When talking about wedding food, Bengali weddings cannot be missed at all
Weddings in India are a celebration. They are a joyous occasion like no other. The inter-mingling of two families, who come with their own set of beliefs, ideas and expectations is simply mesmerizing to watch. But what is as fascinating as the multiple rituals of the wedding is the amazing food that comes with it. Indian weddings are a week-long fiesta with good food, good memories and the inevitable criticism over the food. But that is what makes our wedding season so special.
When talking about wedding food, Bengali weddings cannot be missed at all. Bongs love to eat and that is reflected in the kind of food that they eat and serve during wedding functions. Packed with amazing non-vegetarian options, the menu also has ample choices for vegetarians. There is no doubt that with the advent of glamourized wedding culture, the typical Bengali menu has been tweaked a little in favour of modern dishes, prepared with a twist. But the true essence of a Bengali wedding is only complete when you have authentic dishes that make you want to say, “khoob bhalo hoyeche khabar”.
Here are some of the dishes without which a Bengali wedding is incomplete.
Maacher Maatha Bhaaja
Fish is believed to be extremely lucky in a Bengali household. So, whenever an auspicious ceremony like a wedding is held, fish is devoured. In a ritual called the bou bhaat, where the newly wed bride feeds her new family, the dish that is of prime importance is the Maacher maatha bhaaja. It is nothing but the huge head of a Katla or rui fish, deep fried. It is seen as a harbinger of happiness and a blissful new journey for the married couple.
Usually, the most favourite flat bread item on a Bengali’s plate is luchi. But come the wedding season, crispy kodaishutir kochuri becomes the number one favourite. These thick kachoris, made with maida and a wholesome stuffing of spicy, mashed matar, are a joy to have with mutton kosha – the ultimate non-vegetarian guilty pleasure of Bengal.
There is something about the pulao of Bengal that makes it so unique from the rest of the variations of the dish and that something is the sweet flavour of it. Bashonti pulao is sweet, yet that flavour is not overwhelming. It goes well with spicy gravies and the fried raisins and cashews create a happy havoc in your senses.
Like we discussed, no Bengali wedding can be completed without fish and if maacher maatha is the essential, then iilish is the luxury end of that spectrum. Made in a deliciously thick mustard gravy, shorshe iilish is the best accompaniment to piping hot bhaat.
When we talked about Bengali weddings having ample vegetarian options, the flagbearer of that has to be the beloved sukto. This slightly bitter, slightly sweet gravy dish is unlike anything you must have tried before. Made with a lot of vegetables, including the infamous karela, sukto will make you want to lick your plate, if that were possible.
Any discussion about a Bengali wedding is incomplete without mentioning the star dessert mishti doi. If you have not had a bhaad of mishti doi from Kolkata, you are missing out on tasting what heaven in a scoop tastes like. Slightly reddish in colour and silky smooth in texture, mishti doi is the best possible dessert you can serve the guests at the wedding.
These dishes make Bengali weddings fun and unique. They are authentic, delicious and if you have gathered yourself a crowd of passionate Bengalis, then they are a sure-shot audience favourite.