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Divine Vegetarian Avial: The Dish By Bheem That Pleased Durvasa

October 31, 2014 | By

This story behind Avial recipe, with its origins in The Mahabharata is just as interesting as this healthy vegetarian dish.


Once Ballav-the-Chef alias Bheem during Agyaatavas in Virat Rajya had a tough time with cooking. After the royal lunch was over Ballav was taking a snooze when suddenly the arrival of guests sent alarm bells ringing. Rishi Durvasa, the ever-known hot-tempered sage had walked in with his large entourage of sages and announced his plans to have lunch here. There was no other way than to satisfy Durvasa with delicious food to avoid his wrath and curse.

Queen Sudeshna arrived at the royal kitchen and ordered Ballav to cook food for the guests. The short-tempered Rishi Durvasa was always the hardest to please and it took him only a moment to fly into a rage and curse the poor fellows if the hospitality and food did not satisfy him.

Worried about how he can arrange a feast for such esteemed guests at a short notice, Ballav went into the pantry to try and make do with whatever he had.  All he found were small bits of all vegetables in the store. He scratched his head and started thinking what to cook out of this odd mix.

As Bheem on the battlefield, the mighty warrior used to wield his mace with lightning speed. As Ballav in the kitchen, he showed the same agility and quick thinking with the ladle and the wok. Surprisingly Rishi Durvasa was extremely happy with the food and appreciated the cook and his dish.

As learnt from a close Malayali friend, this story behind Avial, with its origins in The Mahabharata is just as interesting as this healthy vegetarian dish. Another of my friends recalled that the legendary singer Manna Dey had in a TV interview, mentioned Avial as his favourite food. Such a combination of taste and health is a sure winner, undoubtedly!

Preparing this tasty vegetable is fun.

Avial dishIngredients

1. Petha (White Pumpkin) – 100 g cut into rectangle pieces
2. Green banana – 2 cut into long/rectangle pieces
3. Sweet potato – 100 g cut into rectangle pieces
4. Potato – 100 g cut into rectangle pieces
5. Carrot – 1 cut into rectangle pieces
6. Cauliflower – 1 small cut into large pieces
7. Arum root – 100 g cut into rectangle pieces
8. Sitaphal / Kumro (Yellow Pumpkin)
9. Coconut – ½ cup (freshly grated)
10. Ginger – 1 inches (paste)
11. Green chillies – 2 (longitudinally slit)
12. Curd – 150 g (stir with a bit of salt and sugar)
13. Salt – Add to taste
14. Sugar – I tsp
15. Curry leaves – 10-15
16. Black mustard seeds – 1 tsp
17. Dry red chillies – 2
18. Refined sunflower oil – 2-3 tbsp

Vegetable Preparation

Cut all the vegetables, keep separately.
Wash the vegetables.
Boil green banana and arum root to half cook and strain off the water.

fun recipes

Enjoy, learn and cook fun recipes with Debasish ‘Shibaji’

Cooking Method

a. Put oil in a non-stick wok and put on the flame.
b. Heat oil and put mustard seeds and red chillies. Wait till the seeds crackle.
c. Add half the curry leaves (use lid to avoid oil to spill off).
d. Add all the vegetables except the cauliflowers. Stir for a couple of minutes on high flame.
e. Add rest of the curry leaves, green chillies, ginger paste, salt and a bit of water and stir. Reduce flame to moderate.
f. Cover with the lid for cooking. Occasionally control the flame.
g. Occasionally remove lid, stir as required and add the cauliflowers.
h. Check when vegetables 3/4th cooked.
i. Add curd and grated coconut.
j. Add sugar.
k. Cook till it is done. Keep the lid open if you want the curry to dry.

Your Avial is done. Serve the curry with steamed rice. 

Taste it and you will know why a satisfied Rishi Durvasa blessed Ballav!

Check out these delicious, nutritious recipes that are good for the health and the heart.

