In Bengal, winter is synonymous with a party. With picnics, parties, Christmas and winter holidays, the people of Bengal are in a festive way at this time of year. And what adds to their delight is the proliferation of special winter treats. There is no denying that the winter in Bengal is milder compared to several other states in the country, but that does not keep the Bengals away from enjoying the seasonal dishes. Known to be one of the connoisseurs of Indian food culture, Bengali cuisine never fails to surprise people with its taste, aroma and versatility. In winter, every household is filled with pitha, sweets, use of gur (freshly made jaggery) and many other dishes that make the season an appetizing affair. While these foods are readily available in stores, people in a typical Bengali household prefer to cook them at home.
Here we have hand-picked some of the best winter specialties that will take your love of Bengali cuisine a step ahead. Let’s see.
6 Bengali winter delicacies that you just can not miss:
A Bengali style matar kachori – which is airy and crispy – provides a perfect breakfast in winter when combined with spicy dum aloo. Visit any Bengali candy store in the morning you will find Koraishutir kochuri sold as hot bread. And if you are planning to prepare it at home, the recipe is here.
Winter offers some amazing vegetables to enjoy – cauliflower is one such example. Called phulkopi in bengali, it is widely used in a bengali cuisine to make various recipes on a daily basis. But what stands out in the party is phulkopir singara (or samosa). It is basically a spicy mix of cauliflower and potato, wrapped in a peel and deep fried. The inclusion of cauliflower for the samosa adds a flavor to the dish and the season. So if you are visiting Bengal in the winter, stop by any store in the evening and try these hot and crispy phulkopir singara.
Nolen gurer mishti
Winters in Bengal and Nolen gur go hand in hand. Nolen gur is basically jaggery made from date palms that add a strong aroma to any sweet dish this season. These mishtis are tender, soft a perfect treat for those with sweet teeth. And the best part is that you do not have to visit Bengal to enjoy Nolen gurer mishti. Go to any Bengali candy store in your city and enjoy the sweet treat.
Nolen gur is payesh
Made with Nolen gur (ddelpalmejaggery) and fragrant rice (gobindobhog chal), this is a must-have in any Bengali household during the season. A bowl Nolen gur is payesh is tasty, aromatic and possesses everything rich and good. If you’re already slurping, here’s the recipe you can try.
Pitha needs no separate introduction! One of the most popular foods in a Bengali spread, pitha is a dessert specially made in winter. If you explore, you will find a comprehensive selection of pitha available throughout West Bengal. While the ingredients are tailored to the pitha you make, but three elements that are a must in every pitha recipe are fresh gur, rice flour and coconut. Here is one of the most popular pitha recipes for you – it’s called patishapta.
Joynagar is beautiful
Made with popped rice and Nolen gur, this soft and sweet ladoo has created a buzz in recent times after receiving the GI Tag in 2015. It has a subtle sweetness and unique texture that makes the sweet treat stand out in the party . You must give Joynagar is moa a chance; we bet you had nothing near it!
If you can think of such delicious dishes, let us know in the comments section below. Always remember, the more the better!