Cook like a Bong Master the Art of Bengali Cuisine Sat, 21 Sep 2019 10:14:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 8454426 Mango Panna Cotta Fri, 14 Jun 2019 19:28:49 +0000 Mango is one of the most widely eaten fruits in Bengal, from green mango dal to luscious ripe mangoes in your milk and rice, mangoes are the king of fruits. I started eating mangoes pretty late, almost when I was 10 years old, but after that it was no going back. Now, I love anything that has mangoes in it.

My son has not really inherited my love for this yummy fruit, so I am trying out new recipes to make him eat mangoes. Panna cotta is a very easy recipes, uses just a few ingredients and it is a fun way to engage the kids during summer vacation, and keep the screen time as less as possible (confessions of a struggling mom!!).

To keep it hassle free I have used mango pulp straight out of a can, I have used kesar mango pulp. You can also use whole ripe mangoes and make it into a smooth pulp in a food processor. Test for the tartness and adjust the sugar.

I have kept the cups in a slanted position during the freezing time just to give it a fun look. You can just keep it straight, and it looks equally pretty, look at the no bake mango cheesecake, don’t they look good?


2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 cups mango pulp

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 packs of gelatin

Mint for garnishing


In a thick bottom pan, heat the whipping cream as it starts simmering add half of the sugar and simmer on low for few minutes more till the sugar dissolves. Take off the heat. Pour a pack of gelatin in a small bowl, dissolve it in 2 tablespoon of the whipping cream, and then transfer the mixture to pot, add the vanilla essence and stir to mix well.

Pour the whipping cream in desired serving bowl, cool down for about 30 minutes then put it in the refrigerator to set. Leave it there for at least an hour

Dissolve the extra pack of gelatin in 2 tablespoon of warm water, and mix it to the mango pulp along with the sugar, stir to mix. Pour this pulp over the set vanilla cream, and transfer to the refrigerator, set for at least an hour.

Serve garnished with mint leaves

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Lau Moong Dal Ghanto Fri, 03 May 2019 01:28:52 +0000 Bottle gourd is the way to keep yourself cool during the heated summer months. As the afternoon suns scorches the outdoors, the cooling effect of bottle gourd is something I always look forward too.

Bottle gourd on its own is tasteless, you have to spice it up with bori or some shrimps, but the whole concoction tastes heavenly. My mom loves to cook bottle gourd, she comes up with a lot of recipes for bottle gourd. But this version of bottle gourd with split yellow moong dal is my favorite. You can add some fried boris to it also if you want.


1 small bottle gourd

2/3 cup yellow split moong dal

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

4-5 green chilies

2-3 bay leaves


Chop the bottle gourd in small pieces. Dry roast the moong dal till they start to brown slightly. Transfer to a bowl and wash till the water runs clear.

Transfer the moong dal and cut bottle gourd in a pot and pour in about 2 cups of water, boil till the gourd is tender, about 10 minutes. Add water if it gets too dry

Mix the ginger paste, turmeric powder,and chili powder in a small bowl with 2 tablespoon of water to make a smooth paste. In a small frying pan heat the mustard oil for tempering, add in the cumin seeds, green chilies. As they start to splutter add in the spice mix. Fry for 1-2 minutes and transfer to the pot.

Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, sprinkle the chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with white rice or roti.

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5 Favorite Dals Wed, 10 Apr 2019 20:09:57 +0000 A Bengali meal without dal is almost as incomplete as a sundae without a topping. Dal, is the vegetarian source of protein. Be it the breakfast cholar dal with hot and fluffy luchis or the wholesome warm masoor dal with white rice, living without dal is hard.

Over the years I have posted a lot of recipes with dal, you can dig in to my Recipes page to find all the recipes. Today’s post is about the most sought after dals in Bengali cuisine.

Cholar Dal – This Bengal gram preparation is the king of all dals, it is best tasted with warm fluffy luchis or if you may there is always the option to dig in with bhaat and beguni.

Plain Masoor Dal – While cholar dal is the most sought after, but when it comes to daily options for dal, nobody can beat the simple yet tasty masoor dal. Masoor dal can be cooked in a lot of ways with onions, without onions, and depending on the whole spices you use, you will have a very different taste to this very simple lentil. Scroll down for more on red lentils.