A freelancer consulting Social Development Specialist, Debasish works in large-scale infrastructure development projects in India and abroad as well. An Anthropologist turned Regional Planner Debasish (Shibaji) is fond of several activities from writing travelogues to cooking, from sketching, painting, photography to dress designing, embroidering to choreographing. Whenever he feels, in the early mornings or dead of nights, he sits with doing something creative that is so close to his heart.
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20 thoughts on “Divine Vegetarian Avial: The Dish By Bheem That Pleased Durvasa

  • Jitu

    There’s another story I have read somewhere… or may be heard… not sure which.

    I think there was some sort of a conspiracy to murder Bheem and he was accidentally declared dead. Since in mourning non-veg is often not prepared… loads for vegetables were chopped for mourning feast. But Bheem was not dead and returned and the feast was cancelled. Not knowing what to do with so many chopped vegetables, the cooks decided to throw them away. Kshtriyas were non-vegetarian… so no one would consume such quantities of vegetables. Bheem came up with a plan and mixed all the vegetables together to prepare what later came to be known as avial.

    Two side notes may be incorporated to the recipe.
    1. Any vegetable which might impart it’s distinct flavor… like radish, cauliflower etc. is not added.
    2. No vegetables which tend to get mushy/slimy when boiled are added. eg. okra, arum or kochhu.
    Instead taro is used.

    Another way I learnt from a Malyali aunty was… 1. Firm boil all the vegetables together with salt and tumeric(optional). You can refrigerate this mixture for prolonged time without changing it’s taste. 2. When you wish to eat… grind green chillies, raw coconut, curd into a fine paste.

    In a wok… mix boiled vegetables and paste bring it to boil once. Separately.. heat oil, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add curry leaves… let it sl=plutter some more… then pour over the boiled vegetables. This keeps the mustard seeds crisp and the mustard flavor strong. (This idea of pouring crisp mustard over cooked food works with all south Indian recipes. Sambhar, chutney, pulihara, you name it )

    1. Debasish Bhattacharya

      Dear Jitu Ji,

      I am extremely delighted to receive your note on Avial. I am thankful to you for sharing this version of the story with me.

      Let me tell you about my learning of this great vegetarian curry. I am a foodie since my childhood and though being a Bengali I always cherish having good food and also try to learn about traditional dishes from around every corner of the world wherever I happen to go. This Avial I first tasted when I was carrying out my studies in IIT, Kharagpur. One of my friends was from Kottayam who’s mother came once and prepared this dish for us. I tasted it and liked it so much that I asked aunty to tell me how to prepare the curry. While telling me about all the ingredients and process, she also narrated this story of Bheema and Durvasa. I think it is very normal that this kind of stories have different versions, some local modifications in due course are added or deleted or modified as these relate to epic characters but do not have direct reference in the epic itself. Moreover, epics like Mahabharatha have different versions written (or verbally preserved). Also, I cannot say with strong logic that my version is the only right one. Anyway, I really appreciate your note which has informed me of another version on the origin of the curry.

      Now coming to using vegetables which I used. For vegetables that turn meshy after boiling have to be cooked with care which I have mentioned in my process of Avial. This also I learnt from my friend’s mother. I checked with another Malyali friend in Delhi who told me that arum, etc. are a must-go vegetables.I did use these vegetables and cooked Avial and there was no problem as I took enough care for these while cooking.

      More on using turmeric. My daughter learns Bharatanatyam in Guruvayur Temple in our locality in Delhi and for the past nine years many a times I attended Temple lunches which invariably had Avial as one of the dishes served. I never had yellow Avial. To me turmeric may help preserving the boiled vegetables for long but may not be a traditional ingradient for Avial. This, I am saying as I remember that my teacher (friend’s mother) told me that we Bengalis use turmeric in every dish, veg or non-veg…..but in Avial it is a no-no.

      I agree 100% for the tarka technique used usually for almost all dishes prepared in southern part of India. This really helps the aroma to be there for long and also the mustards crisp.

      Once again I thank you for your note on Avial.

      Happy cooking.

  • Jitu

    Hello Debashis da,

    Such interesting anecdotes and variations to one dish. Oh! how I love India.

    Turmeric. Yes… I believe it does not go into traditional avial either. The aunty who taught me also did not use it. I think I subconsciously added that being a non-keralaite. Thanks for pointing that out. Interestingly… the version I learnt from my neighbor of two years and the one my mom learnt from her colleague.. were also different. I guess… like every dish in India… the recipe changes from household to household… and we end up with a hodgepodge of all the versions learnt over time with our own unique style which suit out tastes the best.

    I can bet… if I read this post a few times… a few years from now… my recipe would end up becoming a mix of yours and mine. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Btw… I am a non Bengali… and as a kid… my favorite dish was “biyebaari daal” LOL. That is not an existent dish I believe. Well.. how was I to know that? Every time I went to a Bengali wedding… they served Chholar Dal. I automatically nick named it… “Biyebaari Daal”. As a kid I never craved for it. There’d be at least 4/5 weddings every year and I could have it enough. But when I grew up and moved out of hometown… I started craving for it. By then… the version amma cooked, the recipes I found internet… none resulted in the exact same taste that I remember from childhood. I did not know what went in it. I was going by a fantasy that every childhood memory usually is. It took me many many years of trials and errors to finally come 60% close to that taste. In the last few years, even the few Bengali weddings I got to attend back in my hometown, served the fashionable and in trend Punjabi dishes and Chinese. Nothing against Chinese or Punjabi dishes… but fashions and trends tend to destroy the uniqueness of our individual cultures. 🙁 🙁

    Our generation that’s 50% dependent on the internet for it’s recipes would not even know if the recipe online authentic or not. Like our versions of avial, each recipe is a mix of a bit of traditional, a large dose of convenience and a bit of memory. 🙂 🙂


  • Debasish Bhattacharya

    Yes…..I liked it. Yes, this is what actually happens perhaps in every one’s life. Some traditonal tastes (bookish), some trial and error (practical) and above all matching all these against some memorable taste-bud tickling. All these together makes it whole, and so to say, eternally appealing.

    We usually say that this is a Bengali dish or Punjabi or Malyali. But, from my life experience I would love to share my growing up with food being cooked by a Dhakai mother and a Sylheti father, both Bengalis. I have seen so many confluences (certainly I am talking about food only now), agreements, arguments, appreciations and utter rejections of the same item, same BEGALI item, but cooked by my mother as she learnt it from her Dhakai sub-community and from my father or parental aunts who cooked that on their own lessons learnt. Yes, variations of the same dish existed next door everywhere depending upon the in-house appreciation. For istance Sukto….where bitter gourd (Uchchhe and not Karela) is traditionally a must-go. But, my mother changed it for the children who never liked bitter things it in their childhood. This was initially rejected by uncles in our joint family but finally we, the children own that battle, as it was approved by my grand-father.

    Jitu, you have moved me reminding me of my childhood days. To me too, it was Chholar Dal and Loochi, the most coveted items in Biyebaris. Sometimes our custodian uncle used to rebuke us – You fools don’t fill up with loochi and dal, wait for the fish and mutton dishes.Poor me liked those so much over non-vegs but could not have the courage to say anything to the uncle. And yes, I miss that chholar dal nowadays as all Chinese and Mughlai dishes have choked the entry of those childhood fantasy items in Biyebari menus. Really miss them…..

    Finally, I would like to share that whatever traditional Bengali cuisines I learnt from my mother are also can be put to queries as all of them have been modified intentionally or unintentionally to suit me or my immediate family’s taste. This way the COCKTAIL keeps on adding colours to it…whether we name it TRADITIONAL, para-TRADITIONAL, MODERN or a new INVENTION………..

    I must say that after a long time your mail has tickled me to share so many blah blahs with someone…. Hope you have not got bored or tired.

    RNEDHE, KHEYE O KHAIYE SOMAN TRIPTI (Enjoy cooking, eating and sharing your preperations with others)


  • Antara

    Biyebari to me meant lots of “papor bhaja” and “loochis“…. The shining-with-oil papor bhaja is a delicacy I could get only in biyebaris because my Mother insisted on roasted papor rather than fried to avoid the excess oil at home. Chholar dal of course was a must along with begun-bhaja (fried brinjals)… In other words, all the oily food which was otherwise avoided, we could have our fill in the biyebaris.

