Durga Puja is here!! This year Mahalaya (homecoming of Goddess) would be celebrated on 28th September 2019, but the festivities would begin on Panchami, 3rd October, 2019 and end on Vijaya Dashami, 8th October, 2019. For these four-five days, Goddess Durga will be offered variety of bhog, prasad and puja offerings by the devotees. In these couple of days, Goddess Durga visits earth to be with her devotees and showers them with love and prosperity.
Traditionally the “Durga Puja bhog” is prepared by the best known traditional Bengali cooks called ‘Thakurs’. A variation of delicious vegetarian dishes, cooked in mustard oil and ghee is offered to the deities every day right before it is served to the devotees and guests who come to join in the special arrangement made by the pandals.
Dishes in Durga Puja Bhog:
Khichdi: It is an essential part of Durga Puja bhog, especially on Saptami and Navami. The hot Moong Dal Khichdi is prepared for a turnout of about 1000 people, preparations for which naturally begin hours in advance. The khichdi at some places also has addition of peas and certain mild spices.
Labra: It is an authentic Bengali dish made with vegetables such as – pumpkin, potato, brinjal, arbi and radish, and spiced with Bengal’s local seasoning paach phoron (a mix of five spices) – all cooked in mustard oil.
Tomato Chutney: Tomatoes beautifully spiced with mustard seeds, ginger, curry leaves and a pinch of sugar.
Payesh: It is a Bengali version of kheer. Rice and milk pudding flavoured with cardamom, dry fruits and a sprinkle of rose water.
Begun Bhaja or Beguni: This dish is made with brinjals that are sliced and coated with gram flour before being deep fried in hot oil. It can be served with rice, luchi or khichdi.
Aloo Phoolkopi: The delicious potato and thinly sliced cauliflower preparation is made with a host of spices.
Roshogolla: Soft and spongy balls made of fresh paneer and dipped in sugar syrup is a must at every Bengali festive occasion.
Veg Pulao: Made with Basmati rice, peas, and clove. Ashtami Special Veg Pulao is truly a highlight of its own.
Mishti Doi: Mishti Doi or Meethi Dahi is made by thickening milk and is sweetened with jaggery. One of the famous delicacies from Bengal!!