|| JAMAI SASHTI || জামাই ষষ্ঠী ||
Simply put, it can be called as Son-in-law’s Day. Long before the huge list of commemorative days came into its existence, Bengal was already in the great leagues of celebrating a day exquisitely dedicated to the sons-in-law of the family. Jamai Sashti, as Bengal proudly announces, is one day when the jamais of this state fare a notch better than the rest of the world counterparts.
Jamai Sashti History
Post-marriage, it almost becomes a ritual for the sons-in-law of the family to dress up in their best and trot towards their in-law’s house, accompanied by the daughter of that house! There was a time when the son-in-law’s arrival would send frenzy among the welcoming party, where a bevvy of the ladies of the house would welcome him in a traditional way. This would often include a platter holding a lighted lamp (prodip), rice grains (dhaan), tender grass (durbo) and either of sandalwood paste (chandan) or yogurt (doi) to put a mark (tilak) on the forehead.
As it is Sasthi or the sixth day of the month of the lunar calendar, everything was offered in the figure of 6! 6 kinds of fruits, 6 types of sweets and on his lunch plate, there would be a minimum of 6 side-dishes to be served along with rice dishes.
With the passage of time, a wave of modernization has swept off some of these rituals. Gender equality is the contention here. Previously, male appropriation was widely practised as they were considered to be the bread-winners of the family. Parents would often entrust their son-in-law for the well-being of their daughter.
Cut to the present when women are equally capable of taking care of themselves, the ritualistic relevance of this festival has somewhat diminished.
Jamai Sashti privilege for current day Jamais
All that remains of this Jamai Sasthi festival is the gastronomic celebration amidst the Bengali bhodroloks! The widespread popularity of the festival can be easily guessed by the fact that recently the West Bengal Government issued a notification whereby declaring a half-day official leave to the employees of the state so that they can spend the rest of the day with their family.
This day calls for the mothers-in-law to brace up with unusual culinary skills and present mouth-watering delicacies. Usually, the Jamai Sashti Menu includes multiple servings of non-vegetarian dishes that include Meat, Fish, Chicken and Eggs.
This is a compilation of some of the popular yet easy to cook. With just a week left, here’s something for you to start planning.
For centuries, Illish has been one of the most prized fishes. Wholeheartedly relished by Bangali bhodroloks, it has been an ice-breaker on more than one occasion. Enemies have turned into friends over this piece of delicacy. The whole family gets along and eats together over a simple meal of Illish mach jhal deva and bhaat. Beloved jamai-babajibons are pampered by their in-laws with an elaborate spread of Illish meals which would often pan out from Illish macher tel (Hilsa fried oil) to Illish maach bhaja followed by Illish macher jhal or the luxurious Bhapa Illish.
This hinger kochuri-cholar daal-alu dom combo can be best regarded as a king’s meal when we are talking about Bengali vegetarian dishes. Each of these is, most often, no-onion, no-garlic recipes which suits the Bengali definition of vegetarian recipes perfectly.
The irreplaceable all-time favourite of every Bengali foodie or khaddo-rosik!!
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to please a food-loving Bangali bhodrolok. Perhaps, all one has to do is cook the Kolkata-style kosha mangsho, which is essentially a spicy-dry goat meat curry, and serve it with some rice. If you want to take the game up by a few notches then make the combination of luchi-kosha mangsho, and you would find the Bengali going weak at his knees.
This Illish Macher shorshe jhol recipe is again a big time hit in my kitchen. One, because it is super simple and can be easily wrapped up within 10 minutes flat. Second, it basically needs minimum ingredients to bring together a luxurious meal as per a Bengali’s definition. Give a Bangali bhodrolok some bhaat and illish maach, he would happily polish off his plate in no time.
Amidst Bengali Cuisine popular dishes, Basanti Pulao features prominently among the most preferred rice-based dishes. Pulao, having featured in ancient Dharma-related sacred texts of Hinduism often was described as a rice-based dish cooked with meat and other spices. Of late, its meatless versions came into being which utilized fragrant varieties of rice combined with selective spices to be served along with several kinds of main course dishes.
Bengali Basanti Pulao originally employed an indigenous fragrant variety of rice like Gobindobhog. A native variety of rice belonging to certain regions of West Bengal, it is a short-grained variety which is extremely fragrant and white and sticky. Being an original choice for the preparation of offerings to Lord Gobindo or an avatar of Krishna or Vishnu, gave its name Gobindobhog which consists of ‘Gobindo‘ and ‘Bhog‘ (offerings).
Not everything that glitters is gold, and not every curry has to be red! Synonymous to our varied cuisine, our curries also come in various types and colors. Ranging from red to peaceful white, each one is unique on its own and can give a tough competition to one another.
This Orange Pulao is one of those recipes that uses minimum ingredients but offer maximum gastronomic satisfaction!
It is perfect for those special occasions when you are expecting a bevvy of guests and need to cook something special.