Kali Puja 2023: 5 Bengali Dishes To Prepare On This Festival
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Diwali is around the corner, and we are all set to celebrate the festival. In most parts of the country, people worship Goddess Lakshmi, but in Bengal, Orissa, and Assam, this occasion is known as Kali Pujo. On the night of Kali Chaudas, Maa Kali is worshipped with several rituals and offerings, and the devotees seek her blessings to get success and remove all the evils from their lives.

As per the Hindu calendar, Kali Puja is observed on the new moon day in the month of Kartik, and this year it takes place on November 12. On this day, just like Diwali, a special bhog is offered to Maa Kali, and then it is distributed among people as prasad. If you are also planning to organise Kali Puja with your family this time, here are the top five Bengali recipes you can prepare for this festival:

Bhoger Khichuri

Bhoger khichuri, or Niramish khichuri, is known as the maha prasad of Kali Puja. This traditional Bengali one-pot dish is prepared with moong dal, rice (mainly gobinobhog), spices, and vegetables like cauliflower, peas, potatoes, and tomatoes. After offering it to the deity, this khichuri is distributed as prasad among the devotees. 

Niramish Mangsho

Niramish mangsho, or mutton, is a unique Bengali mutton dish traditionally offered to Goddess Kali using sacrificial goat meat. To maintain its purity for the deity, the dish is prepared without onion and garlic, earning it the 'niramish' or vegetarian tag among Bengalis. This preparation is somewhat akin in spirit to Kashmiri rogan josh, relying solely on ground spices without onion or garlic. It's best made with meat from a small sacrificial goat.

The term 'niramish' intriguingly translates to 'non-meat' in Bengali, emphasising that 'amish' (flesh) is the default word, with 'not' prefixed to it for the term 'vegetarian.' Commonly referred to as 'vegetarian mutton,' this dish is a significant part of Kali Puja bhog, prepared with curd and various whole and ground spices, despite its lack of onion and garlic.

Chhanar Payesh

Chhanar payesh is a delicious Bengali dessert that is prepared from cottage cheese. This pudding is made by cooking paneer in condensed milk, full cream milk, and cardamom powder. It is also garnished with dry fruits to make it more delicious. This mouth-melting dessert can be prepared in less than an hour.

Bhapa Sandesh

This is another classic Bengali dessert you can prepare on Kali Puja. Made with very few ingredients like full cream milk, sugar, vinegar, powdered sugar, and cardamom powder, it is also flavoured with saffron strands. Bhapa sandesh has a very soft and smooth texture along with a lip-smacking taste. Use cow milk for the best results.

Labra Torkari 

This is another vegetarian dish that is prepared on the occasion of Kali Puja. Labra torkari is a hearty and healthy Bengali delight that includes a lot of vegetables, such as cauliflower, pumpkin, carrots, peas, and potatoes. It is also seasoned with grated coconut and a little sugar. You can pair it with your bhoger khichuri.