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Bengali Recipes

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Suresh Hinduja


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Bengali Wedding Feast And Bahubhat A Bengali weddin s a midnight celebration and reminiscent of all that is poetic and sentimental. The bride dressed in a red and gold sari, wears a crown of soft white wood and is given vermillion in her hair with ornaments of every variety. The groom too wears his crown and a flowing silk dhoti topped with a kurta. The bride is carried to the marriage altar on the shoulders by her uncles and there is much revelry with conch-blowing and clapping. The wedding feast includes vegetables, rice, puris, meat or chicken, eggs and fish dishes. Fish, considered auspicious by all Bengalis, is a prominent feature of their weddings. Covered with sindoor, a symbolic fish is taken to the wedding ceremonially by the bride's family.The first meal served by the new bride is called bahubhat. This is a time of accepting her with respect in her new family and for her to know her new relatives.The important dishes served are


Ingredients: 1 cup gram flour (besan) <LI>a pinch of orange colour <LI>1 ½ cups sugar <LI>¼ tsp. saffron <LI>1 tsp cardamom powder <LI>1 tbsp sliced almonds and pistachios <LI>ghee as needed Method: Mix flour with enough water to make a batter of drop consistency. Add colour. Heat 2 cups of ghee to very hot. Through a fine sieve drop tiny drops of batter into ghee. When they are just golden, remove and reserve. Prepare a syrup of sugar with one cup water. When the syrup is ready, add the drops, saffron and cardamom powder. Add nuts. Mix well and serve


Ingredients: <LI>3 cups milk <LI>2 cups jaggery <LI>¼ cup curds Method: Heat milk and simmer, stirring constantly till creamy Add jaggery and blend well. Cool While lukewarm, add curds and mix. Pour in a ceramic bowl, cover with a cloth and keep in a warm place. After 4-5 hours, the dhoi will set. Refrigerate when dho s firm.


Ingredients: Serves 6 <LI>4 eggs, hardboiled. peeled. halved lengthwise <LI>5 medium potatoes. boiled, peeled. mashed <LI>2 onions, grated <LI>1 tbsp. ginger-garlic <LI>1 tsp. chilli powder <LI>½ tsp. turmeric powder <LI>1 tsp. gara asala <LI>1¼ cup breadcrumbs <LI>2 tbsps. coriander leaves. chopped <LI>oil for frying <LI>salt to taste Method: Heat 2 tbsps. oil. Add onion. ginger-garlic paste, all powdered masalas and salt. Add breadcrumbs and knead.Shape half eggs of mixture and fit to each half of real eggs. Prepare all eggs thus -half paste half potato mixture. Shallow fry In a pan in hot oil.


Ingredients: Serves 6 <LI>1 k utton, cubed <LI>6 potatoes. peeled <LI>4 onions, chopped, ground <LI>1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste <LI>1 cup curds <LI>1 tsp. turmeric <LI>1 tbsp. chilli powder <LI>1 tbsp. gara asala powder <LI>1 tbsp. sugar 2 bay leaves <LI>1 cup oil <LI>salt to taste <LI>Ground coarsely: 6 peppercorns <LI>1 ½ tsp. aniseed <LI>6 cloves <LI>3 cardamoms Method: Mix meat, curd, chilli, turmeric and gara asala powders. Add ginger-garlic paste, salt and sugar. Reserve for 3 hours. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add whole crushed spices and bay leaves. Add onion paste and brown. Add tomato paste and brown.Add meat with marinade. Brown till oil separates. Add 2 ½ cups hot water, salt if needed and cook slowly till meat is soft.DHO ACCHH Ingredients: Serves 6 <LI>1 kg. Rohufish, cleaned, cubed <LI>1 cup curds <LI>1 ½ tsp. turmeric powder <LI>2 onions, ground to a paste <LI>1 tbsp. garlic paste <LI>1 tbsp. ginger paste <LI>3 tbsps. mustard oil <LI>salt to taste For the gravy: <LI>6 tbsps. mustard oil <LI>1 tsp. sugar <LI>2 bay leaves <LI>8 cloves <LI>4 cardamoms <LI>4 black cardamoms <LI>8 peppercorns <LI>2 pieces cinnamon <LI>6 whole red chillies <LI>salt to taste Method: Mix curd, turmeric powder, ground onion, garlic and ginger. salt and oil. Apply to the fish and keep aside for 3 hours. Heat mustard oil and fry the whole spices. Add sugar and salt to taste. Add the marinated fish and cook till done.


Ingredients: Serves 6 <LI>500 gms. cauliflower. cut into flowerettes <LI>3 large potatoes, peeled. cubed <LI>2 brinjals, stems removed. quartered <LI>200 gms. red pumpkin, peeled, cubed <LI>½ tsp. aniseeds <LI>1 ¼ tsp. cummin seeds <LI>¼ tsp. onion seeds <LI>¼ tsp. fenugreek seeds <LI>¼ tsp. mustard seeds <LI>¾ tsp. turmeric powder <LI>1 tsp. chilli powder <LI>2 green chillies. sliced <LI>2 bay leaves <LI>½ cup mustard oil <LI>salt and sugar to taste Method: Heat oil and add the five kinds of seeds and bay leaves. Add the potatoes and cauliflower and stir fry till slightly brown. Then toss in brinjals, pumpkin, turmeric, chilli powder, green chillies, salt, sugar, one cup of hot water and cook covered till vegetables are done,


Ingredients: <LI>2 cups khoya <LI>4 cups sugar <LI>2 cups paneer <LI>1 tsp baking powder <LI>5 tbsps. pistachios broken coarsely <LI>½ cup rava <LI>1 tsp. cardamom powder <LI>ghee as needed Method: Mix Khoya paneer, rava and baking powder. Knead well. Reserve for 2 hours. Mix sugar with three cups of water and boil. Remove scum as it tops. Add cardamom powder. When syrup is of a one - thread consistency remove. Divide khoya dough into lemon - sized balls. Stuff each centre with pistachios. Heat 2 cups ghee and fry gently till the jamuns are dark brown. Drain out and put in syrup one by one . Add remaining pistachios.


Ingredients: <LI>1 cup green gram ( moong ) dal, without skins <LI>1 tsp. ground ginger and cumin seeds <LI>2 tomatoes chopped <LI>2 bay leaves <LI>½ tsp sugar <LI>½ tsp. turmeric powder <LI>5 tbsps. oil <LI>1 fish head (rohu), cleaned <LI>½ tsp . cumin seeds <LI>salt to taste Method: Rub fish head with a little turmeric and salt. Reserve . Heat 1 tbsp. oil and fry the dal till pink. Add three cups hot water and cook till nearly done. add tomatoes, green chillies. Add sugar, turmeric and ginger, cumin seed paste. Add the salt and boil till blended. Heat 3 tbsps. oil and fry the rohu head well and add to simmering dal. Heat one 1tbsp. oil. Add fenugreek and cumin seeds and bay leaves. When seeds pop, pour over dal.

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