The first thing you’ll hear when you go outside Bengal, maach khabo? I get this many Bengalis love fish and few don’t (they exist). No matter how much we love maach (fish), we have a separate feelings for vegetables too. My mother even puts eggplant while making fish curry, you know does matter to us.
Every Bengali struggles to meet with their desires for vegetable the moment they step out of their hometown. We get to buy fish, meat everything but those soul soothing vegetables goes missing from our plates.
Just like we have a various types of recipes made out of our beloved fish. Bengalis also have varieties of finger licking vegetarian dishes. If you weren’t aware of it, then enlighten yourself:
Shukto is an emotion for every Bengali, a sweet bitter taste to start your meal. It is made of bitter gourd (karela), potato, drumsticks, brinjal, papaya, hyacinth beans (popularly known as ‘sheem’ in Bengali), green banana. At times bori (fried lentil balls) is added to ehance the taste.
2. Aloo Posto
Bengali’s love aloo (potatoes) they can add it in any dish to give it a better taste. Aloo Posto is an emotion and sets a perfect example of soul soothing food. Aloo Posto is simply made of lots of aloo, poppy seed paste (posto bata) with some chillies, kalaunji and mustard oil, that’s it the star is here.
3. Dhokar Dalna
Yes, we eat Dhoka to. Well Dhoka is made of two lentils (daal) mixed patties which is fried to get a crunchier outside. Later it is cooked in onion and tomato gravy with masalas and aloo if you like it that way. The star of niramish day is here.
4. Potol Dorma
Potol (parval) is not loved by many, but it stands to be one of my favorite vegetable which I can have all my life and not get bored of it. Potol’r Dorma is made out of stuffed pointed gourds, onions, tomatoes, chilli and delish!
5. Mochar Ghonto
Mocha (banana blossom) we make a curry out of it. Never heard of it, right?
6. Aloo Bhaja
I know everyone makes Aloo bhaji (shredded potato fries) and you’re wondering what is so special about it right? Well, the potatoes are finely shredded as thin as it can be which is deep fried for that crisp. To add more flavor we add peanuts and curry leaves, duhah ready!
7. Panchmishali Sabji
Panchmisali means mixture of five vegetables curry. We Bengalis need panchmisali sabji once in a week atleast I do.
8. Lau Ghonto
Bengalis favorite dish during summer is lau (Bottle Gourd). Lau Ghonto or Bottle Gourd curry is a very light dish to make your tummy cool down during the hot summer. It is made of Bottle Gourd and fried lentils dumpling at times grated coconut becomes the star of the dish.
9. Begun Basanti
Begun (Brinjal) adds a different texture to every Bengalis life. It can get you allergic or it can make you fall in love with you. Well, luckily I fell in love with begun (Brinjal) and this Brinjal Mustard Curry stands out to be the best item of brinjal I guess. It is made with creamy mustard paste and the brinjal’s are deep fried later added in the mustard paste and waala!
10. Kochu Saag
Kochu Saag or Taro leaves has the potential to make recall all your memories with your grandmother feeding you kochu saag with rice. Kochu Saag can be made with Ilish (Hilsa) but the veg version stands out too. It is made with the mishmash of the leaves with chillies, masalas and channa.
Every Bengali meal includes two types of vegetable and fish at times our mother adds vegetables in our fish curry too!