Tag Archives: Food

Durga Puja special: Recipe of Bhapa Aloo, a mouth-watering Bengali veg dish

Written by: Samhati Bhattacharjya

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Source: Representational Image from MixandStir

Durga Puja, the biggest festival of the Bengalis, is around the corner and what’s better than having a fulfilling traditional meal during the festive season. This period is a foodie’s paradise with plenty of mouth-watering dishes to savour. Be it snacks or sweets, lunch or dinner, Bengali dishes have something to offer all food enthusiasts.

However, many non-Bengalis, especially who are vegetarians, feel that there isn’t enough variation of Bengali cuisine when it comes to vegetarian food. Well, that’s not the case. Bengalis are known for their love for fish, but at the same time they have some super delicious vegetarian dishes as well.

A regular meal in a Bengali household consists of at least two kinds of vegetarian dishes: a fried vegetable dish and a vegetable curry every day. Shukto, Dhokar Dalna, Alu Posto, Lau Ghonto are a few of those mouth-watering vegetarian dishes that the Bengalis have mastered in. But, if you are willing to try something new from the wide array of Bengali vegetarian dishes, then here is a simple yet delicious recipe of Bhapa Aloo (Steamed Potato) that will surely leave you longing for more.

Recipe:

Preparation Time – 10 min

Cooking Time – 40 min

Ingredients:

200 gm small potatoes

2 tsp mustard oil

1/2 tsp Bengali five spice mixture (panchphoron) (whole jeerasaunf seeds, fenugreek seeds, black mustrad seeds and kalaunji)

1/2 tsp mustard paste

1 tsp hung curd

3/4 tsp desiccated coconut paste

2 dry red chillies

Pinch of green chilli paste

Pinch of turmeric powder

Salt to taste

Dash of lime juice

2 banana leaves

Procedure:

1. Peel the potatoes and par boil them in salted water. Once the potatoes are boiled, drain the water and keep those aside.

2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and add the five spice mixture on to it. Then break the red chillies in half and add them next in the oil. Stir the spices around till they splutter.

3. Then pour this mixture over the potatoes and put it aside.

4. Next take a mixing bowl and prepare a marinade with the mustard paste, curd, coconut paste, green chilli paste and turmeric powder. Do not forget to whip it well.

5. Gently mix the potatoes into this marinade. Add salt and lime juice to it and mix it again.

6. Finally, put the potatoes on a steel plate, cover those with the banana leaves and steam them for about 6-8 minutes. Once the potatoes are perfectly steamed, serve it hot on a platter. You can have this dish with both rice and chapati.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bengal beyond ‘Rosogolla’: Top 10 most popular Bengali sweets

Written by: Samhati Bhattacharjya

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Source: Pixabay

Bengal is known for its rich culture, traditions and especially for its finest delectable delicacies, which obviously includes the huge variety of sweets. However, despite having so many varieties of desserts, the image of Bengali sweets is stuck at Rosogolla, Mishti Doi and Sondesh. This is exactly why, we have decided to list down the top 10 popular and most delicious Bengali sweets that one should try apart from Rosogolla and Mishti Doi. Moreover, Durga Puja is just round the corner and it would be the perfect timing to indulge into some sinfully delicious treats.

1. Kheer Kadam

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Source: MixandStir

Kheer Kadam is made by encasing a dry rasgulla or rosogolla (smaller than the usual one), coated first with khoya, which is then dusted with grated dried khoya. It has got its name after Kadamba, a ball-shaped flower with tiny white petals that point in all directions. One can simply pop the whole sweet at one go and relish the taste of both khoya and rosogolla simultaneously.

2. Sita Bhog

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Source: Google

Sita Bhog has mass appeal all over India and that itself boasts how amazing this sweet is. This milk based dish resembles rice vermicelli served with tiny balls of gulab jamun that will easily melt in your mouth. Not convinced? Trust me, you’ve to try it to believe it.

3. Mihidana

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Mihidana is often referred to as the micro-cousin of the traditional Boondi. It is derived from two separate words: ‘Mihi’ meaning ‘fine’ and ‘Dana’ meaning grain. The light golden colour of Mihidana will make your heart melt, just like that.

4. Labanga Latika

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Source: BongCook
Labanga Latika is the hallmark of Bengali tradition. This sweet is made up of khoya, maida, grated coconut, cardamom, ghee and nuts and it’s artfully folded into an envelope shape and sealed with a clove. Later, it is fried in ghee, and soaked in thick sugar syrup to give that extra edge of sweetness to it.

5. Chhanar Jilipi

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Source: GoBengal

This deep fried sweet is made of paneer, khoya and maida and soaked in sugar syrup (flavoured with cardamom). Chhanar Jilipi tastes the best if served warm after heating it for a few seconds.

