I love watching and making movies. I love listening to and composing music. I love reading. I actually love some paintings too. I also have really big glasses. And that’s why a lot of people have mistaken me for being a Bengali in my life. The thing is that Bengalis have played a major role in my life at some point or the other. And today one more person gets added to that list. Hey Akshay! See you tomorrow. So, that’s Rishi Pratim Mukherjee, who’s the COO of Scoopwhoop. Technically speaking, he is the money man of this organization. Akshay might look like a Bong but unlike him, I am a real Bong.
I love watching good TV shows and movies. I love reading good books and I love playing… Rabindra Sangeet! No dude, I was about to say cricket. Oh, Sourav Dada! Yes! I might have left my home in Calcutta in 2008 but for me… Calcutta is in simple authentic – Barir Khabar (Home Food). Which is Dal Bhat, Begun Bhaja and Doi Maach Bhaja. And that’s why I thought to invite Akshay over and treat him to some delicious food… prepared by my Mother-In-Law. So how is your relationship with your son-in-law? Do your food interests match? We have a really great bond. He is like my elder son. So, she is a great cook. She likes to cook and I like to eat.Fantastic! Aunty do you need my help? Okay, just put that piece into this. Drop it gently. My name is Akshay. So I’ve heard that Bengalis might call me “Aukshay”. Is that true? No it’s “Aukhoy”. Aukhoy! What do you think should be my Daak Naam (pet name)? It should be Poltu. (x2) Poltu? What does it mean? So basically if you have a Bhalo Naam (Formal Name). As your Bhalo Naam is Akshay. So your pet name will be some sound like Poltu, Papan, etc. Okay. So that is the name with which your family members address you. Along with your relatives and grandparents. But the idea of Daak Naam is… Put the rest of the pieces. Oh, I am really sorry wait I’ll just do it. I am sorry that I was lost in the conversation. What is your Daak Naam? So, believe it or not, I don’t have a Daak Naam.So my parents didn’t give me a Daak Naam. But my maternal grandparents called me Caesar. Caeser! When my mom was about to deliver me, at that the doctor told my mom… that I’ll be a caesarean baby. So this name comes from there. Oh, Caeser from Caesarean? But in general, people call their dogs by this name. I am guessing that there’s gonna be a lot of fish today. Yes, it will be a part of some dishes but there’s gonna be a lot stuff other than that too. So aren’t you Bengalis obsessed with fish? You can’t get enough of them. Yeah, fish is the national food of Bengalis. The national food of Bengalis? Aunty do you like fish too? Not much. So you don’t like it? Yeah, I don’t love it that much.I eat fish occasionally. But I know you love to eat fish, right? I am not obsessed with fish as much as other Bengalis. I like some fishes but not all of them. Okay! So which fish are we gonna eat today? Today we are gonna eat Pabda fish. What is special about this fish? There are fewer fish bones in this. Oh, it has fewer bones? So will we eat chicken too? No! We enjoy eating chicken but it’s not a main part of our cuisine. Since you are our guest today and we want to feed you authentic Bengali cuisine. So, we didn’t include chicken in this meal. No chicken on the menu? Works for me. But Bengali food has a lot of good vegetarian dishes? There is a combination of vegetarian and non-vegetarian ingredients in our dishes. So, for example, one of the dishes that we are gonna have today is Dal. But we have a fish head in the Dal. – Oh, a fish head?
– Yeah. Does it include its eyes too? We deep fry the fish and after breaking it we put it in the Dal. So, as a Punjabi, this is very weird for me. Because I have never imagined of mixing chicken with Dal and then eating it. But you are doing it. Yes. (x2) Aunty, what’s your opinion about north Indian food? – I like it very much.
– What’s your favorite? – I like Chole Bhature.
