Apr 15, 2008

Entries for RCI Bengal

West Bengal is one of the Eastern states of India, the land of Ramakrishna Paramahansa,Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore,Amartya Sen...the list is endless, a state rich in cultural heritage, state teeming with people who are literary intellectuals, sports lovers, a place where India's quest for freedom began, a place which gave birth to number of modern movements in literature, painting, theatre, cinema, politics.

I always had this strange fascination for speaking bangla whenI was a kid as I found the language too sweet:)As I grew up I had lots of bengali friends and I made sure I talked to them in Bangla.Lady luck endowed her choicest blessings on me when I got married to Biplab, though he belonged to an oriya family but were settled in Bengal since generations.My joy knew no bounds when I found out that the whole household not only spoke bangla at home but the style of living, cooking,customs and traditions was a lot like bengalis.Since then it has been a beautiful experience learning and getting accustomed to bangla ranna and traditions....my dream come true:)

West bengal not only shares borders with Orissa but has cultural ,linguistic and culinary similarities too.The culinary similarities are the ingredients , the style of cooking , the same recipes with a little twist here and there.The common ingredients in cooking being Sorshe tel( mustard oil),paanch phoron( five spice mix),Poshto baata(poppyseed paste),Sorshe baata(mustard paste),extensive use of fish and prawns with different kinds of veggies and the different kinds of drool worthy sweet dishes which are unique to only these two states.My mom inlaw is an amazing cook and the credit goes to her in teaching me a few of the bengali dishes.

My entries for RCI Bengal hosted By Sandeepa of Bong Mom's Cook Book are Rui aloo phulkopi(carp fish cooked with cauliflower potao and peas),Moog Dal(split green gram cooked and tempered with cumin,bayleaf and red chillies) and Nikhuti Payesh(Cottage cheese Oblongs deep fried and served dipped in flavoured condensed milk.

Rui aloo phulkopi:
5-6 pcs of Carpor rui mach (normally red snapper or bhetki is used for this curry)
2 potatoes diced
1/4 cup green peas
1 small cauliflower cut into medium florets
1 large onion..ground to a paste
1 tomato diced or pureed
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp whole garam masala( 2 green cardamoms,2 -3 cloves,1"stick cinnamon)2-3 Bay leaves
1 tsp coriander pwdr,1 tsp garam masala,1/2 tsp cumin pwdr,1 tsp turmeric,1 tsp chilli pwdr
salt to aste
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp mustard oil
1/2 lemon
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1 green chilli
1.Marinate the fish with turmeric(1/2 tsp),salt ,chilli pwdr( apinch) and lemon juice for 15- 20 mins.Shallow fry with 2 tbsp mustard oil till light brown.
2.Fry cauliflower and potatoes till half cooked,keep aside.
3.In the same pan add the rest of the oil add the sugar, caramelise on low heat, add the bay leaves and whole garam masala .
4. Add the onion and ginger paste ,fry till slightly brown.
5.Add all the masalas or spices except garam masala with little water and add with the tomatoes to the frying paste.Fry until the oil seperates from the masala.
6.Add the fried cauliflower and potatoes and1 cup water and salt.Cook covered for 10 mins or till the veggies are tender.
7.Add the fried fish and peas to the gravy and simmer for 5-8 mins.
8.Add the garam masala pwdr and garnish with coriander leaves and green chillies.
Moog Dal
  • 100 g split green gram (moog dal)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 dry chilli
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp mustard oil
  • 1.Dry fry green gram in a pan. Wash and boil the
  • fried green gram.
  • 2.Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin, dry red chilli and bay leaf.
  • 3.Saute till it splutters.
  • 4.Add boiled green gram, turmeric powder,
  • salt,sugar and water.
  • 5.Boil for a few mins.
  • 6.Add ghee and remove from heat.
  • 7.Serve with hot rice.

