Bengali cuisine is the underrated superhero of Indian culinary culture. Undoubtedly few popular Bengali sweets are renowned for their tantalizing taste and delicate flavours, but that is just the tip of the iceberg of Bengali cuisine.
So many authentic Bengali recipes deserve far more recognition and fame for their simple recipes full of complex flavours. Let us look at some lesser-known authentic Bengali sweets and savoury recipes that are worth dying for!
Chenar jilipi is a popular Bengali sweet, made of freshly made chena or cottage cheese. It is deep-fried and dipped in sugar syrup! It is the definition of indulgence in Bengali style!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cooking Time: 10 minutes
- Serving: 10 servings
- Full Fat Milk: 600ml
- Lemon: 1 pc
- Maida: 2 tablespoon
- Sooji: 1 tablespoon
- Baking Soda: 1 teaspoon
- Milk- 4 spoons
- Ghee: 1 tablespoon to mix and fry
- Sugar: 1 cup
- Green Cardamom: 1 pod
- Boil the whole milk and add the juice of 1 lemon to curdle the milk. Strain the same in a muslin cloth to get chena or cottage cheese. Let the excess water drain out from the cheesecloth.
- To make the sugar syrup, add equal amounts of sugar and water in a pan and stir gently to bring to a boil. Keep stirring to ensure the sugar does not stick to the bottom of the pan, add the cardamom pod while boiling. Once the sugar syrup thickens and no sugar crystals are left, turn the heat off and keep it aside.
- Knead the chena for a few minutes to get a silky consistency. Now add the maida, sooji and baking soda and knead some more. You can add some milk to get a smooth dough that does not crumble. Grease your palms with ghee to make the dough smoother.
- Once the dough is formed, you can use a piping bag to pipe out the jilipis, or even simply roll the dough by hand on your kitchen platform. Try to get a figure ‘8’ like shape.
- Heat the ghee and fry the jilipis in them till golden brown and cooked them through. Once fried, cool the jilipis and then dunk them in the sugar syrup and soak the syrup before serving.
This delectable Bengali sweet is like an ordinary-looking khoya ladoo with a surprise in the centre! It is rich, juicy and perfect for any and every celebration. Here is how you make it easier.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Serves: 4
- Paneer: 200gm
- Yellow Food Colour: 1 pinch
- Sugar: 1 cup
- Cardamom: 2 pods
- Saffron: few strands
- Ghee: 2-3 tablespoons
- Full cream milk: 1.5. cup
- Milk Powder: 1.5 cup
- Powdered sugar: 2-3 tablespoons
- Grated Mawa: ½ cup
- Milk: few spoons to knead the dough
- To make the rasgulla, crumble the paneer and knead it well. Add the food colour to it. Use some milk to make smooth balls without any cracks.
- Heat water in a saucepan, add sugar cardamom and saffron to it and boil. Add a few of the rasgulla balls at a time and boil on high flame for 10 minutes. Let it cool and strain the rasgulla from the syrup and keep aside.
- In a pan heat some ghee and add milk to it and cook for a minute. Add milk powder and cook until the mixture thickens. Once the mixture starts to leave the pan, add the grated mawa and cook for another 5 minutes. The end product will look like soft dough.
- Once cooled, take a scoop size of the mawa mixture and flatten it on your greased palm to make a covering of sorts. Now place a single rasgulla in the centre of the mawa covering. Wrap the rasgulla with the mawa cover and smoothen it out to make it look like a ladoo. Coat the ball with some dry mawa. Repeat for all rasgullas.
- Allow them to rest for 10 minutes and serve.
Tea time is synonymous with something made of potatoes, fried with the perfect savoury taste. Aloo chops are the Bengali take on the perfect evening tea-time snack.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cooking Time: 25 minutes
- Serves: 4
- Potatoes: 4-5 pcs (boiled and mashed)
- Onions: ½ cup (chopped)
- Ginger garlic paste: 2 spoons
- Green Chilli: 2-3 (finely chopped)
- Red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon
- Cumin powder: 1 teaspoon
- Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon
- Fresh coriander: a handful (washed and chopped)
- Salt: As per taste
- Besan: 1 cup
- Rice flour 2 spoons
- Salt: As per taste
- Baking Soda: a pinch
- Oil: for frying
- To the boiled and mashed potatoes add the finely chopped onion, and fresh coriander along with all the spices and mix well. Mix well to get an evenly spiced filling. Make some balls of the filling and keep them aside.
- To make the batter for frying, add besan and rice flour along with salt. Gently pour in water to get a batter with a smooth ribbon-like consistency.
- Heat some oil in a frying pan. Take the potato balls and dip them in the batter and deep fry in hot oil on a medium flame. Fry until the aloo chops are golden brown in colour.
- Serve hot with fresh coriander and mint chutney.
Lau Patai Pabda Paturi
This is an authentic Bengali fish recipe made of steamed Pabda fish. It has a distinct smell and flavour and so healthy, that would make your mouth water. This is how it is made.
- Cooking Time: 20 minutes
- Serves: 6 pcs
- Pabda Fish: 6 pcs (cleaned)
- Mustard seeds: 2 tablespoons
- Lau Patai (Bottle gourd leaves): 6 pcs
- Turmeric: 1 spoon
- Curd: 2 tablespoons
- Fresh coriander: 3 tablespoons (finely chopped)
- Mustard oil: 3 tablespoons
- Green chillies: 3-4 slit
- Salt: As per taste
- To the cleaned fish add a simple margination of salt, turmeric and mustard oil and keep aside. Prepare a thick paste including mustard seeds, cud, chopped coriander along with green chillies. The next step is to take the bottle gourd leaves and wash and clean them and pat them dry. Smear both sides of the lau patai leaves with mustard oil. On one side of the leaves, smear a thick layer of the prepared paste.
- Sprinkle the required amount of salt on the leaves. Repeat the same for all leaves. Now place one fish on each of the lau patai or bottle gourd leaves. Cover the leaves in such a way that the fish as well as the paste is completely covered and the paste does not ooze out.
- Tie each leaf securely with a thread to ensure they do not open through the process of cooking.
- Take a non-stick pan and heat some mustard oil on it. Now place the fish covered in the lau patai and cook on either side for a few minutes. Now cover the pan with a lid and steam on low flame for a few minutes or until the fish is completely cooked.
- Turn off the flame and let the fish cool down. Now cut the thread and cut the fish into 2 pieces.
- Serve the steamed fish along with hot rice. Remember never to replace the mustard oil with any other as it plays a vital role in the distinct flavour of the dish.