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30 Must Try Bengali Food Dishes When Travelling To West Bengal

A saga of Bengali flavor and aroma!

Ankita Ghosh

2 months ago|8 min read

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“Bangali ra khaddo roshik hoy” truth indeed Bengalis and food is an eternal love affair. 

An affair where the flatware (i.e Spoons and Forks) faces a no entry board. So, when it comes to the Indian cuisine with traditional yet lip-smacking taste combined with fiery flavors, unique spices, and scented aromas it can be difficult to overpower the taste and aroma of Bengal which is as rich as the State itself. 

 Pretty sure that Sondesh, Roshogulla, and Machh-bhaat (fish-rice) are what instantly pops into your head when Bengal and its flavors are referred to but being a born and brought up Bong from a traditional Bengali family can assure you that Bengali Food is much more and exquisite than these restricted few since there is a very popular proverb that the way to Bengalis heart is paved through their stomach, to make which happy variety is mandatory. 

Hence, if you are a foodie and it’s your first-ever trip then I bet you won’t be disappointed rather Bengal and its culinary treats won't disappoint you. Shotti! 

Traveling to Bengal!! then this is the stop, listing 30 delectable dishes Bengal has for you to relish.

1. Luchi with Alur Torkari (Aloo Puri):

Luchi with Alur Torkari (Aloo Puri) | Bengali Food Dishes

Without which any Bengali occasion or bhuri-bhoj is nearly incomplete, from being a fasting delicacy to a Sunday Brunch this deep-fried, fluffy bread Luchi golden in texture made from maida sounding like North Indian aloo puri having no connection at all goes well with Alur torkari or the sumptuous potato curry i.e cubed potatoes cooked in a thick tomato gravy or simple gravy is counted in the hotlist.

2. Shukto (Veggie bowl):

A bittersweet bowl, still not on kids checklist cannot be given a miss, this authentic dish is considered to be an opener on Bengali menu cards-consisting of greens like bitter gourd, pumpkin, bori (made from urad paste), beans, brinjal richly cooked in the mustard paste with freshly grounded spices in mustard oil or ghee is served hot with rice. 

3. Aloo Posto:

Aloo Posto | Bengali Food Dishes

Classic traditional comfort food and a treat for potato lovers Aloo Posto is the pehla-pyaar for nearly all Bengalis. 

Cubed potatoes cooked in roasted poppy seeds paste, green chilies adding the required spiciness to the dish making it a lip-smacking one to have with rice and slimy Biulir Dal(urad), Indeed is a treat on a tiring day. It is one of the most famous Bengali foods of West Bengal.

4. Cholar Dal:

Ceremonial breakfast seems to be unfinished without this. Made from channa dal, slightly sweet in taste emits a very delicious fragrance due to the presence of rich spices like bay leaf and cinnamon whereas the presence of coconut pieces in it gives another fresh and crunchy texture to it. 

This dal can be enjoyed with the fluffy luchis or kachoris (stuffed luchi).

5.  Beguni:

An appetizing starter made from deep-fried vertically cut brinjal dipped in a batter made from besan and spices goes well with muri (puffed rice) and even with Aloo posto and Dal Bhaat (Dal Chawal) on a relatively low key day.

6. Begun Bhaja:

Tender and soft delicacy made from brinjal shallow fried in nature are snacks with some chaat masala, salt, rice flour, and turmeric coating giving it a crispy twist.

These perfectly cooked begun bhajis can’t be given a miss.

7. Maccher Muro Diye Dal:

This one has occupied the top charts. A dal which is not as simple as the name suggests but works in impressing as well as setting the stage in a Bengali afternoon lunch menu. This aromatic delicious curry is a combination of rich spices.

Katla fish heads (katla maccher muro) with fried or bhaja Moong Dal goes well with rice (gorom bhaat) and jhuri aloo bhaja.

8. Jhuri Aloo Bhaja:

Next on the list of famous Bengali food is Jhuri aloo bhaja. Jhuri aloo bhaja or the crispy grated potato fry is an iconic traditional Bengali potato chip relished with rice and dal. 

These chips are an absolute favorite for everyone irrespective of age. 

9.  Potoler Dorma:

Seems royal delicacy relished for generations Potoler Dorma or the stuffed pointed gourd specially made in occasions will never disappoint you is prepared with stuffing made from coconut bits, minced meat or prawn or even fish with vegetables like mashed potato and paneer filled inside the pointed gourds dipped in gravy or even is masala fried.

10. Chingri Macch’er Malaikari (Prawn Malaikari):

A very popular belief quotes that coconut milk is solely used in South Indian dishes but this Bengal classic eliminates all such beliefs by being a dish that has the combined flavors of coconut milk, malai along with the freshly grounded spices and making it to everyones’ platter is the prawn or Chingri Macch in it.

11. Muri Ghonto:

A signature dish often eaten as pulao but generally relished as a side dish with rice Muri Ghonto is a sort of Fish pulao prepared with rice and Katla or Rui Fish heads and potatoes making it another stage-setting dish. When in West Bengal, do not forget to try out this famous Bengali food.

12.  Mochar Ghonto:

Can be eaten as a dry sabzi is a dish involving the unique preparation of Banana flower (Mocha) potato pieces and coconut bits in roasted spices, whereas the caramelized effect of sugar in hot oil adds another level of taste to it.

13.  Bhapa Ilish (Steamed Hilsa):

Does this even require any intro? A dish having its roots in Bangladesh is another signature preparation of Bengal. The tangy taste of this royal dish made from steaming Ilish in the mustard paste with green chilies and mustard oil is a star recipe of bongs.