Moong Dal – Unlike red lentil the yellow split beans are much richer and is prepared mostly for special occasions, a Sunday lunch or may be a family get together. Moong dal is mostly cooked without using onions or garlic. Though I am always a bit biased with moong dal cooked with fish heads .

Tetor Dal – Come summer as the heat spikes to that sweaty temperatures, all the moms have one solution, eat loads of bitter gourd. The best way to get those in your plate is using the dal.

Mango Dal – While talking about dal, we cannot leave out the happiness of mixing the king of fruits, mangoes with dal. The slight tangy taste of green mangoes in the early summer elevates the taste of dal during lunch time.

While there are a varied number of lentils that makes the Bengali diet, matar, kalai and many more, here’s my take on my five favorite dals. Hope you enjoyed the post and comment below on which is your favorite dal.

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Rosh Bora Mon, 21 Jan 2019 18:18:58 +0000 A Bengali meal is incomplete without a dessert or at least a sweet treat at the end. And, sometimes the sweet treat are just to eat for snack, or so if you desire. I have a big sweet tooth and I love every kind of sweets and desserts; if only I didn’t have to count the calories, I can eat sweets all day long.

Poush sankranti or makar sankranti is a big day in the Hindu calendar, it marks the transit of the sun and starting of longer days. Its the day to worship Lord Surya. Every household has their own customs, but mostly its making sweets with the main ingredient being rice flour. I have grown up eating loads and loads of bhapa pithe, patishapta and puli pithe on Shankranti. But this year I decided to break the rule and go with something different.

Rosh bora, the name translates to dumplings in sugar syrup, is made with ground split black gram or urad dal. The lentil is soaked over night and ground to a fine paste. The best way to know that the dumplings will be fluffy is to drop a medium size dollop of the lentil paste in a cup of water and see if it floats.


  • 1 cup urad dal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 8-10 whole cardamom
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 cup water


  • Soak the urad dal overnight. In a food processor grind it to a fine paste, transfer to a bowl and add the fennel, cardamom powder and baking soda, mix and let sit for 10 minutes
  • Mix the sugar and water and heat till you get a very thin syrup
  • Heat the oil in a deep pot, with an ice-cream scoop gradually add the lentil mix to fry. Take it out with a slotted spoon and transfer immediately to the sugar syrup

Tips – Make sure the syrup is not too thick, then the syrup won’t get inside the dumplings, if it so happens, then just pour some more water to the syrup and heat along with the dumplings for about 5 minutes or until the boras are soft

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Doha – A Culinary Haven Tue, 08 Jan 2019 23:06:05 +0000 More than 8000 miles away, and I am still thinking about the fun filled 2 days in Doha, Qatar. It was a small trip while coming back to the US from our vacation in India. It was not really a planned trip, we were traveling by Qatar airways and thought it would be a good idea to travel to a new country. Never did I think it would be such an awesome two days that we are planning to go back again, I learn many cooking techniques and which tools to use like the best kitchen knives you can use in your kitchen, find them in and your time in the kitchen will change for good !

Doha has is a small place if you are thinking of traveling to this Middle Eastern city. Qatar has been chosen as the place for 2022 FIFA World Cup Football and the entire country is getting ready for the mega event.

Its a small country so to speak, you probably would cover almost everything you can see in 2 days, but we took our time and strolled around the foodie heaven, Souq Waqif. Souq Waqif, which literally means “the standing market”, this market had been around for more than a century, but had been destroyed in a fire few years ago and then completely restored in 2008. Souq Waqif is the place to be if you are into world cuisine. There are restaurants from all over the world – Italian, Indian, Turkish, Chinese, you name it and you’ll find it. Along with the big brick and mortar restaurants there are also numerous small street side stalls and vendors selling anything between boiled corn cobs to Turkish ice creams.

When you are in Doha, you must try majboos, apparently its the national dish of Qatar. Majboos is an Arabian recipe made with rice and meat especially lamb. Its quite similar to the Indian biryani but has a tangy taste because of the pickled lemons called loomi and a spice mix called baharat.

