A culinary feast that has been an essential part of the Bengali culture is the Durga Puja bhog. It is nothing but a rich platter of some lip smacking authentic Bengali dishes offered to Goddess Durga. The beats of dhaak, and the sound of shunkh fill the atmosphere of pandals with an essence of spirituality. According to Hindu mythology, Bengal is the maternal place of Goddess Durga and this is the time she visits her home. The bhog is offered to the goddess during her stay of five days.
The food culture has taken a plunge with huge pandals serving the bhog to devotees who come to worship. The food is simple yet delicious to kick your taste buds. The pleasure of this communal eating is a wave of happiness, where everyone sits together for an extravagant meal.
The bhog consists of a variety of dishes which include…
It is a snack made of eggplant or aubergine. A slice of it is battered and deep fried just like a fritter. The coating is made of gram flour with salt and turmeric. Although a main part of the bhog, it is served as a popular street food in Bengal.
It is regarded as the main food of the bhog. It is made of roasted moong dal and vegetables just like normal Khichdi. It is a no onion no garlic recipe but is cooked to perfection to soothe your taste buds.
Just like any other vegetable stew, Labrar Tarkari consists of potato, eggplant, raddish, cabbage, pumpkin, and cauliflower, cooked with chilli turmeric and ginger at a thick consistency. It looks and tastes amazing with the variety of vegetables that go into it.
Moving on to the classic Bengali deserts…
Also known as Rasgulla, it is a syrupy desert in the form of ball shaped dumplings, rolled out of cottage cheese and cooked in sugar syrup.
A smooth sweet delight regared as an auspicious food and generally associated with birthday celebrations in a Bengali household. It has a thick consistency and is made of rice, milk, sugar, ghee and garnished with nuts.
It is a popular Bengali desert also known as Sandesh. It is a sweetmeat made of milk and sugar. It is also known as ‘pranhara’ or heart stealer among the locals of Bangladesh. The name suits the dish for being a sweet that just melts in your mouth.
Since the bhog comprises of a pure vegetarian meal, there are stalls outside pandals which provide non-vegetarian options such as…
It is a Chicken Cutlet or Chicken Croquette. They are crunchier from outside and filled with soft minced chicken and spices from the inside.
It is a classic fried egg dish cooked with onions and spices. It is usually cooked as a side dish to eat along Khicuri or any other main dish.