the lid once the pressure goes off, and mash all the ingredients with a hand blender. Squeeze one tablespoon of gondhoraj lebu juice and mix the soup. Serve warm or hot. 

Gondhoraj ghol polao

Polao, Image Source: experiencesofagastronomad

Put aside 2 cups of cleaned and drained gobindo bhog rice. To one cup of yoghurt, add one cup of water, then whisk in the gondhoraj lemon juice. Set it apart. Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan, then add 2 tbsp of cashew nuts and raisins. Saute till golden. Take them out.  Add the rice to the same pan and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Pour 2 cups of ghol and 2 cups of warm water. Season with sugar and salt to taste. Include the gondhoraj lebu leaves along with the raisins and cashews. Cook with the lid on over a medium flame until almost all the water has been absorbed. Turn off the flame. Serve the rice hot!

Gondhoraj murgir jhol

Murgir jhol, Image Source: mix-and-stir

Marinate the chicken pieces in yoghurt, kafir lime juice, salt, coriander powder, ginger powder, garlic powder, green chilli powder, and pastes of onion, ginger, and green chillies. Let it soak overnight. Heat oil in a pan; add bay leaf, green cardamom, a cinnamon stick, and black peppercorns. Once they splutter, introduce the marinated chicken. Cook until oil starts to release in the sides. Add sugar to taste. Cook the chicken covered for 10 to 15 minutes or until done. Turn off the heat and add kafir lime leaves and 4 whole green chillies. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Serve with rice. 

Gondhoraj lebu misti doi

Whisk yoghurt and condensed milk together in a bowl. When there are no lumps, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk powder and mix thoroughly. Add the juice and zest of gondhoraj lebu. Pour the contents into ceramic serving bowls. Equally, distribute the yoghurt, and tap each bowl a few times. In each bowl, add some of the lime's zest. Add gondhoraj lebu leaves as a garnish. Refrigerate for 2 hours and serve chilled.