We have some very diverse varieties of food. We are innate foodies and we love the fact that we value food, a lot more than other cultures do. We love to eat and we love to eat good things.
It all starts with a good cup of tea in the morning. Overboil it and its no longer the perfect cup of tea. Overuse milk and it’s no longer going to be the perfect cup of tea you have in the morning. Add to this a ‘Marie’ biscuit and voila; it is a good day to be breathing. Some people prefer milkless tea and coffee over the milked versions, but trust me, most bongs would love a tea with milk and some extra sugar.
‘Jolkhbar’ or morning snacks is basically the semi-meal that most Bengalis have. It is the second breakfast we have. It can range from Chappati and Sabzi to some overty westernized people having burgers and fries. Nevertheless, we eat. Some people eat just puffed rice ‘Muri’ to satiate their tummies, with the least amount of calories! This seems filling but it doesn’t make you fat. Oh! Forgot to tell you that we bongs had the recipe to diet food long before the west could think of it!
The lunch and dinner can be busy affairs. We bongs love to eat different kinds of Sabzis at lunch. The main course contains Rice and Dal. The side dishes would contain a fry, like potato, brinjal or Padwal (gourd) or anything similar. We love our fishes as well. Being closely situated to seas and rivers, we had always been in love with fishes. It is in fact an evolutionary fact that made us bongs so fond of fishes. From Rohu, tilapia, Ilish (hilsa) to katla, magur, lotte and shutki (dried fish). We also like smashed potatoes with rice. Ghee and butter are added delicacies which aren’t necessities but are much loved. We also love chicken and mutton, at lunch, specially mutton gravy on Sundays. Some special dishes we bongs love to go back to are Shukto, alu bhaja (potato fries), begun bhaja (brinjal fries), poshto (poppy seeds and potato gravy), poshtor bora (poppy seed fry), khichdi, macher kalia (fish curry), chingri maacher malaikari (red curry with prawns), kakrar jhaal (crab gravy), the famous bong biryani (I am sorry but no other biryani quite tastes like the Kolkata version of biryani, we so love), begun pora (brinjal baked and smashed with onions and tomatoes), korai shutir kochuri (peas smashed and added to dough for puri and made into puri) and so on. We love lots of side dishes with our main course, that is rice or roti (chappati).
We have so many sweets to choose from as well. Roshogolla, Lady Canning, Lord Chom Chom, Jol Bhora Shondesh, Langcha, Pantua, Golab Jamun, Makha Shondesh, Nolen Gurer Shondesh and so on, are a few famous sweets of Bengal. Some other famous non-Bengali sweets we bongs love are Jilipi (Jalebi), Malpua (Malpoa), laddoo and so on.
In short, we are bhojon bilashi (foodies or food lovers). We just love to eat.