– Chole Bhature? Do you like it? Yeah. And what about butter chicken? Yes, butter chicken with a raita. Raita? And sarso ka saag.Are you a fan of Punjabi food too? I don’t like all the Punjabi dishes but I like the non-vegetarian ones. Oh, the non-vegetarian dishes? Yeah, I like different kinds of stuffed parathas like methi paratha. But I am still struggling to appreciate one dish that people are crazy about. I am still figuring a way to appreciate that dish i.e. Kadhi Chawal. You don’t understand Kadhi Chawal? No, I understand Kadhi Chawal but I don’t understand why there’s a hype about it. But it’s so good. I has fried balls with sour curd gravy. Now you are being a real Bengali. (x2) What are you making now? Poori. But what do Bengalis call it? – Luchi.
– Luchi. So it’s the Bengali version of the poori. So let’s eat now. Because everything is ready. And I think we all are very hungry. Yes of course. (x2) So, let’s go and eat now.So this is it. Yes, this is it. Everything looks so good. Oh, the Luchi is here. Thank you so much, aunty. Aunty, come and join us. No, I’ll eat later. You eat first. – Sure?
– Yeah. This is only one part of the spread. What? So what we did is, we have divided it into three sets. There’s no concept of a starter in Bengali food For us, the starters include Luchi along with Cholar Dal. This Dal is made from the gram. So, this is a vegetarian dish. – Yeah.
– Awesome! Why there’s a lemon slice on my plate? So it’s something that you’ll find traditionally in every Bengali household. Even if it’s a wedding or a birthday they will always give you some salt and a slice of lemon. It’s because if there’s less salt in the food so you can add it according to your taste. Lemon enhances the flavor. Some people squeeze a lemon in the Dal and then eat it. -What?
– Yeah. I haven’t heard this before. Okay cool. So, Bon Appétit! Bon Appétit! – Cheers!
– Cheers! So nice! Is there coconut in the Dal? Yeah. So this kind of mix and match happens in Bengali cuisine. Who thought of adding coconut in Dal? Brinjal. Isn’t this is a little big in size? This is Begun Bhaja. We cut it like that. We marinate the brinjal in salt and turmeric for some time. And then we deep fry it in oil. This is Aloo Posto It is made with potato and poppy seeds. Oh, poppy seeds. You mean the opium ones? That means I can say that “I’m having opium with my COO guys!”Is it gonna happen today? Are you gonna drug me? Okay fine. I assumed that will happen. I have heard that Kolkata is shut from two to five. I thought that is because poppy seeds are sold here. No! (x2) Calcutta and Bengali culture are about eating good and enjoying it. It’s in our DNA. But it’s different during the Pujo. Yes, people get sort of high during that time. Yeah. Even a week before that is crazy. Speaking of Pujo, you were born and brought up in Kolkata, right? So, I loved it when I went there. But I couldn’t understand what’s the idea behind people discovering love during the Ashtami? I saw many couples holding hands and walking. This is not an Ashtami thing, it happens throughout the Pujo. People who are in college assemble together in the Pandals. There’s this Pandal, I’m not sure if you went there. It’s called Maddocks. Yeah, I know this is in south Kolkata. Maddocks is like a Tinder Junction. I wanna ask you a hypothetical question. If there’s a couple who went out on Ashtami and if their parents find out, what’ll they do? So will they wait till Dashami to confront them? Yeah!So, then we move on to the second part of our meal. This was damn good, I never Dal and coconut would taste well together. This is Sukto. Sukto. So, this is basically a vegetable stew. It contains a variety of vegetables which are cooked in milk. It also has Ghee in it. So it’s a little heavy but it’s also very healthy. Because it has a bitter melon, papaya and unripe banana in it. All these are very good for the stomach. Yeah, banana is good. It tastes very good and is a prominent dish of Bengali culture. Okay cool. So if I’m in Kolkata and I’m having Luchi with Stew will they take me for a Pogol (crazy) guy? It’s not Pogol, it’s Pagol.There’s no “a” in Bangla. There’s either “aa” or “au”. The “aa” becomes “au”.It was goin great but till I ate that Bitter melon. It was damn tasty. It’s a combination of sweet and bitter. Do Bengalis like bitter melon? It’s like a necessary evil as it is good for the stomach. Dropping another stereotype or you call it a truth bomb. Are Bengalis obsessed with their digestive systems? I am gonna have a digestive medicine right after this. What are you saying! Why man, why? I think we are born with weak stomachs. We love eating but our stomachs can’t take it. So, we have to take digestive medicines after that to digest the food. Oh that’s so sad! So if you go out and have spicy food, you must also have medicines after that. We get heartburn! Heartburns, oh god! So, this is Macher Matha Diye Dal. Macher Matha (Fish head)? Yeah, it’s the fish’s head. We deep fry the fish’s head and then we mixed it with Moong Dal. Is this the weird combination? Yes, this is the weird combination that I was talking about. Where a vegetarian dish like Dal mixes with something like a fish head. And what about the taste? It tastes awesome. – It’s not that bony!
