Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happiness on 'Poila Boishakh', the Bengali New Year is here !

It's the time for new beginnings, fresh starts, to start writing the first page of a new book, when it's harvest season, and all colours blend to make yellow :-) Yes it's 'Poila Boishakh' or the Bengali New Year and I just wanted to stop by and post lots of happiness and good wishes to all my readers on the blog ! :-) Its the festive part of spring - 'Poila' means first and 'Boishakh' is regarded as the first month of the year in the Bengali calendar, a time of the year that you associate with yellow blooms and in school days, those last minute preparations for your final exams :-)

Traditionally, Bengali 'nobo borsho' is a day meant for new clothes, meet and greet family and loved ones, seek the blessings of your elders, attend fairs,plays and processions, and in general, celebrate the day spreading good cheer ! For most Bengalis, food is the biggest and the ultimate source of celebration :-) You discuss the menu for lunch at breakfast, for dinner at lunch, breakfast for the next day at dinner the previous night and so on and so forth :-) 'Poila Boishakh' is a day when you cook lots of 'mishti', dish out trays of 'sondesh' and 'kaanchagolla', drown yourselves in never ending bowls of my most favourite 'paayesh' (the Bengali name for kheer) and other such sweet delicacies. It's a day when you gorge your heart out, a day when the calories don't count and all fattening sin is forgiven :-) Fish and rice is cooked in gargantuan quantities and the whole neighborhood is invited :-) 

Festivals are important in your home country, somehow they become even more important when you are living away from it. You try best as you can, to recreate a bit of the festive atmosphere, imitate your mother's artistic style of dressing up the home, spruce up the place, deck it up with a few flowers, welcome the auspicious occasion and replicate family customs. 

So tradition today demands that I cook something nice to mark the day. Will head out now to make a quick trip to the fish market and buy a bit of fresh sole to make some super spicy, 'heart burn-inducing'  'maacher-jhaal' or mustard fish to heap on top of that steaming mound of rice. Although 'rui-maacher jhaal' or 'ilish' ( 'rui' or Rohu is a different variety of fish available in India, 'ilish' is the famed Hilsa) wins hands-down any day, but those are the culinary delights that must be left for the next trip to India and improvise we must when staying abroad, so sole it is !! :-)And while am at it, my 'chhana' (that's Paneer in Bengali) is also ready and am going to try and make some traditional (but easy )Bengali sweets with it too :-)

So am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and having lots of fun in the kitchen. Nothing very ambitious, but just a little bit of Bengal in our home today :-) Hope you all enjoy the first day of the Bengali New Year too. Shubho Noboborsho ! Have a lovely day :-)


  1. Shubho noboborsho to you too bridey and Jamai babu...shubha maami. .....kindly note the near pun on a certain word!!!

  2. Shuvo noboborsho! True enough,I associate this day with 'bhuri-bhojon' and new clothes!:-)