Friday, 8 April 2016


Poila Baishakh.... Bengali New Year is round the corner.... This time of the year was such a celebration with new clothes, good food, visiting each other.... In our childhood, we got new dresses two times a year... during Poila Baishakh and Durga Puja. So new clothes meant a lot then. It is not like now, oh I am not in mood, lets go shopping and set it right. Remembering those days is a kind of pleasure.

Food is considered to be a major part of our community. We love to think, talk and dream food. All the three major meals has to be a hearty one paying no heed to health factor. We can start with ghee smeared flatbreads in the morning and end our meal with a mutton curry n milk rich dessert around 10 pm at night. We are not worried at all, the chemist stores are there to provide us with antacids. Hahaha... the Bengalis who are reading this, please excuse me making so honest a confession.... if only you have not planned to shoot me at the first sight.

Things are changing now, we are making an effort to eat healthy too. If you think I am been sarcastic, you are wrong. I love being a Bong [Bengali] every way and take a lot of pride been so. Only a die hard Bong has the spirit and patience to feed her burger and pizza loving men man kochu bata [yam, mustard seed n green chilli paste with a drizzle of mustard oil]. How much I wish to have a daughter-in-law to support me. If my junior does not have a personal choice, I will definitely look for someone who would love to wear saree, eat Bengali food with some interest in cooking.

We all know breakfast is the major meal of the day..... but we are Bongs.... we never followed heavy breakfast, light lunch and lighter dinner pattern. All meals for us is heavy. My uncle, daddy's next one ate 25-30 rasgullas after a full meal in a marriage ceremony, I remember. One of my friend's brother can eat an omelette made of 22 eggs. There is not a bit of exaggeration on what I say, all true that many will agree.

Keeping in tune with our tradition, I wish to introduce you all to a regular breakfast platter of the Bengalis consisting of two simple veggies made with ridge gourd and potato[jhinge aloor torkari], pumpkin with black grams[kumro r chokka], a dessert with homemade cottage cheese and milk[chanar payesh], Lentil with Bengal gram[cholar dal] and Doier Ghol[sweet yogurt drink]. The eggplant fries I am not providing the recipe, you all know. So let us prepare together A Bengali Vegetarian Breakfast Platter.

                                                        KUMROR CHOKKA/
                                                     PUMPKIN WITH BLACKGRAM

Pumpkin : 500gm
Black Gram : 1/2 small cup[soaked overnight n boiled to tender]
Green Chilli : 2-3[slitted]
Nigella Seeds : 1/4tsp[kalonji/kalojeera]
Salt : As required
Sugar : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2tsp
Oil : 2tbsp[authentically mustard]

Peel the skin of the pumpkin and cut into small cubes, wash thoroughly. Rub with salt and turmeric powder.

Soak the black grams overnight and boil in enough water adding little water. Drain the water and wash them under cold water.

Heat oil in a wok and temper with nigella seeds. Add the pumpkin pieces , stir and cover cook for 3-4 minutes . Open cover, add the slitted green chillies, boiled black grams and cook without covering till all the water dries up.... say 3 minutes.

Add the sugar, stir gently and transfer to a serving bowl. Yes, it is as simple as this.

We usually have it with paratha/chapati/poori and not with rice.

                                                       CHOLAR DAL/CHANA DAL/
                                                          YELLOW LENTIL CURRY

Bengal Gram Dal : 1small cup[soaked in hot water for 2hrs]
Coconut pieces : 2tbsp[fresh]
Dry Red Chillies : 2[halved]
Green Chillies : 2[slitted]
Ginger Paste : 1tsp
Cumin Seeds : 1/4tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As required
Sugar : 1tsp
Bayleaf : 1
Oil : 2tbsp[authentically mustard]

Wash and soak the Chana dal in hot water for 2 hours. Pressure cook the dal with enough water upto 2 whistles at medium to low heat.

Cut the coconut into small pieces . Keep all the spices ready in hand. Slit the green chillies.

Heat the oil in a wok. Temper with cumin seeds, dry red chillies each torn into two and the bay leaf. Put in the coconut pieces and fry till light brown. Put in the ginger paste. Put in the salt and turmeric and cumin powder. Keep stirring till the oil separates from the spices.

Pour in the dal. Pour in one coffee mug of water. Give a stir. Cover and let it boil for 5 minutes at medium heat.

Remove the cover. Add the slitted green chillies and sugar. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. Switch off, its done.

Transfer to a bowl.

We can have it with both Indian breads and rice.

