Puja pandals also a foodie's paradise!

Mouth-watering dishes

The festive season has begun with great verve and there can be no better way to participate in the Durga Puja festivities and soak in the revelries than by visiting the various puja pandals in the city.

Apart from the ‘spiritual’ food for the soul that the pandals offer, there is much to sate the foodie’s palate as well! The four days of festivities are also a good time to try out mouth-watering Bengali savouries that are a staple at the pandals. Indeed, every pandal in the city is packed with numerous food stalls, offering authentic Bengali snacks and even main course. One can just hop from one pandal to the other and try various dishes offered by the stalls.From snacks to sweet dishes, Bengali food has something to offer to all food enthusiasts.

Begin your day with Luchi. No Bengali breakfast is complete without the fluffy, deep fried Luchis made from maida, which unlike puris, have a light golden texture. Luchis can be enjoyed with Kosha Mangsho, Alur Torkari, yummy Cholar Dal and other spicy dry veggies. Cholar dal is a typical Bengali dish prepared with chana dal, which is slightly sweet and with a nice fragrance due to the presence of spices like bay leaf and cinnamon in it. Coconut bits are also added to give it a crunchy texture.

Mutton biryani is the next big thing to try out. This dish has a unique smell of desi ghee mixed with rich masalas and juicy tender pieces of mutton cooked in rice. It is sautéed along with spices, which leaves a long lasting taste in the mouth. 

Add to your celebrations the pungent fish curry, popularly called the Ilish Macher Jhol. This dish is prepared with Hilsa fish in mustard oil which leaves a tingly flavour in the mouth. Other add-on spices like Nigella seeds, chillies and fine ginger paste give the flavour an interesting twist. 

Amongst the starters do try out the popular Mangsher Singara. This is a keema samosa, which has a crispy layer of maida. The filling comes as a surprise with perfectly cooked minced meat, chaat masala, lemon juice, black pepper and peas. 

Other than this, one can also try Begun Bhaja or Beguni. These are deep fried brinjals with besan or rice flour coating, served with a generous sprinkling of chaat masala and chutney. 

For those with a sweet tooth, there is nothing better than a kullad of Mishti Doi. This light dish after a meal has a thick and dense texture, just like an ice cream. Malpua, a soft Indian pancake dipped in sweet saffron syrup is another hit among the community. The mixture is sometimes delicately seasoned with cardamoms to give it an impeccable taste. 

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