And, when in Middle East you must try the kebabs, we tried kebabs from quite a few places around Souq Waqif, but my favorite is the restaurant located inside the souq near the handicraft center, and you have to try their hot flatbreads served complimentary with the kebabs. Also, the fried haloumi cheese, its a semi soft cheese made of sheep and goat’s milk, it is so popular in Doha that you’ll also find it at the MacDonald’s in Doha.

Souq waqif has food every step you take, the Turkish coffee and Turkish ice cream were definitely a fun thing to try out. And, if you are not satisfied with just eating out in Doha, bring some spices and nuts from the numerous spice stores in Souq Waqif.

If you want more from this culinary journey head over to Katara Cultural village in Doha. Katara Cultural Village, as the name suggests is Qatar’s cultural center with many art galleries, souvenir shops, though its still under construction, but there are quite a few restaurants open along with food carts. One such food carts along the Katara beach was selling parathas and I kid you not, it was one of the softest and most moist parathas I have ever had, after they gave me a dessert with nutella inside like a smll type of bread done in a french press it was amazing, since then I had to make them at home so for the tip check out this guide to the Best french press you can find online . If you want to head over to a more posh spot for your dinner, there are fine dining restaurants like the Saffron lounge serving Indian cuisine or the L’wzaar Seafood Restaurant.

A culinary journey cannot be complete without a sweet note, and Qatar has loads to offer in that department too. I would definitely suggest to head over to Nabeel Nafiseh Sweet shop, its also located in Souq Waqif and is hard to miss. They offer a huge variety of Middle Eastern sweets from the well know baklava to the crispy kanafeh made with syrup soaked crispy semolina noodles on top with a sweet cheese in the bottom.

Doha had been an great experience and I would definitely go back for all the food that I could not try because of lack of time.

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Video Post – Beguni Mon, 05 Feb 2018 18:16:45 +0000 Beguni is a street favorite in all over Bengal. The fried eggplant or brinjal are to die for. Here is a video of how to make beguni at home. 

Ingredients – 

1 eggplant/brinjal, sliced very thinly
1 cup besan/ chickpea flour
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nigella (optional)
1 cup water
Oil for frying

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Labra – Bengali Mix Vegetable Curry Wed, 20 Sep 2017 02:22:36 +0000 Durga Puja is less than a week away, I am sure everybody is done with the major part of the Puja shopping or have you already completed it? Mahalaya marks the end of pitri pakshya and the beginning of devi pakshya, it is said, this is the auspicious time of the year – anything you start during this time will definitely be successful. More about Mahalaya and its significance in this funny yet informative post by The Indian Bibliophile.

When it comes to Durga puja, the first thing that comes to mind is the plethora of street food – from phuchka to churmur and rastar aloor dum to egg roll; but what matters most is the freshly made thakurer bhog. I am proud to say that we are the few families in Kolkata who still continue to perform the rituals of the 5 day long puja. This Puja has been continuing in my family for the past 150 years. Nothing has stopped my family in welcoming Maa Durga in our house not even the Indian partition in 1947 when my grandfather crossed the borders of the then East Pakistan to settle in Kolkata, India. Pujor bhog reminds me of my mom painstakingly cooking the auspicious meal for the goddess since the wee hours of dawn, and labra is something I always cherish. 

I had been missing the grandeur of this big festival for the past several years, but when you cannot visit Kolkata you bring Kolkata to your kitchen. Labra  is a very tasty yet simple recipe to prepare. You can add any kind of vegetables you love. I made this recipe with cabbage, cauliflower, radish, sweet potatoes, beans, brinjal and carrots, you can also add drumsticks, thor (banana stem), potatoes, and pumpkin. For the detailed recipe, please click on the video. Hope you enjoy it. 


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Kolkata Streetside Vegetable Cutlet Tue, 19 Sep 2017 05:18:16 +0000 Subho Mahalaya. 

Enjoy the beginning of Durga Puja with this Kolkata street side style vegetable cutlets, or what we loving call in Bengali, chops. You can see the detailed recipe in the video. 


Enjoy the puja, more yummy recipes coming soon

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Guest Post by Jason Galletti Wed, 28 Jun 2017 20:52:51 +0000 Chef Jason Galletti’s passion for exceptional and unique catering experiences inspired him to bring together G`Day Chef to life in 2005. For over ten years now, Jason and his team has provided catering and event services in Melbourne that use the very best Victorian Produce, delivered with consideration of the newest and most delicious culinary trends.

