The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles (BFSC) is my effort to share with authentic Bengali cooking embellished with memories of a childhood in India. BFSC translated traditional heritage recipes from my mother’s kitchen with how they work in my New York kitchen, to offer you a practical take on Bengali cooking. The book (like the rest of my cooking) is strongly inspired by the seasons and their bounty, and the conscious approach to food that is the cornerstone of all Indian cuisine. My parents visited me when my son Aadi was born, and with my mother I was able to take a fresh look at Bengali food. Through the early sleepless hours, I often took notes of traditional concepts and recipes that I had taken for granted because suddenly heritage and heritage cooking was important. I wanted to pass on a childhood heritage, exactly or very close to how I had inherited it.


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About the Book

With over 180 easy-to-follow recipes, Rinku Bhattacharya brings you the best of the Bengali table, including tempting dishes like Steamed Mustard Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaves, Eggs Cooked in Caramelized Onion Sauce, Crisp Lentil Cakes in Curried Gravy, and Golden Cauliflower in Orange Mustard Sauce. The book offers a thorough introduction to Bengali culture and cooking; sections on spices, ingredients, and equipment; and lively family anecdotes, history, and cultural information round out this unique cookbook.

Sample Recipes

Khichuri or the Bengali Rissotto

Sandesh – Rose Scented Cottage Cheese Balls

Anglo Indian Maple Rum Fruitcake

Tauk Dal – Simple Tangy Lentils with Green Mangoes

Pui Chingri Chorchori – Malabar Spinach Medley with Shrimp

What People are saying

What a seductive book this is, a tantalizing world of flavors waiting to be cooked, tasted, experienced. The recipes for rice, pulses, vegetables and spices alone assure that this will be a well-used and no doubt well-loved book in my kitchen, but the scope of the book is much larger, including not only meat dishes and chutneys, but a personal and well-told story of Bengali cuisine. I love this book!

Deborah Madison, author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Vegetable Literacy

I am enchanted by the authentic Bengali recipes, sure-fire techniques and family anecdotes. This is a winning cookbook.

Bharati Kirchner, Author of The Healthy Cuisine of India and Tulip Season

“Contemporary yet traditional, refined yet candid, exuberant yet sublime, The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles is a warm and inviting book of family recipes that convey Rinku Bhattacharya’s passion…..”

Ammini Ramachandran, author of Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts.

“An exquisite collection of delicious and healthy recipes from eastern India and Bangladesh, leavened by biographical anecdotes and pointed cultural observations”

Krishnendu Ray, Associate Professor and Chair of Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, New York University and author of The Migrant’s Table: Meals and Memories in Bengali American Households.

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