Poila Baisakh: Celebrate Bengali New Year With These 13 Dishes
Image Credit: Kosha Mannghso

Every place has its unique way of celebrating the New Year, and West Bengal is no exception to that. The state of West Bengal celebrates its New Year or Poila Baisakh in April every year, and it is a time of great joy, festivity, and feasting. Poila Baisakh marks the beginning of the Bengali calendar, and people across the state welcome the new year with traditional dishes that are prepared with great care and love.  

Significance of Poila Baisakh  

Poila Baisakh is an auspicious day in Bengali culture and one of the most significant festivals celebrated in West Bengal. Poila Baisakh is celebrated on the first day of Baisakh, which usually falls on the 14th of April. The day is celebrated with various rituals and festivities, and food plays an essential role in this celebration.  

Bengalis are known for their love of food, and Poila Baisakh is a perfect occasion to showcase their culinary skills. The traditional dishes that are prepared during this time are not just delicious; they also have a deep cultural significance.  

Let's take a look at some of the special foods and dishes that are prepared to celebrate Poila Baisakh:  

Luchi and Cholar Dal 

Cholar Dal is a popular Bengali dish that is prepared with chana dal (split Bengal gram), where the lentils are cooked in a spicy gravy made with coconut, ginger, and cumin. Cholar Dal is served with Luchi, a deep-fried bread that is made with maida (refined flour). It is a popular dish during Poila Baisakh and is usually served with Alur Dom (potato curry) or Shukto. It is relished during the Bengali New Year and is a perfect combination that is fit for any lavish celebration.  

Mishti Doi 

Mishti Doi is a famous dessert in West Bengal and is made of sweetened yogurt. It is a thick and creamy dessert that is loved by the Bengali people. Mishti doi is known for its unique taste and is an essential dish that is included in the Bengali New Year’s feast.  


Shukto is a vegetable dish that is prepared with a variety of vegetables, such as bitter gourd, raw banana, eggplant, potato, and drumstick. The vegetables are cooked in a gravy made of milk and spices such as cumin, ginger, and mustard. Shukto is served as a side dish during the main meal, has multiple health benefits, and is essential for a balanced diet during the summer.  


Payesh is a rice pudding that is an essential dish during any celebration in Bengal. It is made of rice, milk, and sugar and garnished with nuts and raisins. It is a perfect dessert for any occasion and a must-have dish during the Bengali New Year.  

Alur Dom 

Alur Dom is a spicy potato curry that is cooked in a tomato-based gravy. The potatoes are first fried and then cooked in the gravy along with spices such as cumin, coriander, and garam masala. Alur Dom is usually served with Luchi or Puri.  


Rasgulla is a popular Bengali sweet that is made with chenna (cottage cheese) and dipped in sugar syrup. It is a favorite dessert during Poila Baisakh and is served at the end of the meal.  

Here are a few more special foods cooked during Poila Baisakh:  

Bhapa Ilish, a classic Bengali dish made with Hilsa fish, which is marinated in mustard, coconut, and green chili paste, and then steamed. 

Aloo Posto, a simple yet delicious dish made with potatoes and poppy seed paste. It is a traditional Bengali vegetarian dish and is usually served with steamed rice. 

Kosha Mangsho, a spicy Bengali mutton curry made with a blend of spices, onions, and tomatoes. It is a favorite dish during the New Year. 

Patishapta, a traditional Bengali dessert made with rice flour, coconut, and jaggery. It is a sweet pancake that is stuffed with a sweet coconut filling. 

Chomchom, a sweet made from chenna (cottage cheese) and is similar to rasgulla. It is soaked in sugar syrup and is a popular dessert during Poila Baisakh. 

Chingri Malaikari, a famous Bengali dish made with prawns cooked in a coconut-based curry. 

Sandesh, a popular sweet made from chenna (cottage cheese) and sugar. 

These dishes are not only tasty but also have cultural significance as they connect the people of Bengal to their roots. So, if you ever get a chance to visit West Bengal during Poila Baisakh, do not miss the opportunity to try these delicious dishes and experience the vibrant culture of the state.