Bengalis have always had a deep connection with food, and their cuisine is a blend of rich flavors and aromatic spices. During the monsoon season, the Bengali palate experiences a delight of unique tastes and textures, as the rains bring with them a host of seasonal ingredients. From the humble khichuri to the prized ilish bhaja, Bengalis revel in a feast of foods during monsoon.
Khichuri, a one-pot dish made with rice and lentils, is a staple Bengali dish. During monsoon, it becomes a popular choice for its comforting and nourishing qualities. The dish is often spiced up with a variety of vegetables, from potatoes and carrots to peas and cauliflower. Served with a dollop of ghee and a side of papad and pickle, khichuri is a complete meal that warms the soul.
Another monsoon favorite is ilish bhaja, a crispy fried preparation of the prized ilish fish. Known as the king of fish in Bengal, ilish is a delicacy that is eagerly awaited during the monsoon season. The fish is marinated with turmeric and salt, and then deep-fried to perfection. It is usually served with a side of steaming hot rice, and a dash of mustard oil and green chillies to enhance its flavor.
Apart from these monsoon staples, Bengalis also indulge in a range of other seasonal dishes. The ubiquitous bora, a fritter made with lentils or vegetables, is a popular snack that is enjoyed with a cup of tea during rainy evenings. The quintessential Bengali street food, phuchka, a tangy and spicy snack made with fried balls of dough filled with a mixture of tamarind water, chickpeas, potatoes, and spices, is also a favorite during monsoon.
The monsoon season in Bengal is a time of celebration, and food plays an integral role in these celebrations. Bengalis revel in a feast of foods during this season, with each dish bringing its unique flavor and memories. Whether it’s the comforting khichuri or the prized ilish bhaja, monsoon in Bengal is truly a food lover’s paradise.