Bangalir ranna….

Bangalir ranna……

” Bengali vocabulary, which does not permit us to name al1 the shades of colours or parts of the human body except with the aid of Sanskrit words seldom used in conversation. But, now that I come to think of it, I realize that my native tongue has a marvellous array of food words–single words, I mean, unadorned by any of those adjectival or descriptive phrases which constitute the glamour of a French menu. A dish of spiced potatoes may be called by no other name except “dam”, but if you add sweet pumpkin, it at once becomes a “chhaka”. “Dolma” is an exclusive term for stuffed patols , just as “dhoka” is reserved for fried lentil-cakes served in a thick gravy. No one knows why this is so, but such are the ways of the language; evidently the Bengalis have a passion for affixing a new name to every creation of their kitchen–even where the dishes are variations on the same theme. The “ghanta” and the “chachchari”, for example, are both pot-pourries, both composed of vegetables plus chipped fish or fish-bones, or of vegetables only; the only difference seems to be that a chachchari may be cooked with mustard and a ghanta may not. Yet another variety of pot-pourri is the “labra” which, being a favourite of the Vaishnavas and served in their ritual feasts, mustn’t ever be contaminated with animal products. ”

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