In every cuisine, you will find some unusual & weird food. But people from those regions love those foods a lot. Is this not true? If you are a foodie and love to try different cuisines then you may have tasted some of those weird foods in your life. In West Bengal, you can also find some popular food which you may find unusual as well as weird too.
5 very popular Bengali foods which are unusual & weird too
1. Neem begun
If you a Bengali then you have definitely tasted this dish. Neem begun is nothing but stir-fried neem leaves and small pieces of brinjal (eggplant). This dish is very very bitter in taste but many Bengali people love this food. It is prepared at most Bengali households every year during early summer.
People use neem extracts as pesticide on plants. It is very very very bitter in taste. But people enjoy this neem begun food a lot and it also has many health benefits. Is it not unusual as well as weird food?
2. Panta bhaat
Did you ever try this awesome meal? Most popular & traditional dish in West Bengal as well as Bangladesh. It is also popular in some neighboring areas. But what is this? Any idea?
This is nothing but slightly fermented rice. People pour water into a pot which is partially filled with rice. Then they cover that pot with a lid and keep it in a dark & warm place, so that it becomes slightly fermented over the night. Then in the morning people enjoy this fermented rice with mashed potato or fried fish or any other fried stuff. Do you also find this unusual & weird?
3. Garur dal
This is a very healthy lentil curry which is prepared on the last day of Ashwin month (Bengali calendar) and then store it for having it in the next day (the first day of Kartik month) too. This is a very old tradition in this region. On that day people cook only this dish along with boiled rice. No other dish is needed because almost every kind of available seasonal vegetables and split pea lentils are used to make this delicious & super healthy dish. You do not need to add oil to make this food.
It is said that “Jaaler ta aar haaler ta khete nei” on this day means you should not eat anything which is cultivated by using plough (haal) or caught by using fish net (jaal). That means you should use those vegetables which are homegrown. That is why still nowadays in rural Bengal people share homegrown fresh vegetables to their neighbors so that they can use those to make this gaarur dal. Is it not weird? Though urban people do not follow such traditions.
4. Gathir dal
Another popular Bengali food item which is prepared with gathi kochu. Gathi kochu is taro root in English (Arbi in Hindi). It is very popular vegetable in various other parts of the country too.
Dal means lentil but surprisingly, here lentils are not used. But still it is called as dal. WHY? I don’t know may be because it looks like a lentil curry? Gathir dal but no dal is there. Is it not weird?
5. Kacha posto bata
This is actually fire-free cooking. You can make this awesome dish without using fire. Yes, still you can make it and have your meal with boiled or steamed rice. Posto means poppy seeds in English (khus khus in Hindi) is a popular ingredient in West Bengal. It is often used to make various traditional dishes. But Bengali people just make a paste of these raw poppy seeds along with two or three other ingredients.
Many people living in West Bengal love this kancha posto bata very much and they do not need any other food. Is this not weird?