BENGALI Platter and a short write-up on JAMAI-SHASTI



You know, I love rituals, especially when celebrations are to my heart and the events are flexible enough to put my own twist to the customs. I believe that we love to follow rituals or customs more, when we see our elders following them without any compulsion or inequality. 

Spoke with Mom-in-Law, and came to know that today is Jamai Shoshthi (Jamai-Shasti). I really have not much idea about this occasion, but when in Calcutta, have seen my Mom-in-Law inviting her son-in-law and preparing a rich sumptuous meal for everyone.  Yes! For everyone! The best part is when she asks her daughter and son-in-law as well as her son and daughter-in-law(me) to sit and enjoy her specially made Bengali delicacies. This togetherness makes every ritual and custom more enjoyable and beautiful. 

The royal treat consists of all the best exotic recipes, that my Mom-in-law can prepare. Once the feasting is over, the too-full-to-get-up-from-dining-table family members spend a substantial time in quintessential Bengali Adda (a gathering among family and friends.) After all the food and fun, son-in-law is also showered with gifts, mostly clothes or other items and sweets.

Somehow I feel, this occasion of Jamai Shoshthi, which is celebrated at the height of summer, could be more enjoyable had it been held on a cooler winter day. Rich Bengali food and sultry weather do not make and ideal pair !!! 

Leaving all the discussion apart, I must say this day shows the beautiful bonding between the "Shoshur Bari" in-laws with their Jamai "son-in-law." The common belief is that it is done for the welfare of their daughter and son-in-law and also to bring two families closer.

In Calcutta, many of the famed restaurants celebrate this festival with their special menu named " Jamai Shasti Bhuri Bhoj"

As I said, I love rituals and also, I love to cook more than I love to eat. So thought of preparing a simple Bengali platter, with whatever I had in my refrigerator. Was not in a mood to step out. This Bengali platter, customized to the available ingredients, contains three types of fish, three veggie delicacies, few fritters and dessert. 

Lets discuss the menu in detail -

Rice - plain white rice is the main accompaniment to all the dishes. I prepared plain white rice and Egg Biryani too.

Green Chilies(Kacha Lonka), a slice of Bengali Lime(Gondhoraj Lebu) and a pinch of Salt in the corner of plate is a trademark of traditional Bengali food serving.

Starters - Fries (Bhajas) - Crispy vegetables deep fried with or without the batter. I prepared Potato Fritters.

Main Dish/ Dishes

Dal or lentil soup with green peas (Koraishuti diye bhaja Moong Dal)

Fish In many forms - Fried/Curry
The most important item in any Bengali platter is "Fish" and the discussion of Bengali fish can go for ever. I was licky to have Rui Mach, a Bengali fish, and Salmon fillets, an American fish, both lying in my freezer. Fish is so readily available in America. So for the fish items I prepared -
Oven Grilled Salmon fillet with honey-mustard dressing ( Mach bhaja - I replaced frying with grilling)
Fish Curry with Cauliflower florets (Phoolkopi diye Macher Jhol)
Fish prepared in Poppyseed paste (Posto bata diye Rui mach)

Veggie Delicacy (Tarkari)
Indian Cottage Cheese cooked in rich tomato gravy

Dessert (Mishti)

GulabJamuns


Posting this today without the detailed recipes of all my preparations today. Will soon update the post with every recipe. Tired enough for today.
I WONDER how-come our Honorable Prime Minister #MODIJI visits five countries in five days. M super tired just by making five different items in my beautiful air conditioned kitchen while ENJOYING Real Housewives 🙃🙃




Anshu Bhatnagar

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