We’ll start off with some gravy. And it’s not any gravy, its fish gravy.
Most cultures that excel with fish either fry them, or grill them. Not in West Bengal. Fish here is commonly served as a stew, and the curry that results from that is a very common additive to lunch meals.
This being India of course, expect nothing less than a spicy fish stew. Seasoning for this dish includes garlic, onions, ginger, and turmeric. They’re all necessary for that extra taste. Lack of intensity in taste doesn’t please Indians.
The last thing they need after all, is a dish that smells… fishy (if you know what I mean).
(2) ChingriMaacherMalai Curry
This translates to prawn with coconut milk gravy. And yes, its seafood just like with list’s number 1. You pretty much know the article’s theme by now…
Unlike most parts of India which focus more on either chicken or veggie meals, West Bengal excels in seafood. Over 40 different types of fish are known within the Bengali cuisine, all cooked up with different styles and artistic tastes.
This dish combines the spicy taste of the milk gravy, with the softness of the prawn being eaten. The crunch with each bite perfectly matches the taste here. This dish is highly recommended.
(3) MacherKalia with Aloo
You know about the fish and gravy by now, but that’s not the end of it. We’ve got to show all the different spices that go into the fish too!
This dish is to simply put, fish in mustard oil and gravy. If the spices aren’t enough to burn, this dish packs the power of mustard for that extra sourness. It comes with potatoes and vegetables too, if you want to soak out some of the strong tastes.
And hey, you get a sour tasting salad to in the future with all the spices packed into the veggies.
Sour power. This wouldn’t be an Indian recipe without the sour tastes, would it?
Bengalis are creative, but they’re not crazy. You cannot possibly eat spicy fish stews, without having a share of good cards to drown them in.
And what better carb supply is there other than Jhalmuri? This is a rice cooked with a little bit of sourness. In here you’ll find lemons, onions, and chili, and maybe some mustard seeds. And since its rice, it’s a perfect mix with all that gravy too!
Yes, even the rice has intensity. West Bengals will not forgive those who do not appreciate their spice.
Don’t worry though. There’s a refugee from the taste bud overload in the next dish…
A lot of people head to dinners for the dessert, not the main course. Setting aside the strong flavors, it’s time to calm them with some sugar action.
RasMalai are simply cream balls. And they don’t even come with a crust. Cream balls are made from sugar syrup, and sprinkled with cardamom and a variety of nuts, including pistachios. After a big healthy meal of fish stews, the light cream finish acts as the perfect desert that doesn’t overstuff your stomach.
So fish stew with spices, and now cream without a cake crust. Creativity at its finest isn’t it?
If you haven’t tried out the Bengali style by now, you’re missing out on a lot.