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Kali Puja Pet Pujo: Go traditional with these classic Bengali recipes

Bhoger khichuri with sides, a niramish mutton, an almost forgotten chutney recipe and more for a festive feast

Pooja Mitra | Published 19.10.22, 06:56 PM
Kali Puja calls for a delicious, quintessentially Bengali feast

Kali Puja calls for a delicious, quintessentially Bengali feast

Shutterstock, Wikimedia Commons

Today, Kali Puja may not be about cap bonduk and baji but it remains the time of year when homes are decked out and festive fervour gladdens the heart of Bengalis. From lighting 14 pradeep to catching up with friends and family — some traditions are everlasting.

And if there are festivities, there has to be a feast! This Kali Puja, try out these traditional Bengali recipes that will transport you to the chhotobelar Kali Pujo.


Bhoger khichuri


Smoking hot khichuri with dollops of ghee and sides of ilish bhaja, beguni and more as the fragrance of dhoop-dhuno fill up the air — khichuri and Kali Puja are indeed synonymous.


  • Gobindobhog rice: 200gm
  • Moong dal: 200gm
  • Potatoes cut into halves: 4 large
  • Cauliflower cut into big florets: 2 large
  • Tomato cut into halves: 3 large
  • Carrots cut into medium pieces: 2 large
  • Green peas: ½ cup
  • Slit green chillies: 3-4
  • Finely chopped coconut: ½ of a coconut
  • Grated coconut: ½ cup (small)
  • Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon: 1
  • Cloves: 2
  • Bay leaf: 1 large
  • Whole dry red chillies: 2
  • Ginger paste: 2 tablespoons
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Garam masala powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Ghee
  • Mustard oil


  • Wash the rice well and spread it on a large plate to air dry
  • Dry roast the moong dal until light golden brown and set it to cool. Wash well and keep aside
  • Shallow fry potatoes, carrots and cauliflower one by one until golden, drain excess oil and set aside
  • Take a kadhai and add ghee
  • Shallow fry the rice until translucent and set aside
  • In the ghee, add bay leaf, whole dry red chilli, cumin seeds, cinnamon and cloves
  • Add the grated coconut and cook for about 2-3 minutes on low to medium flame
  • Now add the ginger paste, turmeric powder, cumin powder and cook for 3-4 minutes
  • Once the oil separates, the spice base is cooked. Add the rice and dal, mix well and cook on low to medium flame for 4-5 minutes
  • Meanwhile, boil water in a separate pan and add the hot water to the kadhai
  • Cook for 15-20 minutes, occasionally stirring
  • Now, add potatoes, carrots and tomato along with the green chillies and cook for another 5-8 minutes before adding the peas and chopped coconut
  • Add the green chillies, check seasoning and the status of the khichuri
  • Once the khichuri is completely cooked and water absorbed, add dollops of ghee and sprinkle the garam masala. Serve hot

Niramish mutton


‘Niramish’ mutton, a Bengali-style mutton curry cooked without garlic and onions is a perfect accompaniment to your steaming khichuri.


  • Mutton: 1kg
  • Hung curd: 4 tablespoons
  • Ginger paste: 2 tablespoons
  • Grated ginger: 1 tablespoon
  • Green chilli paste: 1 tablespoon
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Garam masala powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaves: 2 large
  • Whole dry red chilli: 1
  • Cinnamon stick: 1
  • Cloves: 2
  • Cardamom: 2
  • Nutmeg (jaiphal) powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Fennel (mouri) powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Mace (joitri): ½
  • Asafoetida (hing): 1 teaspoon
  • Potatoes, cut into halves: 8
  • Tomato cut into halves: 4
  • Slit green chillies: 2-3
  • Mustard oil
  • Ghee
  • Salt
  • Sugar


