Festivals of India: Durga Puja





Durga PujaDurga Puja is the biggest festival of Bengali Hindus.
The worship of Durga in the autumn is the year's largest Hindu festival, Orissa, Tripura, Assam, Jharkhand and other parts of East India as well as in Bangladesh. Durga Puja is also celebrated in Nepal and Bhutan according to local traditions and variations. Puja means "worship," and Durga's Puja is celebrated from the sixth to tenth day of the waxing moon in the month of 'Ashwin',

In Kolkata alone more than ten thousand pandals are set up, all clamouring for the admiration and praise of the populace. The city is adorned with lights. People from all over the country visit the city at this time, and every night is one great carnival where thousands of people go 'pandal-hopping' with their friends and family. Traffic becomes a nightmare, and indeed, most people abandon their vehicles to travel by foot after a pointDhaak Durga Puja.

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Aamer Chutney

Preparation Time : 50 minutes
Serves : 8

Ingredients :

  • Raw Mangoes – 1 ¾ kg

  • Vegetable Oil – ¼ cup

  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

  • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp

  • Salt – ½ tsp

  • Water – 1 cup

  • Sugar – 5 cup

Method :

  • Peel and cut the raw mangoes into 2½ cm pieces.

  • Heat oil in a wok. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle.

  • Add turmeric powder, mangoes and salt. Mix well, add water and stir.

  • Cook for about 20 minutes.

  • Turn the heat on high and add sugar. Keep stirring till sugar dissolves, and chutney thickens (approx. 3 minutes).

  • Refrigerate and serve chilled.

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Aloo Bhaja

Preparation Time : 25 minutes
Serves : 2

Ingredients :

  • Potatoes - 2

  • Turmeric Powder -1 tsp

  • Salt - to taste

Method :

  • Wash and cut potatoes along with skin into fine slices.

  • Rub in salt and turmeric powder.

  • Heat oil in a skillet.

  • Fry potatoes over medium heat till golden.

  • Serve hot with rice and dal.

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Aloo Posto

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • Potatoes - 3

  • Onion - 1

  • Poppy Seeds – 3 tbsp

  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

  • Chili Powder – 1 tsp

  • Salt - to taste

Method :

  • Grind poppy seeds with water to make a paste.

  • Wash and peel potatoes. Cut potatoes and onion into 1 inch cubes.

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add potatoes and onions. Stir fry till potatoes turn golden.

  • Add salt, turmeric, chili powder and stir.

  • Stirring occasionally, cover and cook till potatoes are done. Sprinkle water if required.

  • Add the poppy seed paste and mix well.

  • Stirring continuously cook till poppy seeds turn light brown and the dish is dry.

  • Serve hot with rice and dal.

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Aloo Pyajer Chorchori

Preparation Time : 35 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • Potatoes -5

  • Onions - 4

  • Green Chilies – 4-6

  • Turmeric Powder – 2 tsp

  • Chili Powder – ½ tsp

  • Salt - to taste

Method :

  • Wash, peel and cut potatoes in halves, lengthwise and then sliced into 1 inch pieces crosswise.

  • Cut onions in halves lengthwise and then slice thicker than normal. Wash and slit the green chilies.

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add potatoes and fry till they turn opaque.

  • Reduce heat and add onions. Fry for a few minutes.

  • Add turmeric, chili powder and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly. Add green chilies.

  • Add a little water if the curry gets too dry. Stir till the potatoes are cooked and the gravy thickens.

  • Serve hot with rice, luchi, or paratha.

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Aloor Dum

Preparation Time : 40 minutes
Serves : 6

Ingredients :

  • Baby New Potatoes – 500g

  • Yoghurt – 1 cup

  • Chili Powder – 1 tsp

  • Green Chilies – 2-3

  • Tomato Purée – 2 tbsp

  • Ginger Paste – 1 tsp

  • Cinnamon Stick – 1 inch

  • Green Cardamom Pods - 2

  • Cloves - 2

  • Bay Leaf - 1

  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp

  • Cilantro Leaves – a few sprigs

  • Sugar – 1 tsp

  • Salt - to taste

Method :

  • Boil and peel whole potatoes. Aloor Dum

  • Roast cumin seeds and grind it in pestle and mortar.

  • Heat oil in a frying pan. Add cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf.

  • Sauté till it splutters.

  • Add potatoes. Fry till golden brown. Add tomato purée and stir.

  • Mix chili powder and ginger paste in yoghurt and add to the potatoes. Stir in salt and sugar.

  • Add green chilies. Boil until gravy thickens and potatoes are cooked.

  • Sprinkle with ground-fried cumin and remove from heat.

  • Garnish with cilantro leaves.

