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If you are a foodie Bengali, you must know Rammohan Roy could eat a full goat at a time!

19 February, 2020 05:32:16
If you are a foodie Bengali, you must know Rammohan Roy could eat a full goat at a time!

Nothing can inspire a Bengali soul more than a bite on their favourite sweets or tasting that hot koraishutir kochuri or a Sunday meal of Panthar Mangsher Jhol! Food and Bengalis are inseparable. The amalgamation of Purba and Paschim Bangla has given on the Bengali plates some of the best world-famous dishes. It is not just dishes that made headlines over centuries, but also several well-known Bengalis, who had been great connoisseurs of food. Take for example the Tagore household where the kitchen belted out famous dishes with their women writing cook books then. Even social reformer Raja Rammohan Roy, was a big-time foodie with a huge appetite. It is said he could eat a whole cooked goat at a time. His daily meals often included 50 mangoes, a dozen coconuts and 12 seers of milk!

While Rabindranath Tagore’s father Maharshi Debendranath Tagore loved travelling to remote places. Once he went to the Mori mountains and he even got a pet cow to get regular milk supply. He loved having milk and could consume 10-12 seers of milk daily. Ishwar Chandra Gupta not just loved eating, he also loved to treat people to delicious meals and his gastronomic tales were penned by none other than Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. In his memoirs Bankim Chandra mentions: “Ishwar Chandra’s gates were always open to relatives and neighbours. His kitchen always had the hearth burning and whoever came would be treated to sumptuous meals. Ishwar Chandra Gupta himself mentions names of funny dishes and a variety of delicacies in his poem ‘Hemante Bibidha Khadya,’ including Shuntir Khichudi, Moong er Khichudi and Moong er Bhaja Puli.

Another person who loved food was Pyaricharan Sarkar. His biographer Nabakrishna Ghosh has written: “Once Pyaricharan was invited to academician Jogesh Chandra Ghosh’s house. After having luchi with mutton, he wished to have Murshidabad’s famous Chhana Bora. And gobbled up one seer of chhana bora. He could even finish off a huge bowl of muri and radish in no time.” It is said when Nabakrishna Mitra of Barasat invited them, Pyaricharan had half of the mutton cooked and the other half was eaten by none other than Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar. A peculiar dish prepared in those days was mutton chutney. Dwijendranath Tagore in his poem Gumfo Akramon, mentions the name of this chutney. Even Chittaranjan Das would have a dessert of two seers of Rosogolla after having mutton pulao. He loved rosogolla and patishapta prepared by his mother and Cauliflower curry and prawn cutlet made by his wife, Basanti Devi. Bengal’s love for food still continues. And why not? After all this love has been handed down generations!

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