When Benjamin, who happens to be a content curator representing cookingschools.net mailed us that he wanted to write a guest post for us, we were much overjoyed. And, guess what he wrote about, its not another Bengali recipe but rather the basic reason for thousands of readers to visit us – the reasons to learn to cook Bengali food. Do write to us about your thoughts on why you want to Cook Like a Bong.
If you haven’t spent a lot of time taking classes at one of the many cooking schools found online, you may not have had the opportunity to experience the wonder that is Bengali cuisine. Bengali food comes from Bengal, a region in Southeast Asia, which includes parts of India and Bangladesh. This cuisine often features dishes comprised of a wide range of seafood, legumes and rice, which are complemented with a multitude of freshly prepared vegetables and zesty spices. While Bengali food may appear to be challenging to prepare, in actually it is quite easy. Better yet, the numerous fresh ingredients used in Bengali food also make most meals extremely healthy, so not only will your taste buds thank you for preparing this delicious food, but the rest of your body will as well.
Oh, my, it’s tasty!
One of the many benefits of this cuisine is that it will wake up your taste buds. Bengali cooks rely primarily on fresh seafood and the pick of the harvest in vegetables when preparing their meals. As such, Bengali cuisine tastes much fresher than canned or over-processed foods. The innovative use of spice also transforms fish, vegetable and legume dishes into a savory adventure. It’s been rumored that Bengalis are maybe the most passionate of food lovers in the Indian subcontinent, and a delicious and creative meal is a key part of this region’s culture.
Healthy is as healthy cooks…
Bengalis frequently utilize steaming and stir-fry techniques in preparing their food, which contributes to the overall healthy aspect of this cuisine. The Bengali mainstay of fish is a low-calorie, high-protein food. Fish also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are helpful in developing eye and brain tissue and key to preventing heart disease. The lentil is another nutritional powerhouse and is generally prepared daily in the dish of dal. Lentils are a great source of low fat protein, and provide a large amount of folic acid, iron and soluble fiber. Likewise, dal eaten in combination with rice provides a complete serving of protein, important for building and repairing muscle tissue. Other common ingredients found in Bengali cooking include mango, garlic, onion, ginger and turmeric, which also have a variety of health benefits.
How much did you say lentils cost?
Bengali cuisine, as a whole, is not only a healthy, but also an inexpensive way to eat. All you need to create a delicious Bengali are a few spice staples; a bag of rice, a bag of lentils, a bottle of cooking oil and a couple of frozen fish fillets. Additionally, you might want to pick up some tomatoes or a mango or two. However, that is about all you need to create a great meal. All that taste, and all that nutrition, is available for minimum cash outlay.
If you can boil water, you can make a dal
While creating a Bengali meal may sound complicated, most recipes require little more than knowing how to chop ingredients and boil liquids. Chances are if you can boil water, you can also make rice. Some recipes also call for meats and vegetables to be stir-fried, but picking up this isn’t too tricky either. Similarly, as long as you understand the basics of steaming foods, you will be able to create many of these exotic tastes in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Faster than a flight to Calcutta!
The best part about learning to cook these meals on your own is that you can bring the striking beauty of Bengali cuisine to your own table. Imagine serving a Bengali-style meal to your family or guests, with a large serving of rice flanked by smaller bowls of dal, fish, vegetables, chutney and dessert. You might also want to offer whole green chilies, lime wedges as well as some pickles with the rice. By simply preparing and experimenting with the varying foodstuffs of other cultures, you can begin to see the world from another vantage point. That journey can be the most delicious of all.