Bhoot Chaturdashi 2023: The Ritual And Recipe Of Choddo Shaak
Image Credit: Choddo Shaak | Instagram - @sandy_androgyny

Bhoot Chaturdashi, also known as Narak Chaturdashi, is a significant Hindu festival that falls on the fourteenth day of the waning moon in the month of Kartik. This festival is celebrated with great fervour, unique rituals and enthusiasm in West Bengal and other parts of India. The festival falls right before Diwali and Kali Pujo, on the day of Chhoti Diwali. It is believed to be the night when ancestral spirits visit their descendants on Earth, and rituals are performed to protect the living from malevolent spirits.

Bengali community celebrates bhoot chaturdashi in a unique manner. Bhoot here does not mean spirits, but the past. Ancestors from the past come to visit us on this day. Houses are lit up wth 14 diyas, signifying 14 generations. These diyas are lit up to guide the ancestors to see their predecessors and for them to guide and bless the latter. Another ritual is cooking choddo shaak or 14 leafy greens. Here is TV personality Sakshi Tanwar cooking it.

Credits - The EPIC Channel

The Significance of Choddo Shaak:

It is said that during Bhoot Chaturdashi, the portal between both worlds open and spirits come to visit the earth. While 14 diyas guide the ancestors to their homes, it is believed that choddo shaak, a traditional Bengali dish, plays a pivotal role during Bhoot Chaturdashi. It is a preparation made from a variety of leafy greens, which totals to 14 different types. The choice of greens is symbolic, as they are believed to improve your immunity and help your body fight the malevolent spirits that enter the earth.

The dish is prepared with great care, typically involving mustard oil and panch phoron, a Bengali spice mix with 5 types of gota moshla or whole spices.. It is served as a part of the Bhoot Chaturdashi meal to ensure that the family remains healthy and protected. These are the 14 leafy greens usually added to the mix:

  • Kolmi
  • Shushni
  • Laal
  • Palak
  • Methi
  • Punka
  • Kumro
  • Lao
  • Paat
  • Brahmi
  • Mulo
  • Helencha
  • Sorshe
  • Pui
  • Sojne

Recipe for Choodo Shaak:

Recipe - Lav's Kitchenette


  • 500g mixed greens, usually 14 different types mixed together
  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon panch phoron
  • 2-3 green chililes, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash the mixed saag thoroughly, remove the stems, and chop them into bite-sized pieces.
  • Heat mustard oil in a pan until it starts to smoke. Reduce the heat and add panch phoron.
  • Add the sliced green chillies and sauté for a minute.
  • Add the chopped amaranth leaves and stir well.
  • Sprinkle turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and salt. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
  • Cook the greens on medium heat until they wilt and become tender, which should take about 15-20 minutes.
  • Once the greens are cooked, adjust the seasoning, and serve the choodo shaak hot with steamed rice and ghee.