Different cultures have their way of engraving their practices in their meals; it’s like they take a piece of themselves and mix it with the dish to give it more personality. If you’re visiting Bengal, then missing its finest cuisine is not an option! Here are the best savory traditional Bengali meals you should try!
Bengali Cuisine Ingredients Vocabulary
Before checking out these palatable meals, here are some ingredients you might want to familiarize yourself with. Keep an eye out if you’re allergic to any of them, or you don’t like adding them to your meals.
|Mustard Oil||সরিষা তেল||Shorisha tel|
|Panch Phoron||পাঁচ ফোড়ন||Pānch phoṛon|
|Green Chili||কাঁচা মরিচ||Kānchā morich|
Traditional Bengali Meals: Food To Try Today
Do you want to get the full experience of meals that are served in a Bengali household? There are plenty of restaurants in the country that make authentic-tasting cuisine. Here, we’ll introduce some popular traditional Bengali dishes that you’ll surely look forward to getting once your flight reaches its destination.
1. Aloo Potol Posto
One of the must-try West Bengal foods would be Aloo Potol Posto, a flavorful meal that comes with spices like cumin seeds, poppy seeds, green chilies, and coconut paste. The good news about this dish is that it’s vegetarian-friendly! Its recipe mainly contains ingredients like cubed potatoes, pointed gourd, and mustard oil. Doesn’t the sound of these appeal to vegetarians and non-vegetarians as well?
2. Ilish Macher Jhol
So, when the monsoon hits, everyone’s craving Ilish (Hilsa fish) because that’s when it’s at its prime. The fish gets cooked up in this zesty mustard sauce that’s got a kick but is mellowed down by the fish’s own flavors. They toss in some turmeric, green chilies, and these little nigella seeds. Sometimes, they even add some yogurt or tamarind to give it a bit of a tang.
Most folks love having it with some plain steamed rice. It’s like the comfort food of many Bengali homes. And let me tell ya, biting into Ilish Macher Jhol isn’t just about the taste—it’s like diving headfirst into a rich Bengali tradition!
If you’ve tasted Indian “Puri” and taken a liking to it, then you’ll probably give Luchi the same love; it may even earn a place in your favorite delicacies. This Bengali-style Puri is made with all-purpose flour. It has a flaky and crunchy exterior and a soft interior. This deep-fried Bengali food is also a trip down memory lane, taking some of us back to special occasions like family get-togethers and good times at home.
You might wonder, how is it different from Indian Puri? Well, Puri is mainly made from whole wheat flour, but aside from that, the preparation is pretty much the same. But you can always pick different Bengali curries to pair it with!
4. Mangshor Jhol
Have you come across Mangshor Jhol? It’s this amazing mutton curry from Bengal that’s always a hit at family dinners. Imagine juicy mutton bits slow-cooked in a spicy broth bursting with flavor from all the cool spices. The gravy’s spot on – not too runny, not too thick. Pair it with some rice or those crispy Luchi, and you’re in for a treat. Seriously, next time you’re looking for some soul-warming food, this is your go-to. It’s like comfort in a bowl, especially on those chill-out days.
5. Shorshe Ilish
Bengali people are quite big when it comes to preparing seafood meals. Who wouldn’t be tempted to make the best kinds of fish recipes if you have access to quality freshwater and saltwater fish?
This is a traditional Bengali dish starring the Ilish fish, which is another name for Hilsa. Think of juicy Ilish fish draped in a tangy, spicy mustard gravy that gives your taste buds a delightful kick. Served traditionally with plain rice, it’s the dish that makes rainy days feel special. If you’re ever feeling adventurous with your food choices, Shorshe Ilish is a must-try. This hearty meal will surely have you craving more!
This is a Bengali mixed vegetable stew, but not your typical one. It’s got a hint of bitterness to it, which, honestly, makes it stand out. So, you’ve got stuff like bitter gourd, brinjal, drumsticks, and a couple of other veggies in there. Plus, they throw in some cool spices and sometimes milk or poppy seeds to make it all creamy. It’s different but in a good way.
7. Macher Jhol
Bengali recipes wouldn’t be complete without this traditional Bengali fish meal. It contains tender fish pieces simmering away in a flavorful broth, seasoned with turmeric, green chilies, and a mix of aromatic spices. It’s the kind of dish you ladle over a bed of steaming rice and just lose yourself in. Perfect for both everyday meals and special occasions. If you’re exploring Bengali cuisine, Macher Jhol is the starting point. Trust me, give it a shot, and you’ll see why it’s such a big deal!
Learn Bengali With Ling!
If seeing these delicious dishes makes your stomach go berserk, imagine what could happen if you got a sight of Bengali desserts and traditional sweets? You might search for the nearest Bengali restaurant in your area or book a flight to the country! Let’s not underestimate foodies; they go to great lengths just to get what they want! But before planning the trip, you might want to go the extra mile and learn some words and phrases in Bengali, to overcome the language barrier.
And learning languages doesn’t have to be tedious. You can explore 60+ lexicons with the Ling app today and take gamified quizzes and exercises to remember different words and phrases easily! And if you’re feeling a little productive, you can spend at least 20 minutes of your time daily in the app to improve your retention.