Today we come to the final state in our Indian Food Odyssey. West Bengal is an eastern state of India and it shares its boundaries with Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Odisha, Jharkand, Sikkim, Bihar and Assam. Bengali cuisine is a style which originated from Bengal, which is now divided into Bangladesh and West Bengal. The Barak valley of Assam and Tripura also have Bengali population and so they too share this cuisine. Fish is considered vegetarian and is consumed by Bengali brahmins. My mom used to tell me that a drop of Amrutham which fell into the ocean became fish and so Bengalis treat it as a vegetaian diet. She has lived in Calcutta for nearly 3 years and I think some of her Bengali friends told her this story. Any how I am always amazed at hearing stories from Bengal as I started my life there. Yes, my dad got a job there when I was born and so I was brought up there for 3 years.
There was a neighbour in Calcutta who was a very good friend of Mom and Dad. As a toddler, as soon as I woke up I used to run to that aunt’s place. They used to love me. So I lived at their house the whole day and whenever I returned back to our house, I would start crying. Mom had aunt’s family photo and when I grew up she used to show me that and tell that she was like my second mom. When we left Calcutta, in the railway station, she ran with the train crying and I was crying from inside the train as if my dad and mom were kidnapping me. When we returned back to Theni, I was down with fever for a week. Every time my mom describes this, I would suddenly want to visit Calcutta and the beloved aunty. She had a daughter and I used to call her Munna Didi. I even lost their family photo. Very sad. But still these are some sweet memories of my childhood which I can never forget..
For me Bengal is always connected to delicious milk based sweets. My dad was a sweet loving person and I have got his gene. Yes I love sweets and would die for it. And if the sweet is paneer based then no doubt, it will be over within a day. We (Dad and Myself) used to have competiition as to who consumes a lot. So when I wanted to make a dish for West Bengal, I opted to make three milk based sweets. Due to some experiments gone wrong, I made only two. But still these are the sweets to die for. Bhappa Doi is a steamed milk curd preparation while Kanchagolla is a no cook Sandesh. When I read the Good Food magazine about Sandesh, I learnt that there are so many varieties. Then I googled for it and landed at Bongmom’s blog. She has elaborately described each type of Sondesh and the method of cooking. This type of Sondesh is a no cook one in which warm chenna is kneaded with sugar to make a smooth dough and it is inturn made into small balls. This type of Sondesh is famous in Natore, a town in Bangladesh.
Here are some of the Bengali recipes I have done previously.
Recipe Source: Bongmom Cookbook
Makes 6 individual servings
Condensed Milk-1 tin/ 400gm
Thick Milk-1 cup
Hung Curd-1 cup
1. Whisk together hung curd, condensed milk and milk .
2. TAke this in a large mixer jar and run the mixer until the mixture is smooth.
3. Now pour the mixture into greased ramekins.
4. Fill a deep tray with water to 2/3rd.
5. Arrange the ramekins in the tray.
6. Prehaet oven to 175C.
7. Place the tray along with ramekins in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. When the doi is slightly golden and is firm to touch, remove from oven and let it cool inside the tray.
8. Now cover the ramekins with a cling wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
9. Top with sliced pistachios and enjoy!!!
Powdered Sugar-5-6 tbs (adjust according to your requirement)]
Cardamom Powder-1/4 tsp
1. Bring milk to boil and add the lemon juice.
2. When the milk curdles, remove from flame and pour into a muslin lined sieve.
3. Allow the whey to drain for 1 hour.
4. Now take the chenna in a plate.
5. Add the sugar, cardamom powder and stat kneading. Give pressure with your palm to mash the chenna granules.
6. After kneading for 5 minutes, you will end up with a smooth soft dough.
7. Roll the mixture into sma;ll balls and place some slivered pistachios on top.
8. Refrigerate and serve!!!
Hope you all enjoyed all my 30 posts this whole month. Will be participating in another month long marathon soon.
And here is a recap of all the recipes I made for this marathon: