The first day of the Bengali New Year calls for a great celebration. Enjoying good food comes through best on Poila Baisakh. The houses of the localites are filled with the aromas of authentic Bengali delicacies, especially sweet treats because it's a popular belief to start the year with sweets such as Rosogollas, Payesh and more. The New Year cuisine for lunch, contains various preparations of curries and rice. Here are few traditional dishes along with their health benefits.

 Kosha Mangsho:


This Spicy Bengali Mutton Curry aka Kosha Mangsho is a festive lunch recipe that would be loved by all.

 Expert Tips:

The primary component in kosha mangsho is of course, mutton. Mutton is a large depository of zinc, a very important mineral that can affect your daily health. It heavily involved with the body’s hormonal processes, especially those related to fertility, energy levels, and temperament.

 Ingredients:

  • 750 gm mutton
  • 3 medium onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Meat masala
  • 3 bay leaf
  • 5 clove
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 medium halved potato
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 12 black pepper
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 cup mustard oil

For Marination

  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoon powdered turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 4 tablespoon yoghurt (curd)
  • 1 1/2 inches ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon powdered red peppers
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

 Preparation Method:

  • For marinating the mutton, use garlic, ginger and onions. Grind them together in a mixer to make a smooth paste.
  • Wash and clean the mutton. Add to it the ingredients for the marinade - yogurt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red pepper powder, some mustard oil, and half of the above paste made. Let it rest for about 2 hours. Ensure that you prick the mutton with a fork so that it absorbs all the flavours.
  • Heat 2 tbsp mustard oil in a wok. Fry the potatoes till they turn golden brown. Keep them aside.
  • Now, to cook the mutton, heat the remaining mustard oil in another wok. Add some turmeric to it. Then, temper it with the black pepper, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cloves, and cardamom. Also, add sugar to it.
  • Add the remaining onion paste along with meat masala and fry for about 5 minutes. You'll notice the oil separating from the mixture. Now add the marinated mutton. Cook at a low flame for about half and hour.
  • Add 2 cups water (depending on how much gravy you want) and cover the wok. Let the mutton cook for at least an hour now till the mutton becomes soft and succulent. All this while, ensure that the flame is at its lowest.
  • Now, add the fried potatoes and garam masala, and give it good stir. Let it cool for sometime and then sprinkle freshly chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with either steamed rice, maida luchi (pooris) or parathas.

 Bengali Mishti Doi


 A sweet yogurt is the delightful dessert without which any Bengali celebration is incomplete. Read on for the recipe and health benefits (link to blog)

 Expert tips:

Yoghurt is nutritionally rich in protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. It has nutritional benefits beyond those of milk.

 Ingredients:

  • Milk (full cream): 500 ml
  • Date jaggery (crushed) : 2-3 tbsp
  • Curd: 2 tsp with live culture bacteria

Method :

  • Heat the milk in a heavy bottom pan and reduce it to half of its original quantity.
  • Let it cool for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the date jaggery to the milk and mix it well till the jaggery completely dissolves into it.. 
  • Add the curd (it should have live culture bacteria) to the lukewarm milk and whisk thoroughly. The culture should spread evenly.
  • If you are not sure about the curd, then first try to set a regular dahi / yogurt at home. If it works then it should work for mishti doi as well.
  • Pour the mixture into a terracotta or clay pot and keep in a warm place (preferably near gas stove ) for 10-12 hours, may be overnight to set.
  • Sugar or jaggery in the milk actually inhibits the setting of yogurt, so it takes long time to set.
  • Once set, refrigerate and serve.