14.  Mishti Pulao:

Mishti Pulao is that one famous Bengali food that no one can afford to miss out on. 

Bengalis and rice can’t be separated, similarly, Mishti pulao is a treat in Bengali pujas to ceremonies made from gobindobhog rice or kali jeera rice a ghee laden dish with cashew and raisin toppings is often called Basanti pulao because of its bright yellow color is the go-to choice of Bengali households for serving a lavish dinner.

15. Koraishutir Kochuri (Pea kachodi):

It feels winters are here for Koraishutir Kochuri, preparation of these deep-fried, bigger-sized luchis stuffed with cooked mashed peas is a delicacy on the breezy cold days.

16. Bhetki Macch’er Paturi:

Bongs love their fish. Similarly, the Bhetki macch (bhetki Fish) coated in mustard and coconut paste wrapped in Kola Pata (Banana leaf) and cooked on a low flame resulting in a classic aromatic fish dish alongside Rice can be eaten in a low-calorie diet as well.

17. Chhanar Dalna: 

Chhana is often mistaken to be paneer but it is the chhana or chena curdled from milk which is mixed with chili, and masala into little shapes fried and dipped in a tomato gravy or curry with potato chunks is another favorite of the Bengali households.

18. Doi Macch : 

Fish, the prime element of Bengali recipes, and the several preparations of it include this curdy variation also. 

Preparing Doi Macch is much easier than the rest. It is mostly made with Rohu or Katla steamed in curd, green chilies, and aromatic spices that can be relished with rice. 

19. Kolkata Biryani:

Derived from Awadhi biryani the name suggests to be a bit weird but not the dish which is an absolute royal delicacy and completely different in taste and aroma from its origin i.e Awadhi biryani. 

Kolkata biryani is incomplete without a big potato piece along with egg, mutton, or chicken, and trust me the potato tastes bliss with adequate low spice and more aromatics. 

20. Egg roll/Chicken roll:

Visiting West Bengal and not enjoying street food, that’s not accepted. 

Almost every tiny street of the State sells it so dare not forget or miss to taste a roll (often called Kathi roll) made with chicken or egg which is way different in taste than the non-bong rolls apart from these vast spreads of delicious dishes.  

21. Shorshe bata diye machh’er jhal:

Recipes seem to be unflavored if mustard (shorshe) isn’t used in Bengal. A varied signature fish preparation made with mustard paste against this maccher jhal, a deadly combo was even served to Barack Obama on his visit.

22. Pithe:

Roshogollas and Sandesh are famous worldwide as the most popular Bengali desserts but Pithe is charming and mouthwatering. Winter mandate which has festival allotted to its name “The Pithapuli Utshob” (festival) these not so easily available rice cakes with jaggery coconut stuffing are available in multiple sweet and salty versions to name patisapta, 

Gokul pithe, pithepuli, bhaja pithe etc made specially during Poush Sankranti in Bengali households is a dish to relish.

23. Mishti Doi:

Made from plain yogurt with a heavy amount of sugar or khajur ka gur, this delectable variation served in earthen pots has the heart of Bengalis. 

Without which no Bong festival is complete, this Mishti Doi (mind the accent) acts as the "mishti seshe paate'' in the Bengali menu.

24. Kosha Mangsho:

An iconic binding of mutton (mangsho) and spices is a bliss and needs no explanation or introduction goes exquisitely well with Mishti pulao or Basanti pulao is a rich and heavenly dish to devour into. It is indeed one of the most classic Bengali food dishes that one can't afford to miss out on.

25. Daab Chingri:

Relished for generations, the authentic prawn(chingri) recipe, well known because of its exemplary combination of flavors and taste, is cooked with mustard poppy coconut paste and aromatic spices inside the tender coconut shell (Daab)brings out a heavenly flavor to cherish.

26. Ghugni: 

A popular snack option made with the soaked chickpeas cooked in a pool of fresh spices is even considered to be one of the most popular street foods of the State. 

Chopped onion, green chili, coriander, and lime topping make it another flavorful dish to enjoy in an evening.

27. Kanchkolar kofta (Raw Banana kofta):

Kanchkola or raw banana can be converted to such a tasty dish makes me be in awe of this vegetable. 

Delicious and flavorful kofta made from mashed raw banana dipped in a sumptuous gravy of spices helps to enjoy treats during vegetarian meals.

28. Chital Machher Muitha:

Back to fish again but this time in a new andaaz fish made into Koftas(muitha) and guess what it's way tastier than we actually thought it would make. 

The flavor of chital macch combined with spices dipped in a creamy pool is all about happiness served on a platter.

29. Kochi Pathar jhol:

Isn’t mutton delicious and regal? Indeed when it’s served makes it a royal dish to dine on, but the meat is derived from that of a young goat..yes that’s what Kochi Patha is which when cooked in a Bengali way by adding paanch phoran makes it more delicious and is known to be Kochi Pathar jhol. 

30. Chomchom or cham cham:

The Bengali accent is chomchom and swear by that’s what makes it more appetizing and worth the wait. 

A classic Bengali mishti (sweet dish) made from freshly prepared chena stuffed with malai is heaven on Earth. Can give competition to Roshogolla even.

There are several other and popular Bengali Food dishes ranging from sweets to the main course to that of the starters, hence it's very difficult to share just 30 of them. 

So, foodies, when are you planning your trip to this food paradise? if you are then make sure to check on every type of Bengali food listed above.

Let me know your favorite Bengali dish in the comment box.

Also, like and share these Bengali dishes with your foodie friends.

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Ankita Ghosh

Reading, writing and gaining knowledge is a hobby so, taking it to another level and embarking upon a new journey of growing together.

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