Thali Menu #133 – Bengal | Winter Foods
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.
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.
Recipe of the week
Pineapple Kesari/ Pineapple Sheera
Pineapple Kesari / Kesari Bhath/ Pineapple Sheera
Classic Indian semolina pudding
- 1/2 cup Semolina
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Ghee-clarified butter
- 1 1/2 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Pineapple -chopped
- 8-10 Cashew nuts
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder -
- 8-10 Saffron strands
- Dry roast semolina slightly until it is hot to touch.
- Heat a tsp of oil and fry cashew nuts on low heat until golden brown.
- Cut pineapple, discard the skin and core. Chop the pineapple flesh into small cubes and keep it aside.
Preparing the Kesari Bhath
- Heat the rest of the ghee and fry in a wok or Kadhai, add the semolina and roast lightly for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add the chopped pineapple and mix well.
- In a separate saucepan bring 1 1/2 cup of water to boil, add saffron strands
- Add the boiling water to the semolina, stirring continuously. Cook the semolina on medium flame stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming in the semolina.
- Once all the water has evaporated, add sugar. When the sugar is added, the mixture will turn watery again.
- Cook the semolina well on medium or low heat.
- When it starts leaving the sides of the wok add fried cashewnuts, cardamom powder and switch off the heat.
- As it cools it will thicken.
- Garnish with chopped pineapple and fried nuts and serve warm.
- This Pineapple Kesari stays at room temperature for 2 days and for nearly 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
This Pineapple Kesari stays at room temperature for 2 days and for nearly 4-5 days in the refrigerator.