    One of the most celebrated novels by Buddhadeb Basu is Tithidor, which has such elaborate description about the biyebari feast that I ended up feeling famished while reading! Bengali biyebaris are khana-khazanas… especially the sweets – rajbhog, darbesh… I think no biyebari is complete without these.

    But both of you are right – nowadays biyebaris have the typical menu – shahi paneer, rogan josh, some hotch potch dish in white sauce with some baby corns peeping out, dal makhni, naan, fried rice (always half cooked so that the grains stand out) and finally gulab jamun and ice-cream, if it is winter we have gajar ka halwa …. There is no way to distinguish a Bengali biyebari from a Punjabi shaadi….

    This discussion pushed me down memory lane again… Jitu ji ki purani aadat hai, “thele pe bithake yaadon ke dagar pe halka sa dhakka…. bas chal padi gaddi… haule haule” 🙂

    1. Debasish Bhattacharya

      Great feeling seeing this thread stretching…….. Antara halka sa dhakka apne bhi de di hai…..begun bhaja bNotawala, biyebarir phela-chhora (unimportant), but so nicely went with loochis in erstwhile biyebarir menu. My custodian uncle used to remind us – Do not eat that, keep it for using it as a pin (fish-bones) cushion….but I used to enjoy having that defying my uncle’s strictures since it was a loveable item to me.

      Love to see this comment sharing thread moves longer… Zara haule haule chalo morey behna,…..Hum bhi pichhey hai tumhare….

  • Jitu

    I must add though… It’s not just Bengali weddings… I must add… even south Indian weddings have Gobhi manchurian and Fried rice. 🙁 🙁 and I swear I have nothing against Gobhi manchurian but it just makes me go… huh@#$%^&*()_@ to see traditional food being lost to fashionable trends.

    For me… biyebaaris are all about biyebaari daal, loochi, pulav, khajur or aam ka chutney depending on the season, a very typical alu-gobhi ka sabzi{ now I am craving for it 🙁 } and last but not the least… dahi-boondi. “Cold dahi from the matki and hot rasdaar boondi”… ssluuuuurp! Am a vegetarian so that’s about it. Can you believe… I did not realize that the Bengali pulav was entirely different form the regular north Indian one till I read about it quite recently.

    PS: Debashish da… I did not add in my previous comment about ghooghni. We had those when we visited friends over for Bijoya. After trying out many recipes online… I finally found one Bangladeshi video blog which had the ghughni recipe and trying it gave me the closest version of ghughni from my childhood memory. Now I make my own version and feed only my non-Bengali friends lest they know something is missing in it. LOLOLOLOL

  • Jitu

    Debashish da,

    I loved the description you gave about fights over who’s recipe is better. 🙂 We had those… less in our house as amma had learnt cooking after she got married. But it happens in my in-laws house. You see… people from Vizag region, Rajamundry region, Guntur region and Kakinana regions all have their distinct style of cooking and speaking Telugu. It’s actually quite entertaining for me to watch people argue about whose pulusu is better. Some even make a claim that a cook form their region had impressed Krishnadevraya many centuries ago…. so their style of preparation is the best. LOLOLOL.

    Btw… pulusu is a typical Andhra dish which translates to jhol in Bangla. It’s mistaken as rasam but it’s not rasam. 🙂 The arguments over a humble stew… made me laugh. I think I incurred the wrath of some aunty when I had laughed at their very serious discussion as a gathering as a kid.

    Did you know… that every state in India (well at least most states) have their own versions of Khichadi? I have eaten authentic Gujarati Khichadi, Maharashtrian Khichadi, Bese Bele bhaat form Karnataka, Bengali Khichadi, Rajasthaani Khichadi and Pongal form Tamil Nadu/AP. Within the same state again there are variations form region to region. Same with kadhi. I have eaten 8 different types of kadhi from various regions.

    Oh how I love our country!

