What can you order in a Bengali restaurant?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What can you order in a Bengali restaurant?” and provide information on some traditional Bengali dishes that you can order in a Bengali restaurant.

What can you order in a Bengali restaurant?

You can order Mangshor Jhol and Macher Jhol in a Bengali restaurant. Mangshor Jhol refers to mutton curry. You can consume this mutton curry alongside rice. Mutton along with steamed rice can have the capability to lighten up your tastebuds.

Mangsho can refer to chicken as well. However, Manshor Jhol is referred to as mutton curry only. The gravy is slightly spicy because of the spices but the curry has a thin texture.  

Macher Jhol also called Bengali fish curry is another one of the yummiest fish curries out there! It can be prepared from Hilsa or Ilish (both are names of herrings).

The fish used for preparing fish curry can be soft and flaky. This fish would be cooked in curry along with green chilies and mustard. Usually, 5 spices are used for preparing curry. This includes brown mustard, cumin, nigella seeds, fenugreek, and fennel.

What are some other dishes that can be ordered in a Bengali restaurant?

The majority of the traditional Bengali dishes are fish-based. Let us look at some Bengali dishes given below.

  • Lau Patai Pabda Paturi (Pabda fish prepared in bottle gourd leaf) can be another fish-based dish that you could order in a Bengali restaurant.

Pabda is an Indian catfish that was commonly found in Sunderbans. Freshly pounded spices can be added to flavor the fish. The fish can be marinated and then wrapped in gourd leaves to steam them. It can be served along with rotis.

  • Bengali mutton biryani can be a fragrant biryani that can be eaten without any accompaniments. It does not require gravy or raita (a side dish made with yogurt and veggies). 

Some of the spices used for preparing mutton biryani are black cardamom, cloves, green cardamom, nutmeg, fennel, cumin, white and black peppers.

  • Aloo Posto is a traditional Bengali dish that can be prepared using potatoes (aloo means potatoes). 

The potatoes are mixed with poppy paste and saute over heat. It is then consumed alongside rice or rotis. The three other main ingredients apart from potatoes that are used for preparing this dish are poppy seeds, mustard oil, and nigella seeds.

  • Macher matha diye moong dal consists of a mixture of lentils and fried fish curry. The carp head is fried and then mixed with lentil curry. Usually Katla, a carp, is used for preparing this gravy. It is commonly served alongside fried meals as a side dish.
  • Shorshe Ilish can be a popular dish that is prepared by mixing Hilsa and Ilisha (herrings) to prepare the gravy. Mustard seeds are added to season this dish.

Apart from Hilsa, other ingredients that are added include mustard seeds, green chili, black cumin, turmeric powder, salt, and red chili powder. A little bit of lime juice is added to bring a tinge of sourness to the dish.

  • Ilish Macher Paturi (herring covered and cooked in banana leaf) is another popular Bengali dish. It is easy to prepare and does not require many spices.
  • For preparing this recipe, you need to blend ginger, turmeric, mustard seeds, yogurt, and mustard oil. Add the blenderized marinade over the fish and coat the fish with it. 

Once that is done, you can wrap the banana leaf around the fish. The fish has to be then placed over a griddle. Add oil over the fish and then cook it.

  • Aam Tel Ilish refers to Hilsa (herring) cooked in pumpkin leaf. The Hilsa has a mango-like flavor in this recipe. 

This is because mustard ginger and mango pickle are blended and then added on top of the fish. The fish is then fried in this puree with mustard oil after it has been wrapped and cooked in pumpkin leaf.

  • Bengali fish croquettes are a popular snack, especially in Kolkata, India. The fish has fillings of fish and potatoes. It is coated with breadcrumbs and then fried.
  • Bengali mishti pulao (cashew and raisin pilaf) is a sweet pilaf that is pretty popular among Bengalis. Basmati rice is used mainly to prepare this pilaf. To sweeten this pilaf, milk, cheese, and milk fudge are added.

Bay leaves, cloves, and green cardamom can be used to flavor this rice. Ghee or butter can be used to further flavor this rice. Roasted cashew nuts along with sugar and raisins can be added too.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What can you order in a Bengali restaurant?” and provided information on some traditional Bengali dishes that you can order in a Bengali restaurant.


Leave a Comment