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West Bengal Food

Food in West Bengal

One more plate of fish and rice please!

A rich and distinct cuisine, Bengal has a host of options for all types of foodies. It was ruled by the Nawabs of Bengal and Murshidabad, during the 1700s and this has left a distinct impression on its cuisine, especially in its subtle yet fiery flavours. There are certain European influences on their snacks (like cutlets) that are served in many local households.  


Known famously as the land of fish and rice, they are a staple diet in almost every home in the state. Since the state is surrounded by multiple rivers, fish is easily available and popular varieties include, rohu, pabda and koi. Interestly, there are more than 40 types of freshwater fish that are served in the state.

A favourite delicacy in the state is an oily fish called Hilsa or Ilish. The tenderness of the flesh, unique taste and silvery appeal make it the 'queen of fish'. In fact, hilsa holds great cultural importance in the state and a pair of hilsa fish (Joda Ilish)is usually served only on auspicious occasions. On the vegetarian platter, one would mostly find tubers, gourds and roots. Vegetables like plantains, potatoes, water lily roots, brinjal and beans dominate the menu.

Another aspect that sets curries made in the state is the distinctive flavours of mustard oil, poppy seeds and turmeric with sweet undertones that warm spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and mace impart to dishes. So while you are here, don’t forget to taste a plate of rasgulla and fish; it is the main standout dish in this state.

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