Sukalpa Dhar, Kolkata: Are you a foodie? I’m sure that most of you who are reading this article are food lovers and who doesn’t like food? There is such a huge variety of food available in the different parts of India itself that often one becomes very confused when asked about which food item you like the most. From centuries India is famous for its spices. Spices come from bark of trees, seed, fruit, root etc. There are innumerable spices in India. We use these spices in different items. There are broadly two main division in food (i) Vegetarian and (ii) Non-Vegetarian.
Biryani is one of the most popular items especially among the youngsters all over India. The key ingredients of biriyani are basmati rice, any meat (your choice), egg, potato etc. A biryani doesn’t turn out to be biriyani until and unless any meat is added to it and the same goes for pulao. Actually a veg pulao or a veg biriyani doesn’t exist because in these two items the two words ‘veg’ and ‘pulao’, ‘veg’ and ‘biryani’ are contrary to each other. So the most common mistake made by us is when we say it as veg polao or veg biryani. But we can always say veg fried rice.
There are different types of biryani. Some of them are: (i) Awadhi Biryani (ii) Hyderabadi Biryani (iii) Sindhi Biryani (iv) Lucknowi Biryani (v) Kolkata Biryani.
Mutton can be prepared in a hell lot of ways.
While preparing mutton one has to keep in mind one thing that the more time one spares in marinating the mutton the more delicious it will turn out. Now the ingredients for marinating the mutton varies from person to person and from place to place and hence the taste will also keep on changing accordingly.
The mutton which is cooked in slow fire for hours after hours of marination with perfect amount of spices will undoubtedly be very tender, delicious and finger licking. Some of the mutton preparations are (i) Rogan Josh (ii) Kosha Mangsho (iii) Galouti Kebab.
Rogan Josh is one of the most famous recipes of the Kashmiri cuisine and if you are a foodie like me you must taste it at least once in your life time.
Here the meat is braised in gravy made of caramelised onion, yoghurt, ginger, garlic, and many spices such as bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, dried red kashmiri chillies.
Luchi with Kosha Mangsho is one of the delicacies one can find in most of the Bengali households. Kosha Mangsho is nothing but mutton curry in authentic Bengali style. Luchi is a much lighter and thinner version of puri. It is made from maida. Luchi with Kosha Mangsho is one of the most gelling combinations one can have and if you can manage roshogollas for your desert it will surely add a cherry on the top.
Luchi can gel with many more items such as Luchi – Cholar Dal, Luchi – Payesh, Luchi – Alu Dam, Luchi – brinjal fry, etc.
Now its rainy season, naturally, the fish which first comes to our mind is Ilish. Malai chingri, Bhedki paturi, Rui macher kalia and the list goes on but I have to stop here as the list is a never ending one.
Now if we venture towards vegetarian food we will find that there are innumerable types of delicious dishes, recipes which can be made from the variety of vegetables we have in our country.
Banana blossom also known as banana heart is a very delicious item. It is very nutritious too. It contains iron, copper, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, etc. Banana stem is the fibrous stalk of the banana plant. It cleans our digestive system. It also helps us to keep our body weight in control.
Pointed gourd (Potol) with milk, stuffed teasle gourd (Kakrol), jhinge posto, chanar dalna or kofta curry and the list goes on….all are very delicious. In winter season we get a variety of vegetables. So we can prepare a lot of dishes such as badha kopir ghanto (cabbage), chechki. Chechki is a preparation made with mustard paste mixed with red chilli added in fresh vegetables like beans, cabbage, radish, cauliflower. These are authentic Bengali items.
I think Chinese cuisines are loved by all and it has spread in all parts of the world. In India, dishes like chowmein, chilli chicken, manchurian chicken, hakka noodles, manchow soup, spring roll, schezuan chicken, chop suey, fried rice, etc are very popular.
Finally let’s have our desserts. In India we have different kinds of sweet dishes whose flavour varies from door to door and from house to house. So one can imagine how varied forms of sweet dishes one can find while travelling the different parts of India. Some of the delicious sweets are gulab jamun, pantua, roshogolla made of jaggery, malpua, misti doi, sweets made from chana (milk solids) etc. Sweets made from chana (milk solids) are very popular in Bengal.
Currently there are a number of travel and food shows running parallel in various television channels and YouTube channels. Such as: The Foodie, Highway on My Plate, Foodka Series etc. Among them ‘The Foodie’ with Kunal Vijayakar and ‘Highway on My Plate’ by Rocky Singh and Mayur Sharma are my all time favourite food shows. They could ace out all other travel and food shows with their perfect blending of wit, presence of mind, short, simple and crisp language and clear descriptions. I am watching the Highway on My Plate in NDTV Good Times and the Foodie Show with Kunal Vijayakar in Times Now since my childhood days.
They really bring out and show the hidden treasures of food from various parts of India and for the food lovers like us it is always a great treat to watch.