  • Marinate mutton with hung curd, ginger paste, green chilli paste, Kashmiri red chilli powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, fennel powder, salt and sugar. Cover and leave for minimum one hour or preferably overnight
  • Marinate the potatoes with salt and turmeric powder and deep fry in mustard oil until golden brown. Keep aside, draining excess oil
  • In a kadhai or pressure cooker add mustard oil and ghee (70:30 ratio) and heat well
  • Add bay leaves, whole dry red chilli, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and mace. Temper well
  • Add hing, mix well with the other spices and temper
  • Add grated ginger next and saute for another 1-2 minutes
  • Now add the marinated mutton and give a good mix. Turn the flame high and cook for 5-8 minutes, occasionally giving a quick stir
  • Lower the flame, add the nutmeg powder and mix well with the meat and spices
  • Cover the cooking utensil, keep the flame low and start the koshano (slow cooking on a low flame to cook and seal the meat) that will approximately take 30 minutes. Point to remember, if you are doing it in a cooker, keep it loosely covered with the lid in interim periods
  • Add desired amount of water, tomatoes and seasoning and pressure cook for 2 whistles
  • Open the lid and add the potatoes. Check final seasoning, close the lid and cook for another whistle
  • Add some ghee and the garam masala powder on the top and serve piping hot

Chhanar chutney

Rinku’s Kitchen/Facebook

Surprise your loved ones with this almost forgotten traditional recipe.


  • Full fat paneer: 300gm
  • Tamarind pulp: 50gm
  • Liquid or grated jaggery: 1 cup
  • Panch phoron (Bengali five spice mix): 1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaf: 1 large
  • Whole dry red chilli: 2
  • Salt: 1 small pinch
  • Sugar: 2 tablespoons
  • Mustard oil


  • Cut paneer into small cubes
  • Make tamarind paste with the pulp and set aside
  • Shallow fry the paneer cubes in mustard oil until light yellow
  • Meanwhile, boil a saucepan full of water seasoned with salt and sugar and keep aside
  • Put the sauteed paneer cubes into the boiled water
  • In a non-stick pan, heat mustard oil, add bay leaf, dry red chilli and saute well
  • Now add panch phoron and temper the spices
  • Add the tamarind pulp and cook on low flame for about 5 minutes
  • Add the jaggery, mix well and cook on low flame while stirring continuously for another 5-6 minutes
  • Check seasoning, and add the paneer cubes (not the water). Cook on low flame for 3-4 minutes and turn off the heat
  • You can serve this chutney warm or chilled

Bhapa sandesh

Wikimedia Commons

Barir toiri sandesh is a whole other emotion, no. Show off a little for your Kali Puja menu with this bhapa sandesh


  • Full fat milk: 2 litres
  • Lemon juice: 4 large lemons
  • Powdered sugar: 1 cup
  • Milk powder: 1 cup
  • Cardamom powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Saffron: 1 teaspoon
  • Finely chopped dry fruits: 8-10 tablespoons
  • Ghee


  • Start with boiling the milk in a deep-bottomed vessels, preferably made of aluminium
  • When the milk starts to thicken, start pouring lemon juice little by little. Keep stirring until it curdles and the water separates from the curd. The curd is your chhena/chhana
  • Use a cheesecloth or a clean, preferably white thin cloth to drain the water and squeeze out excess water from the chhana
  • Spread the chhana on a large plate and allow it to dry for about 15-20 minutes
  • Add milk powder, sugar, cardamom powder and a dollop of ghee and knead it well until your palms are oily
  • If you want a smooth sandesh, you can also give it a quick blend in the mixer
  • Now, take a steel tiffin box with lid, grease it with ghee and pour the kneaded chhana into it
  • Boil enough water in a kadhai submerge the box halway, place it at the centre and cover the kadhai with a plate
  • Cook on low flame for about 30 minutes and turn off the flame. Let the utensil rest for another 20 minutes before opening the lid
  • Demould on a large plate, sprinkle the chopped dry fruits (and some rose petals if you like), cut into medium sized squares and your sandesh is ready
  • You can have it all warm or serve it chilled
Last updated on 19.10.22, 07:47 PM

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