    Someone should compile these and make an encyclopedia. Antara.. are you listening?? 😀 😀 😀

    Thanks for coming along with me on this nostalgia trip both of you. 🙂 I am nothing but a sum of my memories. 🙂 Mauka milte hi shurur ho jaati hoon. 😛 LOL


  • Debasish Bhattacharya

    I am at present in the midst of a biyebari – most cosmopolitan – of my nephew’s wedding. My Bengali sister from Cuttak (with more of Oriya orientation) got married married to a Telugu from Kankinada, whose son is getting married to a Delhi born Bihari originally from Patna. Just imagine…

    My sister and nephew speak Bangla and she dominates familial decisions, thus all around BIYEBARI prevails and few typical customs of Bengali wedding are being followed. But to my surprise all roads led towards the CHURCH when it came to decide food menu. The same trendy hotch potch dominated. Poor me… just imagine and feel sorry for me dear… on one hand I am revisiting childhood delicacies through these discussion thread but actually getting THENGA. Bitter and cruel reality… Reality gave some bruises… sweet memories putting a layer of cool marham… some solace.

    Thanks… I did not want it to stop here but now shall be busy in attending the biyebari. Tomorrow night I am flying to Malawi for professional assignment. So I am taking responsibility to reply / share / extending this chain of discussion further in my free evenings and weekends, once I reach there. Till then…

    Let my sisters carry on this…..

    By the way, from your Bengali references I am interested to ask you a question. How free you are in reading Bangla? If you tell me then I can send you one very long poem (double column, 16 pages) in Bangla written by me that is a kind of collection of all traditional Bangla recipes from both east and west parts. I did it from the urge to keep alive some traditional recipes which otherwise are vanishing into oblivion.

    Antara…are you listening? I have given you my publication a couple of months ago but yet to receive a STRONG CRITICISM from you……

  • Antara

    Debasish da,

    Of course I have a definite mind to read your publication… Baba has already read it and approved whole heartedly. I am saving it for a day when my mind is a little more clear of the cobwebs which are currently keeping me away from L&C work. Mercifully, this wonderful discussion is making me feel again and again that all this effort of putting together L&C has been worthwhile if it can spark such animated and informative discussions between people who don’t know each other, have never seen each other but can share memories, recipes, anecdotes and so many nuggets of knowledge…

    Jitu ji doesnt read Bangla. I have been coaxing her to pick it up quite some time now… she hasn’t listened to me so far, but maybe she will heed your words. 🙂

    My heartfelt sympathies to you, for being in the midst of a so-called Biyebari and yet being far away from what a 24-carat biyebari actually is 😀 What is biyebari without the bhajas, the jhaals and the mishtis? It is only biye, not bari!

    From this emerging foodiepedia, let me request Jitu to share with us some of her recipes. With your fantastic photographs Jitu, the recipes will pitchfork our readers straight to the kitchen!

    In other words, with Debasish Bhattacharya and Jitu managing the L&C kitchen, we will have the foodies queuing up for upcoming recipes… Debasish da, your recipes are already being tweeted by others and shared on FB by great music exponents (and you know that 🙂 )

    Chalte raho doston… yaadon ki manzil ke saath, khaane khilane ki baat…. ekdum mast!

  • Jitu

    Chane ki jhaad pe chadhaana koi Antara se seekhe. Foodiepedia… kuch bhii!

    Debashish da… I do not read Bangla and understand about… 50%. Wish I could find a genie who gave me one wish… to know all possible human languages. Ek aadh alien language bhii chalega. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Jitu

    Btw Debashish da… I am a Telugu, with ancestral roots in Karnataka, born and brought up in erstwhile Bihar( now Jharkhand), married to another Telugu born and brought up in Orissa… who has stayed in Andhra, Karnataka, Gujarat and finally decided to settle in Maharashtra. 🙂

    LOL…. do I sound cosmopolitan enough? 😀 😀 😀

  • Antara

    Chane ki jhaad par nahin Jitu…. hum to chane ki ghoogni ki baatein kar rahe hain :)… original ghoogni ho ya modified ghoogni… chana means ghoogni in the East.

