Bengali Menu 1

Contributed by Ratna Prakash

Ratna Prakash, a Bengali by birth, is an enthusiastic cook who has followed her diplomat husband around the world. She has been a keen member of cook groups wherever she has been and has learnt about the cuisines from many countries. Ratna shares some of the intricacies of Bengali food with us.

A formal Bengali meal is traditionally eaten in courses, one dish at a time. You normally do not serve yourself from all the dishes together. The first course is a serving of rice, dal, a dry vegetable or some fried vegetables and maybe a piece of fried fish. The second course is a vegetable curry, followed by the fish curry and then the meat dish which is eaten with puris or ‘luchis’. This is rounded off with a ‘tak’ or chutney and then finally the sweet is served. A dinner/lunch menu would go something like this:

Bengali Menu by Ratna Prakash

 Main Meal

  • Cholar (chana) Dal
  • Beguni (Brinjal or Pumpkin or Cauliflower dipped in batter and fried)
  • Lau Ghonto (Gourd with Potato, Peas and Coconut)
  • Lau Chingri (Prawn Option)
  • Alu Kopir Dalna (Cauliflower Curry)
  • Doi Machh (Rahu fish cooked in Yoghurt)
  • Kosha Mangsho (Browned, Bhuna Mutton)
  • Tomato Chutney
  • Steamed Rice
  • Luchis


  • Chhanar Payesh
Krishna Sahai
Krishna Sahai

Krishna Sahai took voluntary retirement as a senior Commissioner of Income Tax of the Indian Revenue Service to follow alternative paths. A multi-talented person, she is a trained Bharata Natyam dancer and has also published a book on the subject. Krishna has imbibed the old traditions of Avadhi culture from her family and is concerned about preserving the vanishing cuisines of India. She consults on financial and business matters apart from running a not-for-profit organization.

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