February 1, 2017 will be celebrated as Basant Panchami | Vasant Panchami in North and East India. It is also called Shree Panchami and is the day for Saraswati Puja in parts of Bengal and Bihar.
I was rather unaware of this festival till I met Madhumita, who is now one of my closest friends. A Bengali to the core, Madhumita and her family are also responsible for introducing me to many lesser-known delights of Bengali Cuisine. Every year, without fail, Madhumita will remind me of Saraswati Puja and Durga Puja; and this year was no different.
I will try to make something uniquely commemorative of the festival tomorrow, but in the meantime, here is a collection of some recipes that can be made to celebrate Basant Panchami.
Vasant Panchami literally means the fifth day of spring. Also, yellow is a colour associated with this festival.
A Collection of Bengali Recipes for Shree Panchami
- Bhoger Khichuri or Niramish Khichuri. No Bengali Pujo is complete without this delightful medley of rice, lentils, and vegetables.
- Baigun Bhaja. Simple pan-fried aubergine that pairs extremely well with the khichuri.
- Radhaballavi and Cholar Dal. A superb udad dal stuffed puri with Chana Dal on the side.
- Mishti Doi. The traditional Bengali sweet yogurt made with condensed milk.
- Bhapa Doi. Steamed sweetened yogurt; simpler to make than Mishti Doi but just as delicious.
- Patishapta. A wonderful crepe stuffed with coconut and date palm jaggery filling.
- Alu Phoolkopir Dalna. A delicious cauliflower and potato curry.
- Bandhkopir Torkari. A simple cabbage curry.
A COLLECTION OF Punjabi RECIPES FOR BASANT PANCHAMI
- Sarson da Saag. A delectable mix of winter greens.
- Makki di Roti. The traditional accompaniment for Sarson da Saag.
- Meethe Chawal. Delicious saffron-flavoured sweet rice.
Some Sweets for Vasant Panchami
- Chawal ke Kheer. Kheer is such an indispensable part of Indian festive meals.
- Rava Kesari. Another traditional favourite; Suji halwa flavoured with saffron.
- Sojjappalu. Rava Kesari stuffed Puris that are popular in Andhra Pradesh.