About Bengal

 

West Bengal is a state in eastern India, between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal with a unique geopolitical, cultural and historic significance. Bengali culture considered one of the richest cultures in Indian subcontinent has a recorded history of over 1,400 years. Kolkata or Calcutta is the capital city of the state and has a rich history and heritage to boast of.

Kolkata also holds a special place in our (Sunita and Sanjay’s) lives as our son was born in this wonderful city that grew on us as we called it home for around 4years. It gave us the opportunity to learn and appreciate the subtle nuances of the understated Bengali culture and cuisine.

The Cuisine

 

Bengali cuisine is a culinary style originating in Bengal, a region in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, which is now divided between Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura and Assam’s Barak Valley. With an emphasis on fish, vegetables and lentils served with rice as a staple diet. Use of mustard oil in cooking, mild whole spices and mix of spices called ‘Panchphoran’ are hallmarks of this wonderful cuisine.
Bengali cuisine is known for its subtle (yet sometimes fiery) flavours, and its spread of confectioneries and desserts.

The city of Kolkata was the capital of British India from 1772 to 1911, and as such a strong British influence can be seen in many aspects of Bengali culture including its cuisine. Iconic dishes such as Railway Mutton, Dak Bungalow Chicken Curry are all lingering influences of the Anglo-Indian era.

Bengali cuisine is unique amongst other regional Indian cuisines because it also has the only traditionally developed multi-course custom,that is similar in structure to the à la russe style of French cuisine, with food served course-wise rather than all at once.

At Daana, however we will present it as a Thali this weekend. So, make your booking today to savour the taste of Bengal.

 

Thali Menu

 

Recipe of the week

All Time Favourite- Bengali Classic Chutney

 

Tomato Khejur'r Chutney

A Bengali classic- Sweet-spicy tomato chutney with dates and dried fruits.

Ingredients

  • 500 gms tomatoes
  • 40 gms pitted dates
  • 40 gms raisins
  • 25 gms cashew
  • 400 gms sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 pc dried red chilli
  • ½ tsp panch phoron
  • ½ tsp citric acid

Method

  1. Wash and dice the tomatoes. Split the Dates length-wise.
  2. Heat mustard oil in a pan, and temper it with dried red chilli and ‘panch phoron’.
  3. Add the tomatoes, along with the salt and turmeric, and cook them, covered until the tomatoes are completely soft and mushy. Add ½ tsp of citric acid now and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cashew and sugar, at this stage with the addition of the sugar the colour of the chutney will start to change from pale to a deep red. Once that has happened, stir in the raisins, dates, and bring to boil and then simmer for another 2 minutes.
  5. Remember to remove it from the heat while it is still thin because it will thicken once cooled.
  6. You can store this chutney as a preserve too, in which case, allow it to cool completely before you pour it into an airtight container and refrigerate. It can last for up to 2 months.