Nikuti Payesh:
500 gms Cottage Cheese(Channa)
1 lt milk
1 kg sugar
100gm flour
1/2 tsp soda bi carbonate
1 tsp ghee
2-3 black cardamom
4-5 sticks cinnamon
oil for deep frying
1.Knead well the cheese,flour,soda bicarb,cardamom and the ghee together.
2.Make small elongated balls out of the mixture and deep fry them till dark brown.
3.Boil the milk seperately with cinnamon and 4-5 tbsp sugar till it condenses.
4. Make a sugar syrup of one thread consistency from boiling water and the remaining sugar.
5.Immerse the fried oblong balls or nikhuties in the sugar syrup for 2 hrs.
6. Remove the balls with a strainer and dip in the boiled condensed milk.Serve after cooling.


  1. surprisingly have never had the nikhuti payesh although have spent most of my life in east...
    well it looks so tempting saswati... toooooooooo good

  2. Wow this is indeed a feast for the RCI.
    Delicious entries

  3. I feel like some payesh now - have never seen or heard of this.

  4. Wow that is a whole meal there...and each look wonderful..

  5. Delicious bengali dishes.never had these..will try this soon..

  6. great entries, saswati! looks fabulous.

  7. I never tasted any of these dishes. I guess it is proper to bengal. I love both of them espe, the fish looks delicious...

  8. new for me too:))but asusual love those sweet:))

  9. paneer in condensed milk, yummy anything that has paneer i will try. Thanks for sharing

  10. Swati i had tasted it before...it tastes amazing

    Thankx Happy cook

    Sra i think you have areal sweet tooth isnt it?

    Thank you Rachel

    Prajusha let me know how they turned out:)

  11. Thank you Uma:)

    Cham the fish was great ...we all enjoyed it alot:)

    Thankx Dhivya..your desserts are always awesome.

    You are welcome Medha...do let me know:)

  12. Nikhuti Payesh looks wonderful..is it similar to Chenna gaja? I am definitely trying it one of these days. Wow, phool kobi in rohi tarkari..that is nice! Another one thing to try..amazing!

  13. What a feast! everything looks delicious! Guess what? When I was a kid, i wanted to learn bangala too! The reason? I was fascinated by Rabindransth Tagore's Nobel prize for lit. I thought I must learn this language to enjoy all beautiful Bengali literature! Unfortunately never did!! :-(
    All I know is "Ami tumashe bhalo bashi?" thanks to Amitabh's Bollywood song. & probably that too is not correct!!

  14. What a spread!! Awesome entry for RCI. Am learning so much about Bengali food this month! :)

  15. Lovely entries for the RCI!

  16. payesh looks so good :) can i join in for lunch ;)

  17. u come up with some v unique recipes :) That dessert is jus calling out to me! Yum

  18. delecious feast ,love them all

  19. That's indeed a great meal saswati and the nikhuti payesh with cottage cheese is an absolutely new dish for me.

  20. Haven't had the nikhuti payesh, have just had nikhutis and they are yumm. The rui mach er alu-kopi'r jhol is a fav. I too made a alu-kopir jhol, one without the onion etc..

  21. Saswati, I am crazy about ur recipes. The payesh looks out of the world and fish looks damm good.The whole menu looks very tempting.

  22. Pragyan nikhuti is soft to eat....not like chenna gaja...do try it out:)

    Meera bengali is a lang anyone wud love to spk and hear:)

    Same here Kalai....these events are educational:)

    Vani thank you:)

    Richa you are welcome dear:)

  23. Dk thanx alot....that dessert is worth taking all the efforts:)

    Thank you Sagari and Vandana:)

    Sandeepa even i had nikhutis before..they taste gr8...i wud love to know the onionless version of macher jhol:)

    Thank you Shibani...for your constant support too:)

  24. Your entry looks delicious.A complete meal!


  25. Saswati, all the recipes are familiar to me...and yes, we too use the mustard oil,paanch phoron etc....in fact, as I was just telling Sandeepa, I am making this fish curry too for our dinner...we absolutely love it :-)

  26. Those are some lovely bangla dishes Saswati..:)) Yum Yum


  27. What a lovely feast!! Lovely entries for the RCI.

    Rosie x

  28. This is Rasabali from Orrisa.

  29. Rui-phulkopi is such a quintessential Bengali dish. Try it with prawns too. It takes you a different level. Aaaah!



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