  • Serve with luchi or paratha.

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Bandhakopir Dolna

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • Cabbage, bandhagobi – 500 g

  • Potatoes – 2

  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tbsp

  • Green Chilies - 3

  • Cumin Powder – 1 tbsp

  • Coriander Powder – 1 tsp

  • Ginger Paste – 1 tsp

  • Butter – 1 tbsp

  • Bay Leaves - 2

  • Garam Masala Powder - ½ tsp

  • Sugar - to taste

  • Sprigs of Cilantro Leaves – a few sprigs

  • Salt - to taste

Method :

  • Wash, peel and cut the potatoes in cubes. Wash and chop the cabbage.

  • Wash and chop green chilies and cilantro.

  • Heat oil in a wok. Add potatoes and fry until lightly browned. Remove from oil and keep aside.

  • To the hot oil add cabbage. Sprinkle with salt. Stir and cover. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.

  • Remove cover. Add turmeric powder, chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and ginger paste. Stir and cook until the spices are well blended with the cabbage.

  • Add potatoes and ½ cup water. Add salt and sugar to taste. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are cooked and the gravy dries up.

  • Heat butter in a pan. Add bay leaves, garam masala and sauté. Pour over the cabbage. Stir and remove from heat.

  • Garnish with chopped cilantro.

  • Serve hot with rice or roti.

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Bandhakopir Tarkari

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • Cabbage, bandhagobi – 500 g

  • Potatoes - 2

  • Green Peas – 50 g

  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

  • Dry Chili - 1

  • Chili powder -1 tsp

  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp

  • Bay Leaf  - 1

  • Cloves - 2

  • Green Cardamom Pod - 1

  • Cinnamon Stick – 1 inch

  • Ginger Paste – 1 tsp

  • Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp

  • Ghee – 1 tsp

  • Sugar – 1tsp

  • Salt - to taste

Method :

  • Chop the cabbage. Cut potatoes into 2 cm cubes.Bandhakopir Tarkari

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, dry red chili, bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and sauté till it sputters.

  • Add potatoes and fry till golden brown.

  • Add ginger paste, turmeric powder, chili powder and salt. Fry for 30 seconds.

  • Add chopped cabbage and green peas.

  • Add a little water. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Add sugar and cook for another minute.

  • Add ghee and garam masala powder. Stir to mix.

  • Serve hot with rice or roti.

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Beguni

Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Serves : 2

Ingredients :

  • Aubergine – 1 medium

  • Gram Flour (Besan) – 50 g

  • Chili Powder – ½ tsp

  • Onion Seeds – ½ tsp

  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

  • Salt - to taste

Method :

  • Cut the aubergine lengthwise. The pieces should be half cm thick.

  • Rub salt and turmeric on the pieces.

  • Mix gram flour, salt, chili powder, onion seeds with water to make a thick smooth batter.

  • Heat oil in a pan. Dip aubergine pieces in the batter and deep fry.

  • Remove from oil and place on absorbent towel to drain excess oil.

  • Serve hot along with tea.

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Bhapa Doi

Serves : 6

Ingredients :

  • Yoghurt – 500 g

  • Condensed Milk – 4 cup

  • Almonds – 8-10

  • Raisins – 1 tbsp

  • Sugar - to taste

 

Method :

  • Bhapa DoiChop the almonds.

  • Mix yoghurt, condensed milk and sugar in an ovenproof bowl.

  • Microwave for 4 minutes.

  • Garnish with almonds and raisins.

  • Refrigerate and serve chilled.

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Bhoger Khichuri

Preparation Time : 50 minutes
Serves : 8

Ingredients :

  • Green Gram (Moog Dal) – 800 g

  • Rice (Gobindabhog Chal) – 500 g

  • Cauliflower – 1 big

  • Potatoes – 500 g

  • Tomatoes – 3 big

  • Green Peas – 250 g

  • Coconut (grated) - 1

  • White Cumin – 1 tsp

  • Bay Leaves – 5-6

  • Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp

  • Ginger Paste – 3 tbsp

  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tbsp

  • Green Chilies – 6-8

  • Ghee – 100 g

  • Sugar – 150 g

  • Salt - to taste

Method :

  • Peel the potatoes. Cut cauliflower, potatoes and tomatoes into big pieces and wash. Wash and slice the green chilies.Bhoger Khichuri

  • Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pan. Fry green gram and keep aside.

  • Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pan. Fry rice and keep aside.

  • Marinate the potatoes and cauliflower with salt and turmeric powder.

  • Heat mustard oil in a pan. Add the marinade and green peas. Fry until golden brown.

  • Take a large utensil with considerable depth. Fill it half with water. Heat the water. Add green gram and boil until softened.

