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Bhut chaturdoshi and Choddo Shak - 14 Greens ritual

Bhut chadurdoshi and Choddo Shak - 14 Greens ritualBhut chadurdoshi and Choddo Shak - 14 Greens ritual Green Gaga By , published by Prasadam: October 22, 2014Tomorrow is Kali puja. On this day the Mother, the Goddess of Strength [Shakti], the source of all, the universal principle of energy, power or creativity is worshipped and this is also known as the famous Festival of Lights - Diwali. By Diwali I remember that in the market today, alongside large displays of fire crackers, lined up wicker baskets full of green herb is to be found too. In no time I had decided and amassed with lots of health arrived there. Truely, it is a rare opportunity to have so many rare edible green vegetables available in the market in Kolkata these days.

According to our forefathers this is the time at the end of the monsoons when people should start eating herbs in Bengal. I still wonder how much have we progressed or advanced or modernized from our forefathers. Man has left behind a wonde…

Thankuni Pata Bata and Drink

Thankuni Pata Bata and Drink
Thankuni Pata Bata - Mandukaparni/Brahmi Booti Paste
Centella asiatica Bengali: থানকুনি Thankuni
Sanskrit: Mandukaparni
In Bangladeshi cuisine Thankuni bata is eaten with rice and is popular for its medicinal properties.
s Thankuni Pata Bata recipe mandukaparni brahmi booti Centella asiatica

By Barnali Dutta
Published 12/19/2013

Prep time: 00:10 | Cook time: 00:05 | Total time: 00:15 | Yield: 2 servingsIngredients Ingredients: Thankuni pata/ Centella leaves, 2 bunches about 100 g Green chilies 2 Kalo jeera (onion seeds), 1 tsp Salt to taste Oil 1 tspA pinch of sugar to balance the tasteInstructions: Take the leaves from bunches (you can use whole leaves with stigma). Wash and clean thoroughly and keep in a big bowl of lukewarm water for 5 minutes. Take out leaves from water, do not strain, use your hand and remove leaves from water carefully.Though thankuni is usually not attacked by pets and diseases of serious nature, but this a small,…

Mutton Rezala Recipe

Sabir's Mutton Rezala Recipe Sabir's Mutton Rezala Recipe By , published by Prasadam: October 13, 2014Mutton Rezala with Paratha is the most desirable dish during the festive season of our family due to its comparitively low richness, the fact which has set our mind free to eat sufficient red meat once in a year in the tropical geographical climatic region like Kolkata. The word 'rezala' stands for "khoobsurat" meaning beautiful. In reality the beauty of this highly popular Mughal dish Rezala [lamb or goat meat in a thin yogurt sauce] can only be understood by those who have tasted it from the menu of Sabir's Hotel. This eatery situated at 3 and 5 Biplabi Anukul Chandra Street, Chandni Chowk metro station, kolkata acquainted the Bengali cuisine in the year 1948. Said Sabir Ali from the state of Uttar Pradesh came to Kolkata in search of earnings. While working for a daily meal eatery where he used to make tikia and paratha he conceived th…

Fries and Fritters


Basic Bengali cooking culture has now truly subsided as a spiritual exercise or custom while celebrating special occasions with collective interests for shabeki ranna - সাবেকি রান্না (cooking food following traditions with authenticity)

I have sought to move beyond the notion of tradition as now a day the tradition needs to be understood as a cultural practice connected with the culturally diversified locality as well as modernity. Every second door where I live in Kolkata has a family either immigrant from the same cultural environment, recognized as ghoti - ঘটি or bangal - বাঙ্গাল (after partition) though now mixed and matched with the identity or sharing the neighborhood with the intercountry migrated deep-rooted different cultural peoples of India. So availability of food also diversified and compromised because of the market economy.

So called Bangals (বাঙ্গাল) of West Bengal who left a riverine country now "Bangladesh" with 800 rivers and 265 freshwater fish species, felt themselves proud while expressing the elaborate fish concerned meals from starter to sour with rice, today, satisfy their meals with different, subtle items.


Fish head fry - Macher muro bhaja

Published: 18 Dec, 2013

People of Bengal observe a ritual of serving whole head piece of fish to their daughters only for the ceremony of last meal before marriage (ai buro bhat) at their parent's home and for daughter in law's welcome lunch (bou bhat) at their in-laws home. Fish symbolizes prosperity and fertility as well as acts as brain food. Otherwise the Bengali fish feeding principal is to show affection and love to their men (master of the family), favorite person in the family especially their son, respected guest or kutumb and jamai (son-in-law). People are honored by simply placing the fish head on the platter, and somehow tend to impress the person by Bengaliness. Ladies in the family has to be most attentive when serving food. Fish head is held in such high esteem that at the first rice ceremony of young children annaprashan (there was no such ritual for girls those times), even babies are presented with a cooked fish head, though they do not eat it, for its auspicious nature.

There are taboos over eating fish. The Bengali believes, like Eskimos that the fish head adds to his grey matter and the children are given fish eyes to eat so that their eyes may become bright and clear.


Rui fish head, salt and turmeric, whole red chili


Wash the fish head, discard the gill and wash again thoroughly.  Sprinkle a little salt and turmeric on the fish head and set aside. Heat sufficient oil in a deep frying pan, add 2 to 3 whole red chillies, fry until crisp and remove from pan. When the oil is hot, place the fish head in the pan, turn carefully and brown on all sides, remove from pan.


In this section of the food items – Fries and Fritters, Bengalese usually show interest in cooking telebhaja like pakoras rather than bhaja with rice flour (pituli gola - পিটুলি গোলা) - every time supplemented with besan or gram flour because of the easily availability of the besan, I am trying to recall some old recipes as well as Portuguese-influenced fried item like croquettes, homemade fries, which never can be as delicious as kolkata street foods - sinfully delicious fries, fried in repeated usage of the same oil. Besides these fries as a side dish can be served as alternatives for evening snacks or as finger foods for a tea party.

chicken pakora fish chips fish chips

Chicken pakora, fish chips and kochu bhaja

mochar chop prawn fritters topse machh fry

Mochar chop, prawn fritters and topse machh bhaja