8 Dishes Beyond Khichuri In The Traditional Bhoger Thali
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Among the many communal feasts that happen across the regions in India, the bhoger thali served in pandals during Durga Puja has to be one of the famed formal dining rituals that is key to the culture. A reflection of the collective contribution of indigenous communities, the dishes of a traditional feast offering is akin to that of what one would eat at weddings – rice, ghee, fruits, seasonal vegetables, pitha and even meat and game dishes.

Influenced by the Brahmin zamindars’ love for meat and fish, as well as the Mughal influence in West Bengal, the thali is an excellent showcase of the culinary diversity and heritage of the state and its multiple sub-cultures. With the dawn of each century, the dishes that constitute a proper Durga Puja feast have evolved with the times; however, some classic dishes continue to make their presence felt each year, across most pandals where the thali is served. Here are eight iconic old-school dishes beyond khichuri, that you’d find.


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A classic niramish mixed vegetable curry made with a variety of vegetables like potatoes, beans, carrots, cauliflower and peas – the labra is a slow-cooked preparation flavoured with the Bengali five-spice or panch phoron. Typically comprising of fresh autumnal vegetables, this dish is an accompaniment to the khichuri.


A popular telebhaja or deep-fried, batter-coated snack of eggplant slices, the beguni is an accompaniment that is also eaten with khichuri. Usually enjoyed as an evening snack to be had with a cup of tea, the beguni has a crisp coating with a fluffy-soft interior texture from the eggplant.

Chanar Payesh

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A traditional milk pudding, made with chenna or curdled milk, the sweet dish is often times flavoured with cardamom and garnished with chopped nuts. Especially prepared and served during festive occasions, some versions of the payesh also use a rice paste or slurry to achieve a thick, creamy texture.


A unique vegetable dish that pan-roasts the ingredients as they absorb the cooking liquid and begin to char, the chorchori uses vegetables like eggplant, potatoes, French beans and cauliflower. Flavoured with ginger, black mustard or panch phoron, the vegetables cook in a way where they have a grainy texture yet retain their firmness.

Also Read: 

What Makes Bengali Bhoge’r Khichuri So Different And Special?


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Also known as luchui or lusi, luchi is a deep-fried Bengali flatbread made with all-purpose flour. Similar in form to a puri, it is also native to the states of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Tripura. Typically paired with dry vegetable preparations, ghugni or spicy meat curries, these puffy, cream-white flatbreads are fried in ghee to give them an extra richness.

Tomato Chutney

The sweet-tangy condiment made with tomatoes, dates or khejur and amshotto (mango pulp candy), the chutney is a unique syrupy preparation that is served as part of the bhoger thali. Predominantly consisting of sweet flavours, the tang from the tomatoes and the sour candy gives the chutney a complex flavour which is a great blend of nuttiness, sweet, tang and sour flavours.

Mishti Doi

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A sweet yoghurt preparation with caramel flavoured undertones from the jaggery, the mishti doi is one of the most popular Bengali sweets. The interesting combination of the sourness from the yoghurt as well as the deep caramel from the jaggery gives this creamy, jelly-like yoghurt delicacy a rich and luxurious mouthfeel.


What chhole-bhature is to Delhi, rosogulla is to West Bengal – the iconic sweetmeat of dumplings made with milk solids and cooked in a thin sugar syrup is not just an integral part of the everyday culinary culture of the state, but also enjoyed by everyone during the festive season. These soft and juicy morsels are also sometimes made with jaggery, to give it a deep golden appearance and caramel flavour.