Festivals of India: Poila Baishakh

Poila BaishakPoila Boishakh is the first day of the Bangla Calendar. Poila Boishakh is celebrated in a festive manner in both Bangladesh and West Bengal, as well as by Bengali people in Tripura. Hence, Poila Boishakh connects all ethnic Bengalis irrespective of religious and regional differences. In Bangladesh, Poila Boishakh is a national holiday and in West Bengal it is a public holiday.

Poila Boishakh is also known as Nbobrsho , or Bengali New Year, as it is the first day of the first month of Boishakh in the Bengali calendar. This day is a very festive time for Bengalis. This day being auspicious, new businesses and new ventures are started. The Mahurat is performed, marking the beginning of new ventures. Poila Baishakh bears immense significance in the life of all Bengalis. It marks as a new beginning, a new hope, a year full of joy, well-being and prosperity.

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Anaras Chutney

Ingredients :

  • Pineapple, crushed -1

  • Oil - 2 tsp

  • Sugar - 2 tsp

  • Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp

  • Brown Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp

  • Bay Leaf - 1

  • Salt - 1/4 tsp

Method :

  • Heat oil in non-stick pan.

  • Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.

  • Add crushed pineapple, bay leaf, sugar and salt and simmer for 5 minutes

  • Stir in lemon juice and cook for another 1 minute.

  • Let it cool to room temperature before serving.

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Aloo Koraisutir Narkul Curry

Ingredients :

  • Big Potatoes - 2

  • Tomatoes - 2

  • Green Peas kg

  • Mustard Seeds 1tsp

  • Cumin Seeds tsp

  • Asafoetida- a pinch

  • Chili Powder 1 tsp

  • Turmeric Powder tsp

  • Garam Masala Powder a pinch

  • Coconut Milk 1 cup

  • Cilantro Leaves a few sprigs

  • Sugar tsp

  • Salt - to taste

Method :

  • Wash, peel and dice potatoes. Wash and chop tomatoes and cilantro leaves.

  • Heat oil in a wok. Add mustard. Saut till it splutters.

  • Add cumin and asafoetida. Add potatoes, tomatoes and green peas.

  • Add 2 cups of water, turmeric powder, chili powder, sugar and salt.

  • Cook till the potatoes are done.

  • Add coconut milk. Bring to boil and remove from heat.

  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

  • Serve hot with rice or roti.

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Begun Shiraji

Ingredients :

  • Plump Brinjals diced into 2 inch pieces - 500 gms

  • Fenugreek Leaves, finely chopped - 1 kg

  • Ginger Paste - tbsp

  • Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp

  • Chili Powder - 1 tsp

  • Cumin Powder - 1 tsp

  • Coriander Powder - tsp

  • Oil - 4 tbsp

  • Tomato Puree or one large

  • Tomato finely chopped (optional) - 2 tbsp

  • Peanuts ground to a paste with water - 100 gms

  • Salt to taste (1 tsp)

  • Sugar to taste (1 tsp)

  • Finely grated Khoa (dried whole milk) - 1 tbsp

Method :

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add brinjal pieces and stir fry over medium heat until half done.Begun Shiraji

  • Add fenugreek leaves and mix well. Make a paste with ginger, turmeric, chili, cumin, coriander and water.

  • Add it to the pan with tomato puree or chopped tomato.

  • Mix well and stir fry until spices are well blended.

  • Stir in peanut paste, salt and sugar.

  • Mix and continue to cook until the brinjals are soft and all the moisture has evaporated from the pan.

  • Check seasoning, remove from fire and sprinkle with khoa before serving.

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Bhapa Sandesh

Preparation Time : 45 minutes
Serves : 6-8

Ingredients :

  • Cottage Cheese 500 g

  • Egg White - 2

  • Vanilla Essence few drops

  • Pistachio Nuts - 5

  • Sugar 150g


Method :

  • Finely chop pistachio nuts.

  • Mix cottage cheese, egg white, sugar and vanilla extract in a blender.

  • Place the mixture in a small greased baking dish.

  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Pour water in a large baking dish. Place the small baking dish in it.

  • Set the oven temperature at 175C. Bake for 30 minutes or until mixture has set.

  • If you do not have an oven, place the mixture in a greased lidded container. Put the lid on. Put about 1 cup water in a pressure cooker.

  • Place the container in the cooker, such that the container is half immersed in water. Pressure cook for 5 whistles.

  • Remove baked cheese from the baking dish / lidded container. Cut into diamond or square shapes.

  • Garnish with chopped pistachio nuts.

  • Serve at room temperature.

