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Borsho Boron – 1429

Borsho Boron – 1429

Bengalis are severely addicted to food. Be it any occasion, food is an irreplaceable element in it. This story by Sumita Ganguli(Mou) is all about the celebration of Borsho Boron or Poila Boishak or the Bengali New Year with mouth- watering recipes.

The word ‘Pohela’ means first and the word ‘Boishakh’ signifies the new month of the Bengali calendar. The festival typically falls on April 14 or 15 every year and dates its roots back to the history which has a few versions. However, they all merge at one Mughal emperor, Akbar the Great, and the tax collecting process under his reign, who had introduced the Bengali calendar after combining the lunar Islamic calendar and the solar Hindu calendar.

People of Bengali origin in West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, and Bangladesh celebrate this day by holding community fairs, classical plays (Jatra), preparing special and festive delicacies. ‘Poila Boishakh’ is all about good food, new clothes, and creating memories. The day marks the beginning of the traditional accounting new year for the merchants.

Bengali cuisine is multi course and analogous in structure to the modern service a`larousse style of French Cuisine with food served in course rather than all at once.

Bengali Cuisine can be divided into – charbya or food that is chewed, choṣya or food that is sucked, lehya or foods that are meant to be licked, and peya, or food that is drinkable.

To help make your New Year’s Day brighter and more delicious, here I am with this wonderful roundup of traditional Bengali dishes.  I hope you enjoy the delicious special meals on Noboborsho.

At the crack of dawn on this day the ladies of the house are busy cleaning up and preparing breakfast. Whiff of Luchi, Alur dom, Jilipi or Payesh with gur(Jaggery) is a regular feature in most of the households. Ours was not an exception too. The gleeful adda in the dining table during breakfast and Darjeeling tea post breakfast with extended adda makes the whole ambience filled with revelry.

Start your day with "Luchi Alur Dom"
Start your day with “Luchi Alur Dom”

Lunch is elaborate. Let me share some options that are always a part of ‘Poila Boishakh’ lunch. Steamed Rice, Basanti Pulao, Shuktani, Bhaja Moong Dal with aamada, Begun Basanti, the quintessential Fish fry (Crumb fried Bhetki Fillets) with Kasundi, Jhinge Paturi, Patoler Dolma, Chingri Malaikari, Chitol Macher Tel Jhaal, Kosha Mangsho, Kancha Aamer Chutney, and the list is long for mouth-watering and the super tasty dishes.

"Chitol Maacher Tel Jhal"
“Chitol Maacher Tel Jhal”

Bengali food has evolved and has been influenced by various cultures. ‘Dolmas’, basically a vegetable or fruit that is scooped out from the middle and stuffed with vegetarian or non-vegetarian stuffing and then cooked in a gravy with traditional spices.

"Basanti Pulao"
“Basanti Pulao”

Basanti Pulao’ is typically made with Gobindo bhog rice soaked in and dried with atouch of turmeric. The whole house gets to know that this is made with the wafting aroma of the temper with Ghee, finely chopped ginger, chilies chopped for the smell and not for the spicealong with bay leaves and whole Garam masala. Once the temper is done and a few members have already sniffed the smell, add the rice and sauté. Add hot water and salt and sugar to taste. Cover the lid and in 15 mins this will be ready. Give it a standing time and add the dry fruits.

See Also
Shidol Chutney

"Kosha Maangsho"
“Kosha Maangsho”

My mom is the best in this and in our household no one other than her can make it so well. Am grateful to her that she has passed on the tradition to me and this is a very popular item in my cloud kitchen Mou’s Cuisigne along with the Kosha Mangsho.

Mou Ganguli
The food is prepared by Sumita(Mou) Ganguli

It’s not always, but post a scrumptious ‘Poila Boishakh’ lunch, there are many who venture out (as a yearly tradition) to buy something new. This could range from clothes, jewellery, utensils, etc. Shops are decorated with flowers and lights and customers are always greeted with a box of sweets.

My day usually ends with an adda with friends & family and numerous plans are made for the forthcoming summer holidays, usually a few weeks later.

Here’s wishing all a great start to the Bengali New year. Subho Noboborsho 1429. May you live well, eat well, and stay healthy!

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  • Put down very well @Mou Ganguli… not to beat your food though which is “oh so super good” always

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