The fish finger or cutlet, are a European influence on Bengali food. Cutlet comes from the French word côtelette. The cutlets can be made of minced fish, chicken, or mutton, and are deep-fried in crispy batter. These are a popular snack or starter item in Bengali parties as well.
Ghugni is an extremely popular dish made of boiled white peas, mixed with chopped onion, chilies, tomatoes, coriander, coconut, and tamarind juice. It can be had with luchi, radha ballabhi, or simply on its own.
This all-time favourite snack is essentially puffed rice mixed with peanuts, fresh chopped onions, tomatoes and chilies, drizzled with mustard oil. This is an omnipresent snack available almost anywhere in Kolkata. If taking a train ride to Kolkata, you can find hawkers selling jhaal muri on the trains and stations en route to Kolkata.
Well-known as ‘Kathi rolls’, Bengalis love to call them only ‘Rolls’. They come in variations of paneer, egg, chicken, or mutton. The egg roll is layered with an Omelet, and the same can be ordered for a paneer roll or chicken roll, making them a paneer egg roll or a chicken egg roll, respectively.
There are many kinds of kebabs, mostly cooked over open grill. Some of the Dhaka's specialty of this genre are: Sutli Kebab, Bihari Kebab, Boti Kebab, etc., made from marinade (by secret spice mix by each chef) mutton and beef. Kebabs are eaten as snacks or as starters for a big feast. Special kinds of breads: There are many kinds of breads made with cheese mix, with minced meat, with special spices, etc., all are delicacies enjoyed by the affluent classes as side dishes.
The Kolkata biryani came into being when exiled Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow had to move to Bengal, and brought the Awadhi biryani with him. With reduced riches, and yet an urge to keep traditions alive, the Awadhi biryani underwent changes with addition of readily available and cheaper potatoes, to replace some amount of meat. And thus the Kolkata biryani was born. The addition of potatoes can only be seen in Kolkata biryani.
A fluffy deep-fried bread made from wheat flour and ghee is served with fish curries and other Bengali dishes.
A sweetened curd popularly eaten by everyone
Mughlai Paratha This stuffed unleavened deep-fried flatbread is another example of the Mughal influence on Bengali cuisine. The word paratha might confuse someone to believe it with its popular namesake. The Mughal influence brings in a culinary twist to it, and makes it the treat that Bengalis love to gorge on.
This famous dish is now the mainstay speciality of the Bengali cuisine, especially in Kolkata. It is cooked with basmati rice and 'pakki" (pre-cooked) goat-mutton pieces. When on 'dum', i.e., steamed in a sealed pot over a slow wood fire or charcoal to impart a smokey-flavour, simultaneously cooking both rice and mutton. Spices such as saffron, nutmeg and star anise are employed chefs of this special dish.
Rasogolla is made from ball shaped dumplings of chena (an Indian cottage cheese) and semolina dough, cooked in light syrup made of sugar.
Sandesh is a Bengali dessert created with milk and sugar. Some recipes of Sandesh call for the use of chhena or paneer (which is made by curdling the milk and separating the whey from it) instead of milk itself.
The Shingara is a Bengali version of the well-known samosa. They are either baked or fried and mostly come with a potato/peas/cauliflower stuffing. The non-vegetarian version can include a stuffing of minced meat. Shingara and tea is one of the most popular evening snacks in Bengali homes.
Whole goat roasted Marinated whole cabrito is roasted over charcoal fire. This dish is usually made on special occasion such as marriage feast when usually it is served on the high table reserved for the bridegroom and his party.
The phuchka is a larger version of the golgappa, as North Indians call it. It is lighter, bigger, and crispier than its rest-of-India variant. The filling is mostly potato, unlike those found elsewhere.This all-time favourite snack is essentially puffed rice mixed with peanuts, fresh chopped onions, tomatoes and chilies, drizzled with mustard oil. This is an omnipresent snack available almost anywhere in Kolkata. If taking a train ride to Kolkata, you can find hawkers selling jhaal muri on the trains and stations en route to Kolkata.
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