6. Shorbhaja

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Source: Google

Most people have immense love for deep fried sweets, and when it comes to Shorbhaja, sweet lovers simply can’t resist it. Shorbhaja is entirely from condensed milk which has been deep fried. Its preparation is a tedious process but the final result is absolutely worth the effort.

7. Patishapta

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Source: Google

Patishapta, also known as crepes or ‘pitha’,  is the most popular among all the pithas. It’s actually a rice flour crepe with coconut and jaggery fillings. Patishapta is preserved for Makar Sankranti, and is always made at home. The delicious softness of the crepe and the sweet filling inside makes it one of the best things that you’ll ever have. In some cases, Patishaptas are also served with a bit of sweet thickened milk on top of the roll, making it super yummy.

8. Pantua

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Source: MixandStir
Pantua is very similar to Gulab Jamun. The delicious and heart-warmingly rich paste is made from khoya, channa and flour, which is later made into many medium-sized balls that are deep fried, soaked in sugar syrup and then flavored by cardamom.

9. Langcha

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Source: MixandStir
Langcha belongs to the same family of Pantua, the only difference is that the former is cylindrical and latter is circular in shape. To be true to this sweet, you have to call it Shaktigarh-er Langcha, because it’s credited to have originated from this town in Burdwan district of West Bengal. Coming to its taste, this langcha is super delicious.

10. Joynogorer Moa

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Source: BongHaat

This sweet is made from date palm jaggery, puffed rice and clarified butter (ghee), and cardamom. Moa is particularly available in winter because both the puffed rice and the jaggery belong to that season. However, nowadays these are also available during Durga Puja. Joynogorer Moa is often topped with a raisin or two that adds on to the flavor of this sweet ball.

I am curvy and I know it: The diary of a fat girl

Written by: Angana Sen Gupta

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Source: Google

“Bhaiya next parathe main thora ghee zyada dalna. Aaj kal aap bade kanjusi kar rahe ho.”

Yes, that’s me fighting for that extra spoon of ghee like every other day and also witnessing those curious stares all filled with one simple question: Are you kidding me woman?

The reason being very simple. I am a 24-year-old, over weight girl, who is least concerned about her scales, rather is more concerned about her taste buds and do not like to deprive them from the simple joy of life which is food.

Since childhood, I have been this fat little chubby girl who would roam around talking to every other person she met.  As time passed, thanks to my father’s genes, not only was I broad and fat, to add on to it I became really tall. Hence, now is a ‘gigantic’ figure.

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Source: Google

I have never been very concerned about my figure but thanks to our society, more than me they show all kinds of concern. My parents were always asked: “Is she suffering from thyroid?” “Have you tried consulting a dietician for her?” “Does she only eat and do no physical exercise?” “Why don’t you try making her a bit concerned about her figure?” “She is a girl, who will marry her if she remains fat like this?” etc. and the list never ended. Obviously, my parents did get affected and they tried everything possible to make me thin. But unfortunately, all their efforts went into the drains.

Not only this. Every fat person has experienced certain things in life, from shopping to travelling. For example, when you go out shopping, your size availability becomes a headache because you don’t have the perfect hourglass figure according to the societal norms. Travelling in a public transport? From the time you take the bus till the time you get down, those eyes constantly look at you and think is she sitting on two seats and paying for one. In fact, if your luck is really bad then an auto driver may even reject you or ask you to sit exactly in the middle so that the auto does not topple down.

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Source: Google

And yes thanks to our media, who have successfully materialized woman to such an extent that, if you are fat you automatically become untouchable or someone with whom you cannot be noticed. A girl should be typically thin. If you are fat, you are either sympathized or looked down upon no matter how hardworking or talented you might be.

The worst scenarios happen when a fat woman wants to get married and that too in a typical arrange marriage structure. As it is, according to Indian culture a girl’s family is never to demand anything on top of that if the girl is fat, it’s like the end of the world for her parents. I have a simple question to all the would-be- groom’s mothers. Is your son even a good human being owing to the recent scenarios of rapes and bride killing for dowry, that you come to a girls house, sit, eat and then humiliate her and her family only because she is fat?

According to recent studies, over 55% of obese people have higher chances of falling prey to acute depression. In our culture, thin is equal to beautiful and being overweight can lower self-esteem, a known trigger for depression. This results in anxiety, low performance, and a greater number of reported suicide attempts.

Thus, the girl you just called fat might be starving to death just to fit into the group. The woman you just rejected from the job might have a family that she needs to support. The girl who was not given the opportunity to give the presentation only because she was not presentable enough has spent nights sleepless just to make the perfect slide.

Obesity can be from various reasons and it is something which is curable. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. Judging someone by their size only reflects your mindset. No one is perfect. Just try accepting people as they are and this you never know might save some one’s life as well.