Lost & Found – delicacies from Bengal /Bihar.
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
â€• Ruth Reichl
From the times of the first life on the earth, the LOVE STORY which never deceased which never faded in the test of evolution was the one between Food and Living Beings! The most promising story though was that of MAN and FOOD!! With every new micro steps of change and evolution popped up new ideas of making food more delicious and appealing; this was followed by innovations and explorations to extract food out of anything and everything possible! This love story of Man and Food is so passionate and experimental that often the BEST MOMENTS and BEST TASTES are shoved into the pandora’s box.
So, folks, hereby I take the responsibility to open the Pandora’s box of lost food stories from Bengal and Bihar to satisfy your gastronomic ego!
Presenting you a list of 5 selected lost and found dishes from across the foodoholic states of India ( Bengal/Bihar.)
- DumurerDalna (Indian wild fig curry with Potato)
A traditional but unpopular dish from rural Bengal made from the wild variety of Indian fig. This vegetarian dish is such an innovation which will tempt you to eat up your fingers! This is made with potato , cumin paste/powder, coriander paste/powder , yoghurt and garam masala. Enriched with rich flavors and a perfect texture is a real winner from the past.
- Aloo’rkocha r batichochori (A curry made from skin of potato)
Another miracle dish from Bengal! Batichochori made from peeled skin of potato , lots of Indian spices, garlic and fried slit green chilies and garnished with mustard oil. There are variations of this dish from kitchen to kitchen. But this is the one I miss the most from my childhood! Served with hot rice, this beauty can give you an euphoria if you are longing to grab the taste from old Bengali kitchen.
- Kochur loti (Taro Stolon)
A vegetarian dish most popular in East Bengal made from Kochur loti also known as Taro Stolon , coconut and shrimps/elishermatha ( hilsha fish ). Most of today’s people wouldn’t even know that stolons of colocassia/ taro are edible. Also most of the kings/queens of kitchen wouldn’t prefer cooking these recipes due to time crunch and difficulties faces during cleaning and preparing. But trust me , the efforts while cooking really pays off when you savor the first bite !
- ArbikePattekepakode (Colocassia leaf rolls)
A dish from Bihar which blew my mind away the first time I tasted. My neighbor back in 90’s introduced this arbi ke patte ke pakode to my mom and me. I hardly had the chance of having these pakodes due to our change of Nest but till now I find myself drooling imagining the taste! It’s made from colocassia leaves, besan, amchur, ginger garlic paste and chilies. A crisp, fried roll with tangy yet spicy tasty with a lingering after taste makes this dish as unique as its major ingredient!
- Sattu Ka sarbat / Bihari Horlicks ( drink made from roasted gram flour)
A hot summer in Bihar will be the most relaxing if you get to sip on this drink! Made from Sattu/roasted gram flour, rock salt, sugar water and coriander leaves (optional) . It’s equally refreshing and filling. Amidst the coke, iced tea, lemonades and cappuccinos this drink is lost and people don’t give it a thumbs up due it mundane and dull name. But try it to change your opinion.
There are many such lost and found dishes from these states and across the country. Irony is we call ourselves modernized and keep copying western culture while we behold such rich and fantastic secrets which we willingly forget to adapt ourselves to the current changes. Let’s keep our secrets intact and blend them with modern culture and let the food -man love story flourish but with a pinch of our won lost culture!
— lost writer shri —