Do you keep forgetting the meaning of Bong food names? Confused how to explain them to your Non-Bong friends? Here is a list for you to refer to and help remember and explain this huge list of Bong delicacies.
A READY RECKONER FOR THE NOVICE BONG FOODIE aka BONG FOOD NOMENCLATURE FOR DUMMIES
Arranged alphabetically for your gastronomic delight!
- Ambal: A sour dish made either with several vegetables or with fish, the sourness being produced by the addition of tamarind pulp or lime juice.
- Bhaja: Anything fried, either by itself or in batter.
- Bhapa: Fish or vegetables steamed with oil and spices. A classic steaming technique is to wrap the fish in banana leaf to give it a faint musky, smoky scent.
- Bhate: (‘steamed with rice’) any vegetable, such as potatoes, beans, pumpkins, or even dal, first boiled whole and then mashed and seasoned with mustard oil or ghee and spices. Traditionally the vegetables were placed on top of the rice; they steamed as the rice was being boiled.
- Bora: A dry ground meat or vegetable croquette. A bora is a Bong version of kofta and is consumed as a accompaniment to evening tea.
- Chochchori: Usually a vegetable dish with one or more vegetables cut into longish strips, sometimes with the stalks of leafy greens added, all lightly seasoned with spices like mustard or poppy seeds and flavoured with a phoron. The skin and bone of large fish like bhetki (red snapper) or chitol can be made into a chochchori called kata-chochchori, kata, meaning fish-bone.
- Chhanchra: A combination dish made with different vegetables, portions of fish head and fish oil (entrails).
- Chechki: Tiny pieces of one or more vegetable or sometimes even the peels (of potatoes, lau, pumpkin or potol for example)—usually flavoured with panch phoron or whole mustard seeds or black cumin. Chopped onion and garlic can also be used, but hardly any ground spices.
- Dalna: Mixed vegetables or eggs, cooked in medium thick gravy seasoned with ground spices, especially garom mashla and a touch of ghee.
- Dom: Vegetables (especially potatoes), meat or rice (biriyanis) cooked slowly in a sealed pot over a low heat.
- Dolma or Patoler Dolma: The name is Turkish, but the food is different. The vegetable Potol (parwal or pointed gourd) is stuffed either with a combination of grated coconut, chickpeas or more commonly with fish and then fried. The fish is boiled with turmeric and salt, then bones are removed and then onion, ginger and gorom moshla are fried in oil and boiled fish is added and churned to prepare the stuffing.
- Ghonto: Different complementary vegetables (e.g., cabbage, green peas, potatoes or banana blossom, coconut, chickpeas) are chopped or finely grated and cooked with both a phoron and ground spices. Dried pellets of dal (boris) are often added to the ghonto. Non-vegetarian ghontos are also made, with fish or fish heads added to vegetables. The famous muri-ghonto is made with fish heads cooked in a fine variety of rice. Some ghontos are very dry while others a thick and juicy.
- Ghugni is an evening snack in Bengal. Black gram (Kala Chana) or dried yellow peas or dried white peas is cooked with gravy, in the traditional eastern Indian style. It is then served with puffed rice and at times with hot onion pakoda.
- Jhal: Literally, ‘hot’. A great favourite in West Bengali households, this is made with fish or shrimp or crab, first lightly fried and then cooked in a light sauce of ground red chilli or ground mustard and a flavouring of pãch-phoron or black cumin. Being dry, it is often eaten with a little bit of dal poured over the rice.
- Jhol: A light fish or vegetable stew seasoned with ground spices like ginger, cumin, coriander, chili, and turmeric with pieces of fish and longitudinal slices of vegetables floating in it. The gravy is thin yet extremely flavourful. Whole green chilis are usually added at the end and green coriander leaves are used to season for extra taste. This term is also used to refer to any type of stew in meat, fish or vegetable dishes.
- Kalia: A very rich preparation of fish, meat or vegetables using a lot of oil and ghee with a sauce usually based on ground ginger and onion paste and gorom moshla.
- Kasundi or Kashundi: A sharp paste of mustard and raw mango pulp, popular as a dipping sauce in Bengali cuisine.
- Khichuŗi: Rice mixed with Moong Dal or Masoor dal(kinds of lentil) and vegetables, and in some cases, boiled or fried eggs. Usually cooked with spices and turmeric powder.
- Kofta: Ground meat or vegetable croquettes bound together by spices and/or eggs served alone or in savoury gravy.
- Korma: Another term of Urdu origin (literally ‘braised with onions’), meaning meat or chicken cooked in a mild onion and yogurt sauce with ghee.
- Luchi: Small round unleavened bread fried in oil or ghee.
- Panch phoran: A spice mixture of consisting of five whole seeds used in equal proportions and fried in oil or ghee. The spices can vary, but the mixture usually includes cumin, fennel or anise,nigella, fenugreek, and either wild celery (radhuni) or black mustard seeds.
- Poroţa: Bread made from wheat flour and fried in the oven until golden-brown. Generally round n shape in the rest of India, the Bengali version has a typical triangular shape and is thinner.
- Paturi: Typically fish, seasoned with spices (usually shorshe) wrapped in banana leaves and steamed or roasted over a charcoal fire.
- Payesh : The most revered dessert on the Bong Menu, payesh is a rice pudding made by boiling rice, broken wheat, tapioca, or vermicelli with milk and sugar. It is flavoured with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashew nuts, pistachios or almonds. It is typically served during a meal or as a dessert.
- Polau(See Pilaf): Fragrant dish of rice with ghee, spices and small pieces of vegetables. Long grained aromatic rice is usually used, but some aromatic short grained versions such as Kalijira or Gobindobhog may also be used.
- Pora: The word literally means charred. Vegetables are wrapped in banana leaves and roasted over a wood, charcoal or coal fire. Some vegetables with skin such as begun, are put directly on the flame or coals. The roasted vegetable is then mixed with onions, oil and spices.
- Tôrkari: A general term often used in Bengal the way `curry’ is used in English (it is speculated to be one of the origins of curry). Originally from Persian, the word first meant uncooked garden vegetables. From this it was a natural extension to mean cooked vegetables or even fish and vegetables cooked together.
SOURCE ~ Wikipedia
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