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fish and rice (মাছ ভাত)

my version -- mom’s comfort food -- fish rice and lentil — elevated — lentil cooked with kale, spinach, methi, pach phoron, mustard oil … fish (mahi mahi) pan roasted with turmeric, cumin, cilantro, mint, garlic — finished with lime/orange citrus…

"Bengalis love their food. When a bunch of Bengalis get together, the conversation mostly revolves around food, soccer, and politics. Any guesses to which topic takes precedence? When we speak of Bengali cuisine, fish and rice (maach-bhaat) comes to mind. Bengalis, like the French, spend not only a great deal of time thinking about food but also in its preparation and eating. Quips like ‘Bengalis live to eat’ and they ‘spend most of their income on food’ are not entirely misplaced. The early morning shopping for fresh vegetables and fish is the prerogative of the head of the family, and it is believed that he alone can pick the best at a bargain." -- Ananya Banerjee

"Fish fry -- Where there are Bengalis, there will be at least one fish dish. But fish fry or maachh bhaja is so simple and easy to make that every Bengali can cook it up for a meal, and so can you. Just rubbed with salt and turmeric, and fried in shorshe tel or mustard oil, this dish can be eaten with rice, or just as a snack with chillies and onions." -- India Today


© Faisal Hoque
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