– Yeah, it’s not that bony. It has a confusing taste but it’s nice. I love it but I am enjoying the fish more than the Dal. I am loving it though. Oh wow! Bengali cuisine is influenced by a lot of places, right? Places like Coffee House or Flurys have an English influence. There is a Jewish influence. And Chinese as well. Hakka noodles came out of that. There is a China town in Kolkata which is one of the oldest China towns in Asia. Then there’s Mughlai, of course. Yeah, the Biryani. Yeah, the Calcutta Biryani. For people from Calcutta, that is the legit biryani. I know people don’t agree with that. Yeah, they ask how a potato can be a part of that? But for a Bengali, a biryani without potatoes is a waste. The mutton should also be very soft. Okay, now we move on to the next dish. So this is Pabda and it is cooked in mustard gravy. And this is one of my favorite dishes. The flavor is very subtle and it doesn’t have a lot of bones. It’s easy to eat. Oh, I love it. Mustard makes it soft and there are few bones in the middle. What is a mustard called in Bengali? – Sorse.
– Sorse. Papda Sorse. Kolkata is constantly in clashes with people. Where does this come from? Which food are you eating? Our food is better. You know like Orissa claims Rosogulla is from there. But Bengalis claim it to be theirs. It is because a lot of people came to Calcutta from different parts of India and the world. So a lot of these things are popularised by associating them with Bongs. Like for example, who made Rosogulla famous? We’ve made it world famous. So, it’s not about where it’s from it’s about where you take it to. If you want to have the best Rosogulla will you go to Orrisa? So other than Orrisa, what’s with this East Bengal and West Bengal spat? People who are originally from Bangladesh i.e. East Bengal their food is rich in taste and complexity. So, they claim that their food is better than people in West Bengal eat. So can I say that you are divided by borders by united by food? Yeah (x2) absolutely. Okay wow! So what did you do about the food when you moved to Delhi? Didn’t you miss this food? Because I’m having this for the first time in my life. This is my first time and I am loving it. But if I would have eaten this for 25 or 26 years of my life and then I moved to Delhi… what changed after you moved here? It was a food shock for me. Average Bengali meal will definitely have four to five dishes In Delhi, I saw that it’s limited to one or two dishes. Like just Roti and Dal Makhani. You also get pickles and onions. So that’s a big difference. The food is really tasty. I have never eaten this much fish in my life. This is your chance. Did you like it? This is Basanti Pulao. Oh… Pulao. This is the Bengali Pulao. This is made with rice, a little bit of saffron and dry fruits. This is Chingri Macher Malai Curry. This has coconut milk in the gravy. There’s a lot of influence of different kinds of food and this is a prime example. Chingri Mach means prawn and it is cooked in Malay Curry. But later it became Malai Curry. So even when I grew up everyone called it Malai Curry and I used to think… that it is the cream of the milk. But it is actually Malay Curry as in Malaysia. So, this is prawn in coconut milk. And then we come to Mangshor. Mangshor means mutton. Like all good Bengali dishes, it has mutton along with a big piece of potato. The correct way to eat this is by smashing the potatoes into the rice first. And then eat the rice along with the gravy. This is good. The mutton with this Pulao is insane.So we have always thought of Bengalis as artistic. Every Bengali I’ve met has an artistic connection may it be music or film making. Some are painters. So what are you good at? I belong to the arts field. I did my masters in English. So I was an art student. But my parents forced me to learn Rabindra Sangeet when I was a kid. Oh, you know Rabindra Sangeet? No, I don’t know how to sing. Actually, I grew up in boarding school. So there, we had to painting and stuff like that. But since I was in a boarding school so I sneaked out of it. But if I would have stayed with my parents they would have definitely forced me to do it. Most people who are born and brought up in Calcutta know Rabindra Sangeet. Do you know it? I only know a few lines. Tell me. (x2) No (x2) I won’t embarass myself now. I’ll also help you. I’ll give you the background sound. – I can tell you the words.