                                            JHINGE ALOOR TARKARI/
                                      RIDGE GOURD WITH POTATOES

Potato : 2big
Ridge Gourd : 2
Green Chilli : 2[slitted]
Dry Red Chilli : 2halved
Nigella Seeds : 1/4tsp[kalonji/kalojeera]
Salt : As required
Turmeric Powder : 2pinches
Sugar : 1/4tsp
Oil : 1tbsp[authentically mustard]

Peel and cut the potatoes and ridge gourds. Store in separate bowls, wash thoroughly. 

Heat oil in a wok. Temper with halved dry red chillies and kalonji. Add the potato pieces. Cover cook for 3-5 minutes.

Open cover, add the ridge gourd pieces and stir. Add salt and turmeric, slitted green chillies and stir.

Cover cook for 3-4 minutes. Open cover, add sugar, stir and take down.

This goes well with Indian breads.

                                           CHANER PAYESH /
                                            PANEER KHEER

Milk : 500ml +500ml
Sugar : 1/4 to 1/2 small cup
Vinegar : 1tbsp
Green Cardamom Powder : 1/4tsp
Almond[chopped] : 1/2tsp to garnish[optional]

Let us prepare the cottage cheese first. Take 500 ml of milk in a heavy bottomed vessel. Put for boil.

As it comes to boil, switch off gas. Add the vinegar, milk gets curdled. Let cool.

Strain the whey through a fine cloth and tie the remains on to your tap for 1/2 an hour. 

Take down and transfer to a bowl. Add 1tsp sugar and the green cardamom powder. Do not knead, just crumble and mix together gently.

Boil the remaining 500ml milk in a vessel for 10 minutes. As it gets creamier, add sugar. Let boil for another 5-8 minutes. Add the crumbled paneer. Stir and switch off.

Let cool, refrigerate before serving.

Please note, different families have different ways of doing it. I do it this way. Garnish as you wish.

                                           PARATHA/ POROTA/
                                          INDIAN FLAT BREAD

Whole Wheat Flour : 1big cup
Refined Flour : 2big cup
Salt : 2pinches
Oil : 1tbsp + 2tsp for each paratha
Warm Water : As required for kneading

Take both the flours in a wide mouthed bowl. Add salt and 1tbsp oil. Rub for 2 minutes.

Add warm water and keep kneading till we get a soft dough . Cover the dough with a moist cloth for 1/2 an hour. Prepare medium sized balls.

Dust the balls with flour and shape into triangular shaped parathas.

Heat a tawa/pan. Put each paratha, cook each side for a minute. Add 2 tsp oil and fry paratha till crisp on both sides.

                                        DOIER GHOL/SWEET LASSI/
                                               YOGURT DRINK

Yogurt : 1big cup
Sugar : 2- 3tsp
Black Salt : 1/4tsp
Lemon Juice : 2tsp
Ginger juice : 1/2tsp
Cumin Powder[dry roasted] : 2-3 pinches.

Take the yogurt, sugar and salt in a glass and beat for 2-3 minutes.

Top it with cold water and stir. Add cumin powder, ginger juice and lemon juice. Stir gently.

Serve chilled.

 This was my regular Bengali Vegetarian Breakfast Platter, simple and each one is very easy to do. Enjoy !!


  1. Wow! Very delicious, healthy Bengali Vegetarian Breakfast Platter Soma, Thank for sooo much dear As a foodblogger, I understand and very well know its not easy to work on many recipes together with images of each recipe. Big thumbs up dear. And my personal favorite in the above list are SWEET LASSI, CHOLAR DAL/CHANA DAL AND CHENA PYASAM / CHANER PAYESH:) VERY GOOD SHARE SOMA.

    1. Thanks so much Deepa for all the beautiful words....

  2. Superb platter!! Love each and every dish on the plate:) I think your new year is celebrated on the same days as us,.. April 14th.. Happy new year in advance dear:)

    1. Thank you so much Shubha... yes ours too is on 14th...

  3. Yeah, we all are celebrating vaisakhi next week, Sikhs are doing it on 13th because we also celebrate this day for religious reasons.
    Agreed food is considered major part of our culture and your bengali vegetarian thali speaks for itself.

    1. Thank You so much Balvinder... for long it was on my mind to take our simplest of dishes to the world....

  4. Hunger is calling. I love all those dishes and the pumpkin, well, for me, rice will be joy to be eaten together.

    1. Thank you Navaneetham...such posts are core to the heart....

  5. Superb post.. bengoli cuisine is quite new for me because i did not know much recipes from this cuisine..VEry very helpful post
    Thank you :)

    1. Thank You Priya so much... I wish to take Bengali Cuisine to everyone....

  6. Thanks soma for sharing healthy,delicious veg breakfast recipes..