Flavors of East India: Bengal

India is well known for its varied cultural heritage. Among the different languages, different cultures, we are also very proud of our different cuisines. Every state of India has a very vibrant love of food and culinary inkling. One such state, which I'm exceptionally fond of for many, many reasons, is Bengal. The Bengali lives to eat. My aunt who moved to Kolkatta from Delhi a couple of months ago told me how amazing the food is. My love for Bengali food began way back in 2005 in Hyderabad. There is a Bengali Samiti associated with the RamKrishna Mutt there. They had a kitchen which served lunch and dinner, Bengali style. I used to flip for the aloo bhaja and poshto. So yummy! This Bengali connection continued into LA, my colleagues are Bengali, my friends are Bengali. Once, my colleagues and I were heading to San Francisco for a weekend and I was staying over the night with them. One of my colleague's husband made this amazing dish called 'Dimer Dalna'  (Bengali egg curry with potato, yes, they do love potato :)) Ever since I ate the curry that night, I have been wanting to make some in my kitchen. Last week, S and me had been lazy to get groceries and so I finally embarked on making 'Dimer Dalna'. The outcome: pure deliciousness. photo (4)


Dimer Dalna (Bengali style egg curry with potato) Serves 2


Eggs- 4 (boiled and peeled) Potato- 1 (boiled, cubed) Tomato- 1 Onion- 1 Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tbsp Turmeric powder- 1 tsp Red chilli powder- 1 tsp (or 2) Coriander powder- 1 tsp Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp

Whole spices Cloves- 2 Cardamom- 3 pods Cinnamon- 1 inch stick

Oil- 1 tbsp


1. Boil the eggs and the potato with a little bit of salt till done.

photo (15) 2. In the meantime , make the onion into a paste. After peeling the onion, cut into long pieces and fry in a little bit of oil. This takes away the raw and bitter taste. Let this cool and blend it into a paste.

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3. Mix together turmeric, red chilli powder, and salt with a little bit of water. Once the egg is peeled off its shell, make criss cross marks on it using a knife. Smear the paste on the eggs and keep aside. Heat a little bit of oil and fry the eggs and the potato till golden. Keep aside.



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4. Heat the remaining oil. When oil is heated, add in the whole spices. Once they start to splutter, add in the onion paste. Saute for a while till the rawness of the onion goes away. Add the ginger-garlic paste. Then, add the coriander powder, some more chilli powder (if using). Now, add the chopped tomato. Add salt. Mix nicely.

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5. Once the tomatoes turn mushy, add in the eggs and the potato. Mix thoroughly and add in 1.5 cups of water. Cover and let this cook for about 7 minutes. Just before switching off the stove, sprinkle garam masala on top and garnish with coriander leaves.

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I served this hot with rotis, a side of salad, roasted green beans, and some left over masoor dal.

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