    Ghoogni can be veg or non-veg depending upon what you prefer. Maangsher ghoogni using keema is a delicacy. But ghoogni is not a biyebari item, it is more of an Anandamela item (the fun food bazar which ladies put up in Durga Puja pandal on Panchami or Shasthi) – one of the other table would have ghoogni in Anandamela.

    Also ghoogni used to be a staple “Bijoya” item along with a range of mishtis when as kids we used to go to friends and relatives for “Bijoya” after Durga Puja.. Nowadays, the practice of Bijoya is extinct so ghoogni has become a rarity.

  • Debasish Bhattacharya

    Hi friends I am back again. I do not want to share my experiences of attending the recent biyebari (sorry, as par Antara it is biye only and the khana khajana was grossly missing, so Antara again wins….no bari at all). I am pleased to see the thread expanding and that is why peeped into this once more.

    For Antara, let me correct you if I am allowed. It is about ghoogni. The basic ingredient is not chana (though I enjoyed the discussion chane ki jhaad pe…), but it is whole mutter (peas), the dried ones. And Jitu, you can share your ghoogni recipe with someone who always likes improvisation on traditional or whatsoever, to give it a personal touch. Even at home sometimes I hear – Aaajke tor Babar ghoogni hoyechhe, Mayer noy (Today ghoogni is made by your father and not authentic) ….hehehehe.

    But I admit with confidence that my recipe was liked by my spouse too, who even after liking it would say – Bhaja moshla dilena? Ektu leboor rosh ar kNacha peyaj hole jome jeto (Didn’t put roasted spices? A squeeze of lemon and onion juliennes would have made it delicious). I do not disregard her comments as I also sometimes search for the original / authentic (?????) taste that predominates since the childhood when actually all these registrations are made on one’s tastebuds.

    Jitu please pardon me. I know you are a vegetarian but cannot resist but providing a traditional Bengali Boubhat lunch (initiation of the bride into the in-law kitchen… meaning a ritualistic familial approval of the bride by the in-laws) menu which I attended in my early teens and it is still clear in my memory. There was no loochi or chholar dal as it was a lunch. However, Antara would love it I suppose.

    There are several courses in terms of today’s lunches and dinners – 5 course, 7 course, etc. But several items, sometimes countless, made the erstwhile biyebari’s lavish menu. I am trying to recollect all of that Boubhat……
    1. Plain hot rice on a green banana leaf with a slice of ‘gandhoraj’ lemon and a pinch of salt at the right upper corner.
    2. Then came divinely flavouring golden ghee (of course from cow’s milk) on the rice followed by fried potato juliennes (muchmuche aloo bhaja).
    3. Third was a red saag with grated coconut and fried groundnuts.
    4. This was followed by Sukto (with uchchhe in it).
    5. Next item was mug-mohan daal… golden sweet-salt moong dal with again grated coconut, raisins and green peas. The accompanying item was beguni (coated brinjal fry).
    6. Then came the royal Pabda maachher shorshe jaal.
    7. Rui maachher kaliya and bhetki paturi were the next non-veg (fish) items.
    8. Then the orange coloured sweetened Bengali polau with raisins and cashew nuts generously sprinkled.
    9. Typical mutton kosha was the next item with large potato chunks (Yummy…my fav).
    10. Anarosher chutni followed with kurmure papod bhaja, dripping oil.
    11. Ritual payesh was served next.
    12. Misti doi scoops dropped on an earthen quarter plate.
    13. Countless sweets including rasagolla, pantua, khirmohan, chitrokut, motichoorer laddoo topping with abar khabo and paradise sandesh (Bheem Nag speciality).
    14. Sweet Banarasi khili paan from Kalpataru (famous paan-shop in College Street, Kolkata) to put a stop……….hooh.
    It was tough for me to recollect all these at a go…but I did 😀 hi hi hi….

    I join Jitu in missing that biyebarir polau these days. My mother used to make it at home for special occasions. I tried once or twice but could not match it any close to hers. Mothers are mothers……..