  • Add rice. Add the fried potatoes, cauliflower, green peas. Add turmeric powder, bay leaves and green chilies and continue boiling till rice has softened.

  • Add salt and sugar. Cook till all the water has evaporated and the cereal and pulse forms a thick mixture.

  • Heat the rest of the ghee in a pan. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, white cumin, turmeric powder, ginger paste, green chilies and sauté. Add this to the cereal and pulse mixture. Add garam masala powder on top.

  • Garnish with grated coconut.

  • Serve hot with beguni.

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Chhanar Payesh

Preparation Time : 50 minutes
Serves : 6

Ingredients :

  • Cottage Cheese – 500 g

  • Milk – 1 litre

  • Ghee – 4 tbsp

  • Saffron Strands – 25-30

  • Sugar – 750 g

 

Method :

  • Combine saffron with 4 tbsp boiling milk and leave to steep for 10 minutes.Channar Payesh

  • Cut cottage cheese into thin slices.

  • Heat ghee in a pan. Add cottage cheese and fry till light brown. Set aside.

  • Boil milk on low heat, stirring continuously for 15 minutes.

  • Add sugar and boil for 5 minutes.

  • Add cottage cheese and simmer for 3 minutes.

  • Remove from heat and cool. Add saffron with the soaking milk.

  • Refrigerate and serve chilled.

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Chholar Dal

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 2

Ingredients :

  • Bengal Gram – 100 g

  • Tomato - 1

  • Coconut – 15 g

  • Green Chilies - 3

  • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp

  • Ginger Paste – 1 tsp

  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp

  • Coriander Powder – ½ tsp

  • Bay Leaf - 1

  • Sugar – 2 tsp

  • Salt - to taste

  • Cilantro Leaves – a few sprigs

Method :

  • Chop the coconut into small pieces. Wash and cut the tomato into 8 pieces.

  • Wash and chop the green chilies.

  • Soak bengal gram in water for half an hour. Add double the amount of water and pressure cook with salt and turmeric powder for one whistle.

  • Heat ghee in a pan. Add bay leaf, cumin, and coconut. Stir fry till coconut is light brown.

  • Add tomato and ginger paste. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, green chilies and sauté till ghee separates.

  • Add the boiled gram, salt and sugar. Simmer for 4-5 minutes.

  • Garnish with cilantro leaves.

  • Serve hot with luchi.

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Chinir Narkel Naru

Preparation Time : 35 minutes
Serves : 6

Ingredients :

  • Milk - 1 litre

  • Ground Coconut – 2½ cup

  • Sugar - 3 tbsp

Method :

  • Oil the inner surfaces of a pan. Pour milk in the pan and boil for 20-30 minutes till milk thickens to a consistency of whipped cream.Chinir Narkel Naru

  • Stir frequently to keep the foam down and scrape the bottom and sides of the pan.

  • Add coconut and sugar. Stirring frequently, cook for 8-10 minutes until the mixture acquires a thick and doughy consistency.

  • Remove from heat and let it cool a little. While still a little warm, divide the dough and roll into balls of ¾-1 inch diameter.

  • Serve at room temperature.

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Sukto

Preparation Time : 45 minutes
Serves : 6

Ingredients :

  • Potatoes - 2

  • Pointed Gourd – 150 g

  • Aubergine – 3 small

  • Drumsticks - 3

  • Green Banana – 1

  • Raw Papaya – 1 small

  • Bitter Gourd - 1

  • Bori – ½ cup

  • Panch Phoron – 1½ tsp

  • Dry Chilies - 2

  • Bay Leaf - 1

  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

  • Ginger Paste – 1 tsp

  • Milk – 2 tbsp

  • Mustard – 3 tbsp

  • Sugar – 1 tsp

  • Salt - to taste

 

Method :

  • Wash and peel potatoes, pointed gourds and drumsticks, green bananas and raw papaya.Sukto

  • Wash aubergines and bitter gourd. Cut all vegetables into 1½ inch pieces.

  • Grind mustard to paste.

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add bori and fry till golden brown. Remove bori and keep aside.

  • Add potatoes, pointed gourds, aubergines, bitter gourd, green bananas and raw papaya to oil. Fry till light brown. Remove vegetables and keep aside.

  • Add panch phoron, dry chilies and bay leaf to oil and let it sputter. Add all the fried vegetables and drumsticks. Sauté for a minute over low heat.

  • Add salt and turmeric powder. Mix well. Add water and bori. Cover and cook till vegetables are done.

  • Stir in mustard paste, ginger paste, sugar and milk. Cook uncovered for another minute.

  • Serve hot with rice.

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