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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…

Geri gugli

Clam and snail recipe - Geri gugli

Traditional clam and snail recipe - Bengali dish

By Barnali Dutta Published: January 10, 2014

Have you ever tasted ‘geri-gugli’? Clam or mussels nowadays are generally considered to be unpalatable to sophisticated people, though the native peoples in India ate them extensively, easily available in the numerous ponds and rivers banks. It is so tasty, personally, whenever I go to a local market my eyes are always searching for them.

Edible clams, are often more or less rounded or oval. In Bengal it is called geri gugli. Clams are eaten more in the coastal regions of India, especially in the Konkan, Kerala, Bengal, and Karnataka regions. In Konkan region Clams are used to cook curries and side dishes, like Tisaryachi Ekshipi, which is clam with one shell on. Clams or shellfish are locally called chipchip and local fishermen sell those in rural markets and is a food for poor families. During rainy season in Bengal these are what poor people have to depend on when they cannot get rice or bread.  They have to survive on Shapla, Shaluk, (water lily) Shamuk (snails), geri, gugli (water-borne worms). It is tasty, containing nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus.

As with all shellfish, except shrimp, mussels should be checked to ensure they are still alive just before they are cooked; enzymes quickly break down the meat and make them unpalatable or poisonous after dying or uncooked.


Fish Pickle

Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 15 min | Total time: 45 min

Yield:  4 servings | Serving size: 1 tablespoon spoon Calories per serving: _


  • Salt-free fermented fish pickle (Puthi Shidol): 2 to 3 tsp

  • Clams or snails: 250g

  • Minced garlic: 8 to 10 cloves

  • Chopped onion : 1 big

  • Grated ginger: 1 tsp

  • Green chillies: 4 to 5

  • Mastard oil: 2 tbsp

  • Turmeric and red chili paste: 2 tsp

  • Bengali garam masala - pounded cloves: 3 to 4green cardamom: 3 to 4 cinnamon: 1 inch

  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing: 2 tsp

  • Banana leaves 6" x 6"


1. First wash and cleanse the clams/snails thoroughly and immerse it completely in water. If any clams float or open up discard them.

2. Now boil the clams which were immersed in water in fresh water. The clams which DO NOT OPEN, discard them. Strain the water.

3. Take the flesh off the clams/snail.

4. Now heat oil on a flat pan and fry chopped onion until brown, then add garlic, ginger, red and green chilies paste, turmeric, salt and 1 tsp sugar. fry until oil oozes out.

5. Add fish pickle and fry another 5 minutes.

6. Now add garam masala. Let it cool down for some time.

7. Take the banana leaf, put the whole thing in the leaf and make a pouch.

8. Put the leaf pouches on a grill on low flame and roast them for 5 to 10 min. Turn them occasionally.

9. Let the leaf burn a bit as it will hold the right taste only then..

10. Open the banana pouch garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

11. Serve the curry with plain rice or fermented rice (amani or panta bhat).


In Bengal, the diet of rural people are based on mostly indigenous, local crops and livestock. Even poor people would have a small plot of land, a small pond, 1 or 2 cows, 4 to 5 hens, 2 to 3 goats, and a few ducks as assets. They would have a kitchen garden system which is less energy intensive and eco friendly. No fertilizer is needed. They can always maintain their own livelihood systems.


My kids were amazed while hearing the detailed story of the livelihood from my parents. While talking about changes of food habits my 80 years old father would say, “See, how straight I walk. This is only because I consumed pure food and breathed clean air!” Now it seems difficult to believe because we have reshaped nature according to our necessity. We never bothered about what will happen in future and now due to globalization we have adopted global foods so our natural vegetations are also neglected.


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