It was a sunny afternoon when our plane landed in Bagdogra. As we descended the aircraft, we were greeted by military helicopters and airplanes. It turns out Bagdogra Airport is a civil cum military airport.

Our first stop in West Bengal was Darjeeling. We stayed in a 5-star hotel which was the only good thing about our stay in Darjeeling. During our two day stay in Darjeeling, we visited several places like the mall road, ghum monastery, Japanese temple and the tiger hill. I do have to admit though that Tiger Hill is a beautiful place to visit if you reach there on time – at dawn. Sadly we were a bit late to arrive at the place, but we still managed to catch a glimpse of the shimmering sunrays.

From what I got to know from the locals, there has been a lot of urbanization recently in Darjeeling which is why the place has lost its charm.

We tried a lot of Indian dishes but what stood out for us were Momos. These dough based steam buns and the accompanying chutney made us cry but in a good way. Both my wife and I love spicy food, and these buns were the ultimate treat you could give to spicy food lovers like us.

Our Next and final stop in West Bengal was Kolkata previously known as Calcutta. As soon as we came out of the airport, we knew this place is going to be fun from the chaos we saw on the roads and streets.

My wife who loves everything Indian bought 9 Sarees from the Burrabazaar. Burrabazaar is the perfect example of the beautiful Chaos India represents. We reached the market taking the metro and got down at the Mahatma Gandhi Road Station. I feel Indian government should build Metro in every city as it is a pain in the butt to travel by the road in India. Okay, keeping my rant aside, let’s talk about Dakshineshwar temple

I loved the ambiance of the Dakshineshwar Kali temple. I know that the local crowd loves goddess Kali, and I could it feel it in the temple. The vibes gave me the chills, to be honest.

As far as food is concerned, I noticed that the food here is remarkably different from Darjeeling which lies in the same state. While Kolkata has an extensive array of sweets, Darjeeling has none at least I could not find any.

Moreover, the Nonvegeterian food is so much better here. I liked Fish Curry the most though. I tried it at Lokahaar which has intricate Bengal handwork on the walls, the colorful, sturdy grass table, and chairs add to to the theme of the restaurant. In fact, I liked the dish so much that I decided to meet the chef to know the secret behind its lip smacking taste. The chef was generous enough to reveal the complete recipe to me!!

We traveled to other cities too and overall we had a great time in India. The food, the culture, the people, everything is simply fantastic.


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Swiss Chard Stir Fry – Laal Saag Bhaja Fri, 05 May 2017 01:39:47 +0000 Fan us on Facebook and Instagram . You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email.

Laal saag or amaranth leaves are the beautiful red colored leafy vegetables you can get in any market in India. It tastes just great stir fried with a few shrimps or even without it. But, even with a lot of searching for the perfect leaves, I could not find the quality in US. So, I resorted to its closest cousin, the Swiss chard. Swiss chard grows well in spring and the best part is they mature in just a couple months. I know this because I grew my own Swiss chard this year in my backyard, and nothing beats the taste of homegrown vegetables. 

My mom makes laal saag in two ways – the vegetarian style with fried onions and boris, or the non-vegetarian style with fried shrimps. Me being the lover for seafood, I resorted to the second version to stir fry the Swiss chard. If you are omitting the shrimps, you can simply add 1/4 cup of sliced onions along with the red chilies in the oil, and then add the chard or laal saag. While serving garnish with some fried bori. 



Laal Saag Bhaja
Serves 4
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
  1. 4 cup swiss chard
  2. 2 teaspoon mustard oil
  3. 2-3 dry red chili
  4. 1/2 small shrimps
  5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  6. Salt to taste
  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a deep bottom wok, sprinkle the shrimps with turmeric powder and salt, fry till they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel and keep for later
  2. In the same wok, temper the oil with the dry red chilies; add the Swiss chard and cover with a lid, stir often till they soften and reduce in volume. Season with salt and add the fried shrimps. Stir fry for another minute.
  3. Serve hot with warm white rice
  1. Make sure you wash the leaves very well, sometimes dirt stick to the bottom of the leaves and the stem.
  2. Don't overcook the shrimps, overcooked shrimps become hard and chewy
Cook like a Bong

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