    Someday I shall extend on Khichuri / Khichadi and also on Pulusu / Jhol / Rasam……. I do not want to miss these even by mistake.
    Jitu and Antara, please share your Sankranti festive cuisine (Bengali puli-pithe, etc.) experiences.
    I loved the discussion turning courses……. Laughed at how a divine (Satwik) Avial made way to so many comments and sharings turning towards Rajasik and finally Tamasik “foodiepedia” (loved the coinage Antara (Y) ).

  • Jitu

    Debashis da,

    I have seen boubhaat lunch served though never eaten… for obvious reason. Boubhaats in my hometown were a more intimate affairs. Just the family. We outsiders could only gorge on the receptions which were more formal and meant for outsiders. When my immediate neighbor got married, we were so enamored by the boudi that we did not leave her side for days. It had helped that our summer vacation was going on. LOL. So I have seen boubhaat being served. Plus the fact that we were vegetarians and boubhaat’s hero dish is the fish. So.

    About Ghoogni Debashis da… I told Antara, that ghoogni is made with batana( matar)… she was surprised. Yaay! Kicking my foot in the air. Yaaahoooo! See Antara… I know my ghooghni well. 😀 😀 😀

    1. Antara

      Ghoogni is an all-season food… I never bothered to delve into what it is made of… I simply enjoyed all the variants… especially the Anandamela ghoogni was a great favorite. My mother made delicious ghoogni… all my Mashis also did 🙂 I think Bengali women love making ghoogni with loochis and a green chilli thrust into it as a topping! Its a very popular snack for the evening too.

      Boubhaats are elaborate affairs. I literally died of shock in my boubhaat when I was asked to eat a whole mooDo (the fish head… it was massive) because it is the ritual! I could almost see the fish smirking at my misery. A minute later I realised my leg was neatly being pulled. In all the boubhaat spread, the bou probably is too nervous to understand what she is eating or serving. 😀

  • Jitu

    Were you surprised Antara?? Now I am not sure. Between the chats and this comment-chat… I am all jumbled up. 🙂 Though I do always make ghooghni with batana (dry yellow peas). 🙂

    BTW… did you know… that ghughni is also made in Bihar and UP. And both have recipes different from the Bengali ghooghni? 😀 😀

    Oh am loving this food discussion. Wish we could share dishes on internet.

    1. Antara


      Dosa is also made everywhere now… all Aggarwal Sweet Corners in Delhi serve “dosas” and “Bengali sweets” – the dosa is neither the South Indian dosa nor a pancake and the Bengali sweets are anything but Bengali… hence why only Bihar and UP… for all you know ghoogni is being made in Kanyakumari 😀 😀

  • Jitu

    Bhai… agar Kanyakumari special ghoogni mil jaye… toh mujhe bataana. 🙂

    Btw…. I saw French crepes here… With all kinds of toppings. Guess what it was made with?? Ragi. 🙂 Ragi dosa with turkey/lamb/beef/chicken/veggie toppings. 😛 Talk about small world. 🙂

  • Debasish Bhattacharya

    Hi friends……I am here to share my experience of having biriyani here in Blantyre last weekend. It is a small world, becoming smaller……….but………… That was a nightmare.

    One management guy came here and had a stopover. He invited me to a famous Indian eating joint – Punjabi Delight. My colleague ordered for the food and then came the well-garnished rice-meat ensemble. The manager came to all tables asking about the food. At the first bite I called the manager. He informed me that he had trained a local cook (chef????) and boastfully told that his dishes are liked by all his customers who almost every weekend visit the restaurant. I couldn’t talk much but nodded. The manger greeted me with a big smile as he translated my nod as apppreciative. Poor me. I couldn’t dare to go for a second spoonful……horrrrrrible stuff….thick meshy rice, chunks of tasteless meats, and to my surprise, genorously put cabbage, carrot and what not making a least tasty food.

    A resolution I took after that… more eating Indian delicacies (!!!!!!!!) when I am abroad. Hooh…… Antara, it was far away any competition to Aggarwal’s Dosa, trust me.

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