Typical Dish

Asansol, West Bengal, India

Asansol is a city located in the Bardhaman district of West Bengal, India. It is the second largest city in the state after Kolkata and has a population of approximately 1.5 million people. The city is known for its coal mining and steel production industries, which attract a large number of migrant workers from different parts of the country. The city has a diverse cultural heritage with people from different religions and ethnic backgrounds coexisting in harmony.

The food and drink culture of Asansol is influenced by its diverse population and the availability of local produce. The city is known for its street food culture, with vendors selling a variety of snacks and sweets. One of the most popular street foods in Asansol is the "kachori," a deep-fried snack made with flour and stuffed with a spicy mixture of lentils, potatoes, and spices. It is usually served with tamarind or mint chutney. Another popular snack is "jhaal muri," a spicy mixture of puffed rice, vegetables, and spices, which is also a popular street food across West Bengal.

The city is also known for its traditional Bengali cuisine, with a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. "Luchi-alur dom" is a popular breakfast dish in Asansol, which consists of deep-fried flatbread (luchi) served with a spicy potato curry (alur dom). "Cholar dal" is another popular vegetarian dish, made with split Bengal gram, coconut, and spices. Non-vegetarian dishes like "mutton curry" and "fish fry" are also popular in Asansol. The mutton curry is a slow-cooked stew made with tender pieces of mutton and a variety of spices, while the fish fry is a deep-fried preparation of marinated fish.

Apart from food, the city also has a thriving tea culture, with "chai" (tea) being a staple beverage. Tea stalls can be found on almost every street corner in Asansol, serving steaming cups of tea to the locals. "Mishti doi" or sweetened yogurt is another popular dessert in Asansol, which is made by fermenting sweetened milk with curd and served chilled. The city is also known for its sweets, with "rasgulla" and "sandesh" being the most popular. Rasgulla is a soft and spongy dessert made with chenna (cottage cheese) balls boiled in sugar syrup, while sandesh is a sweet made with chenna and sugar.

The meal times in Asansol are similar to the rest of West Bengal, with breakfast being a light meal and lunch and dinner being the main meals. People usually have a mid-morning snack of tea and biscuits or samosas. Lunch is usually a substantial meal, with rice, dal, and vegetables, followed by a dessert. Dinner is a lighter meal, with roti or rice and a non-vegetarian or vegetarian side dish. The distribution of food during the day depends on the lifestyle of the people, with workers in the coal mines and steel factories having different meal times compared to those working in offices.

The food and drink culture of Asansol reflects the city's diverse cultural heritage and the availability of local produce. The street food culture, traditional Bengali cuisine, and tea culture are an integral part of the city's food scene. The people of Asansol lead a stressful life due to the nature of their work in the mining and steel industries, but they also know how to enjoy their food and take pride in their culinary traditions.