Bengali Breakfast with Luchi

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When it comes to food, there’s no way you can beat a Bengali. Ask anybody who is or knows a Bong and you’ll know how true it is. We Bengalis love to eat and love to feed, so whether its lunch dinner or breakfast – food on the plate has to be grand.

Even though there is a particular inclination towards rice and its different forms, we try to keep it for lunch and dinner only. The day starts with wheat. In my house, the weekday mornings are always a rush. Breads, eggs, milks are generally in the menu. Even though the English breakfast is one of a kind, we have changed it to our own Bengali style English breakfast. The French toasts are not drizzled with powdered sugar or honey, but is fried in a savoury  batter of egg, onions, chillies and mix of spices. Even the scrambled egg has its share of turning more Bong loaded with herbs and spices.

But, when it comes to weekend, there’s nothing better than an authentic Bengali breakfast. And, there cannot be a Bengali breakfast without luchi. Luchi is a close cousin of the North India puri, which is generally made with whole wheat flour or atta. Luchi on the other hand is made with maida to get that light and fluffy golden texture. Maida is also made from the starchy white part of  the wheat grain, and almost resembles the all-purpose flour.

Luchi cannot be had by itself, so there has to be something to go with it. As a toddler my favourite was luchi with sugar, the crispy flakes of luchi with the sweet sugar is one of the best joys of growing up in a Bengali family.

As you grow, the choices of a side dish with luchi grows with you. Even if you are in a no meat mood, there is an array of options. The most popular is luchi with cholar dal. If you are from Kolkata or have visited the city, you must be aware of Sri Hari Mistanna Bhandar. This sweet shop has got just two branches, one near the Hazra crossroad and the other near the Kalighat temple. For more than 5 decades they had been selling the biggest and largest langcha in Kolkata, a long and thin cousin of gulab jamun, but the reason I mentioned here is Sri Hari also caters the best luchi and cholar dal all through the day. If you have not tried it till now, go and visit.

Cholar dal is just one, and there is a lot more to go. Bengalis are fond of potatoes, we try to use it almost everywhere. Probably if there is vote for the most popular comfort food for Bengalis alu seddho and bhaat would be a winner. Potatoes are a rage; they are used in almost all vegetarian side dishes and also in meat or fish curries. So, the simple potato curry with just a little of nigella and green chillies, the famous sada tarkari is an instant hit with luchi. Even though we get all types of vegetables throughout the year these days but the fulkopir tarkari in a chilly winter morning with luchi is something to die for.

Sunday is the meaty day, there’s hardly a few Bengalis who doesn’t cook chicken or mutton on Sundays. So, why not start the day with some meat. Smoking hot kasha mangsho with garam garam fulko luchi – no one can deny that breakfast.

Bengalis love their sweet. Sweet at the end of the meal is almost compulsory; we’ll find more sweet shops in any street of Kolkata than pharmacies. Sweets or desserts as a side dish with your luchi is a heavenly combination. Chaler payesh  or cold rice pudding or the Bengali special payesh with hot luchi is an ultimate combo. Or even the soft sandesh to go with luchi.

The list for Bengali breakfast with luchi is unending. It is like the queen of the kitchen. The fluffy golden texture, deep fried in refined oil always reminds me of the Sundays in my Kolkata home. What’s your luchi story, share it with us.

Hot Tips – if you want something more from your luchi, stuff it with some mashed peas to prepare karaisutir kachori.

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Welcoming the Goddess

The Hindu calendar follows the lunar phases and so it’s a little different from our well known English calendar from January to December. As the Gregorian and the Hindu calendars do not tally the timing of Durga Puja also shifts yearly from Late September to late October. This time the Puja starts on 24th September; the day being Shasthi, welcoming the goddess to earth.

Shasthir ghaut

My grand mother used to tell me different stories of the goddess. One such was the welcoming of the goddess. According to the Hindu mythology, Devi Durga is the daughter of the King of Himalayas. Every year on the Shasthi of the Bengali month of Ashwin, she comes down from Kailash, the abode of her husband, Lord Shiva to earth. She stays here for the next four days and goes back to Kailash. The goddess doesn’t come alone; she comes along with her four children, two daughters and two sons, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh and Karthik.

The Celebration

While listening to these stories, as a kid I used to become spell bound and dreamt about how the goddess with her four children would come down to earth. Years have passed, and there is nobody to tell me stories nowJ. But the feeling of happiness, the planning to go pandal hopping, meeting friends, and above all buying new clothes and eating out – make this time the best month of the year.

From today the ninth day is Shasthi. Kolkata is getting decked up with the minute decorations of this grand festival. The clay idols of the goddess are almost ready except for the last coat of paint. At Cook Like a Bong we decided on celebrating this festival with an event and publishing our first eBook on Shasthi this year. Also, I’ll be posting about the different recipes that you can try out during the four days of celebration; starting today.

Shasthir Dala

Bongs love for luchi

A breakfast with some luchi, alu dum and sandesh will make the day for any Bong. Bengalis cannot get enough of these fluffy fried phulkas. Luchi, luuchi, lucchi, poori, puri, phulka – whatever one can call them, but to any Bong it’s an essence of pure ecstasy. The taste and smell of luchi enhances if fried in ghee. So, while frying the rolled out luchi, you can add half the volume of ghee with sunflower oil. Will tell you the recipe for this curry in my later post.

Luchi Tarkari

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 30min
Makes 20 luchis


All purpose flour (Maida): 2 cups

Carom seeds (Jowan/Ajwain): 1teaspoon

Sunflower oil (Sada tel): For deep frying

Salt: ½ teaspoon

Water: 1 ½ cup


  • Take the flour in a big bowl, carom seeds, salt and 2 tablespoon of oil
  • Mix the ingredients well to form a sandy mixture
  • Pour in half the water and knead the dough to almost dry
  • Then again pour the other half of water and knead well
  • If you feel the dough is not sticking to your palm, then its ready
  • Keep the dough for about 40mins covered with a wet muslin cloth
  • Divide the dough into 20 small balls, dip half the balls in oil for lubrication and roll the balls to 4-5 inch diameter circles
  • Heat oil for frying in a deep wok till smoking hot
  • Reduce the flame and slide in the rolled out poori
  • Press the luchi, while frying with the back of a slotted spatula, this helps in making the luchis fluffy
  • Take out of flame and place in a colander to let the luchis drain out the excess oil
  • Serve with any thick gravy curry (veg or non-veg)


Hot Tips: Don’t drop the rolled out pooris into the heated oil, oil may splash out. Luchi even tastes good with granulated sugar or payesh, try it. You can use atta instead of maida but that makes the luchi look darker on color. You can even leave out the carom seeds while preparing luchi.

Further Readings: Bong Mom’s Luchi Preparation, Wiki Puri

Let us know your likings and memories of luchis or pooris, and don’t forget to send in your entries to the blog event ending 22nd September.

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