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Kasundi Ilish

Ingredients :

  • Ilish Fish - kg

  • Mango Kasundi - 30 gms

  • Jaggery (gur) - 10 gms

  • Whole Red Chili - 1

  • Turmeric Powder - 5 gms

  • Mustard Paste - 15 gms

  • Whole Mustard - 2 gms

  • Mustard Oil - 40 gms

  • Salt - to taste

  • Water - 50 gms

Method :

  • Cut the fish and wash it properly.Kasundi Ilish

  • Marinate with salt, turmeric and keep aside for 10 minutes.

  • Heat oil and lightly fry the fish and keep it aside.

  • Heat oil in a pan, put whole chili and mustard. When it starts to crackle, add water, mustard paste and turmeric powder.

  • Make a paste and put in some more oil.

  • Add salt, jaggery, mango kasundi. Stir it for 56 minutes.

  • Add the fried ilish. Add some water, if required.

  • Kasundi Ilish is ready to be served.

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Mangshor Rezala

Ingredients :

  • Mutton mixed with chops with some fat - 2 kg

  • Onions ground to a fine paste - 250 gms

  • Ginger Paste - 2 tbsp

  • Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp

  • Yoghurt, well beaten - 400 gms

  • Cardamom Powder - of 10 pcs

  • Cinnamon broken into small pieces - 4 inch

  • Mace Powder - 1 tsp

  • Cashew Nut Paste - 4 tbsp

  • Poppy Seed Paste - 4 tbsp

  • Green Chilies - 10 slit

  • Dry Red Chilies - 10

  • Sugar - 2 tsp

  • Salt - 2 tsp

  • Light Cream - 1 cups

  • Raisins soaked in hot water - 10

  • Almonds soaked in hot water, peeled and sliced - 10

  • Ghee (clarified butter) - cup

  • Vetivier (keora water) - 1 tsp

  • Rose water - 1 tsp


Method :

  • In a large mixing bowl mix in the mutton with yogurt, ginger, garlic, poppy seed, cashew nut paste, ghee, 1teaspoon salt, 1teaspoon sugar, dry red chilies, powdered mace and cardamom and cinnamon pieces and let it marinate for 12 hours.Mangshor Rezala

  • Now cook tightly covered pan over a low flame for about 1 hours, or until the meat is tender to the touch.

  • You can also place it in a 350 F oven for about 12 hours in a covered utensil.

  • Stir in green chilies and the remaining salt and sugar.

  • Pour in cream, mix well and bring to a simmer.

  • Cook uncovered for 810 minutes. Stir in raisins, rose and keora water. Mix well.

  • Check the seasoning, and simmer further until the ghee comes to the top.

  • Remove from fire, sprinkle with sliced almonds before serving.

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Ingredients :

  • Ingredients For Crepes or Patishapta

  • Plain Flour - 120 gms

  • Rice Flour - 60 gms

  • Sodium Bicarbonate - 1/8 tsp

  • Milk - 250 ml

  • Ghee for frying


    For Filling

  • Fresh Coconut flesh, finely grated - 100 gms

  • Sugar - 100 gms

  • Rabri (thickened milk without sugar) - 100 gms

  • Soaked Raisins - 1 tbsp

  • Soaked Almonds, peeled and chopped - 1 tbsp

Method :

  • In a bowl whisk rice and plain flour, sodium bicarbonate and milk to make a smooth batter, set aside for hour.Patishapta

  • To make the filling place sugar and grated coconut in a pan over moderate heat until the sugar adheres to the coconut to make a light brown mass.

  • Remove and cool.

  • Add the rabri to make a moist thick filling, stir in nuts and raisins and set aside.

  • To make the crepes, heat a frying pan, add a few drops of ghee swirling it so the ghee is evenly distributed over the frying pan.

  • Drop two tablespoon batter swirling the pan around to evenly coat it, allow to cook until the under side of the crepe turns lightly brown.

  • Spread the filling inch wide across one end of the crepe.

  • Fold over one side then roll again, until the crepe is well wrapped around the filling.

  • Remove and place on a platter.

  • Can be served hot or cold.

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Patol Sorse

Ingredients :

  • Patol (parwal) - 500 gms

  • Mustard Paste - 3 tbsp

  • Poppy Seeds - 1 tbsp

  • Turmeric powder - tsp

  • Mustard Oil - 2 tbsp

  • Green Chili - 4 piece

  • Ginger Paste - 1 tsp

  • Salt to taste

Method :

  • Patol SorsePeel the patol and lightly fry in oil.

  • Slit the green chilies, heat mustard oil and add the green chilies, mustard paste, poppy seed paste and ginger paste.

  • Stir for a few minutes.

  • Add turmeric and salt to it and keep stirring. Fry all this well till the oil starts coming out from the sides.

  • Add sufficient water to it and add the patol. Keep stirring till a thick gravy is formed.

  • Serve with hot rice.

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