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 West Bengal state of India. Other regions, such as Tripura, and the Barak Valley region of Assam (in India) also have large native Bengali populations and share this cuisine. With an emphasis on fish, vegetables and lentils are served with rice as a staple diet.
Bengali cuisine is known for its subtle (yet sometimes fiery) flavors and its spread of confectioneries and desserts. It also has the only traditionally developed multi-course tradition from the subcontinent that is analogous in structure to the modern service à la russe style of French cuisine, with food served course-wise rather than all at once.
The nature and variety of dishes found in Bengali cooking are unique even in India. Fresh sweet water fish is one of its most distinctive features; Bengal’s rivers, ponds, and lakes contain varieties of fish such as roui, ilish, koi or pabda. Prawns, shrimp and crabs also abound. Almost every village in Bengal has ponds used for pisciculture, and at least one meal a day is certain to have a fish course.
Bengalis also excel in the cooking of regional vegetables. They prepare a variety of the dishes using the many types of vegetables that grow there year-round. They can make ambrosial dishes out of the often times rejected peels, stalks and leaves of vegetables. This style of cooking food using rejected parts of the vegetables is predominant in Bengalis in Bangladesh and those who have migrated to West Bengal, in the use fuel-efficient methods, such as steaming fish or vegetables in a small covered bowl nestled at the top of the rice pot.
The street food in Bengal is also top notch and is always loved by the residents and the tourists as well. When it comes to India, one of the most famous street foods has to the kathi rolls which originated in Bengal itself. One of the most famous street foods in Dhaka, Bangladesh is Dhakai Paratha. Usually, the paratha recipes are made on tava, but this special Dhakai paratha recipe or Bengali Dhakaiparathais to be deep fried layered and is served as a crispy Paratha.
Now, the Dhakai recipe is a rich street food that could be eaten just as it is or with sweet and sour chutney. But, in case you want to go over the top and make a sumptuous meal then the dhakai special paratha goes best with cholar dal.
What is cholar dal?
Bengali Style Cholar Dal is a Bengali dish prepared from Chana Dal, ghee, coconut and other spices. This spicy goodness is packed with nutrition as chana is high in fibre and protein. It takes hardly any time to prepare and makes for a simple yet satisfying lunch.
So, now it is time to reveal your inner chef and try out this Dhakai street food. The internet has a number of videos that will teach you how to make Dhakai paratha with cholar dal. Enjoy your meal!