– Okay, tell me the words. Jodi Thor Dak Shoone Ko Na Ashi Tobe Ekla Cholo Re. Dude, I know this. Yes this is quite famous. Technically, Jana Gana Mana is Rabindra Sangeet. But we’ll have to stand-up for that. So did you have a meeting point in college? A place where you used to hangout. Yeah there was one. We used to call it Rock. Basically, it was just a sitting area. – Rock.
– Yeah. People who used to hang out there were called Rockbaaj. Rockbaaj? What does it mean? Rockbaaj is someone who goes out every evening and hangs out with his friends. It’s used as a negative term used for college students. Why? It means this guy doesn’t study instead he is a stray. He is spending time with his friends more. He may be learning some art. May be learning politics. Yeah. (x2) Adda can be anywhere in Calcutta. It may be a Tea shop, bus stop, a cafe or anywhere. And they meet at the same time every day. At the same place? So now let’s move on to the dessert which is the final touch of our meal. So we move to the sweet part and then let’s call it a night.One thing that fascinates me about Bengalis is that… before leaving the office they have a sweet and then leave. Sweets are a fascination for us. For example, even if you randomly visit a Bengali household and even if you know them or not… they will definitely serve you sweets. And they will give you a glass of water with it and they will bring the tea.When I was growing up and I used to go to anybody’s house… it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is they’ll serve me, sweets. Oh wow! Generally, most feasts end with a Chutney. Just to help you digest. After that, you move on to something sweet as we have Payesh here. A Payesh is a dessert made with rice, milk, and jaggery. If it’s made with sugar then it will have a white color. So, Jaggery gives it this color. The Malayalis call this Payasam. No, it’s not Payasam. It’s mostly like that but Payasam has more fluidity. It’s thicker than that but the ingredients are almost the same. So, we’ll start with the Chutney. Are we gonna eat them together? No, we’ll eat this first. That means they are different dishes I was assuming these are the same. Oh it tastes like Churan. Have you eaten it? It tastes like that. It has a porridge feel. Since you’ve tried the most of the Bengali sweet in one of your videos… so we have ended it with just the Payesh. But if you were to visit someone in Calcutta, this would just the first dessert. After that, Sandesh, Mishti Doi and the rest of the sweets follow. Thank you that you’ve just kept this. Cheers! What do you say in Bengali? Ullas. Ullas (x2) Too good, this is too good. Did you guys capture that? Did you get that on camera? He just came and said Hi to me.Jaalo Khabo means to drink water. Do we add Khabo to other drinks too? Like, do we say Pepsi Khabo? Yeah, we say that. So, drinking is eating there’s nothing other than that,It’s not that, it’s Maal Khabo which means to drink alcohol. Oh, I thought you were gonna hit me now. Should we say Darun(great)? No, we say Asa Darun which means extraordinary great. Hi, guys if you liked this video you know what you gotta do man. Like, share, comment. Share it with your Bengali friends who would share it with your other Bengali friends. And subscribe to OK Tested.