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Food Habits Of Bengali ...past ...present

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By Author: sujoy Chakraborty
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It is humorously said that while other people eat to live, the Bengalis live to eat. All the Bengali festivals and rituals end up with feasts containing a number of intricately prepared Bengali foods keeping taste and health in consideration. In this article, we will focus on the development of Bengali cuisine in the modern age and chiefly discuss the history of the cooked food.
The 18th and early 19th centuries are the decisive phases in the history of Bengal when Bengali culture emerged in different modern aspects. It was also affected by the Mughals and the Europeans who were very prominent in Bengal till 1650.The Bengali food has been evolved for years through the Nawab rule and underwent the major transition with European influence when East India Company made Calcutta as capital of the nation. After the partition, there emerged two different cooking styles as per the ancestral family origin. One was the fiery Bangal style curries developed by immigrants from East Bengal (now called Bangladesh) and the other sweet loving Bengal natives developed Ghoti style.
Although both of the Bengali food cooking styles have originated from the same geographical locations, they vary completely in the marinades and spices being used. With the lavish use of chillis and oil, Bangal cooking style uses morich bata and phoron (combination of whole spices), fried and added at the beginning or end of cooking as the special flavouring. Bhapa Illish is one such food, where Hilsa fish is steamed with spices and oil in order to give the smoky and musky flavour. There are some outstanding Bengali kitchens where you can enjoy the authentic low oil and delicious Bengali foods. They also ensure food delivery to your doorstep in the hygienic containers on your demand.
The main component in Ghoti cooking style is sugar or jaggery. The true Ghoti puts a bit of sugar to their dishes. Other component, which is very much used by Ghotis is posto (poppy seeds). Most of the Ghoti delicacies are lined up with poppy seeds like Dim posto, Jhinge Posto, Alu posto and many more.
The other major difference between the Ghotis and Bangals is that typical Bangal eats rice in all their food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) while Ghoti prefers deep fried luchis made up of wheat-flour and are available in various varieties and sizes.
Bengalis in general are stereotyped and are associated with Fish curry (Macher Jhol Bhaat). They divide themselves into East Bengal and West Bengal residents in relation to their fish loyalty and cooking style. The Bangals strongly prefer Ilish Maach (Hilsa) and believe that hilsa from Padma river is tastier than that of Rupnarayana river. whereas Ghotis discard all these claims. They show more affinity to prawns or lobsters than Hilsa. Bangals also prefer fishes like Loita, Pabda or Shukti Maach whereas Ghotis prefer Rohu or Katla.
In spite of these differences, the last 50 years chief influence has resulted in the more unified Bengali food. This occurs due to the migration on religious fronts after partition and also inter marriages. Famous for the rich cuisine, you can find a number of Bengali kitchens ensuring home delivery with wide range of veg and non-veg dishes. At Myaaku, you can discover our menu and enjoy the delicious meal made up of completely fresh products.

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