Bengali Food Vs. Indian Food: Is Bengali Food Similar To Indian?

Bengal is a state in Eastern India.

So you might be wondering if there is any difference between a regional cuisine like Bengali food and Indian food.

We are here to tell you that they differ in some ways but also have many similarities.

This article will compare both of these Indian cuisines in order to give you a more well-rounded understanding of this topic.

Let’s get started!

What is special about Bengali food?

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Bengal has a rich history, in which it is considered a state of India, an independent country subdivision with its own capital, or a state of Bangladesh.

Therefore, Bengali cuisine is a blend of different cultures, including East Indian, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar.

The cuisine contains many spices with a lot of meat and fish.

One of the most iconic dishes from Bengal is fish curry, which has been a staple for centuries.

Fish curries can be served with rice or flatbread in the meal of Bengali people.

Their diets also include many vegetarian dishes which are low on calories, and the use of some spices will provide relief from stomach problems.

It also promotes well-being by offering warmth during the winter season.

Lentils are also a staple in Bengali cuisine.

This ingredient is often stewed or made into soup.

Most Bengali people are Hindus, therefore, beef is not likely to appear in this region.

Their other protein options are mainly lamb, chicken, and fish. 

What is special about Indian food?

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Indian food is reputed for being spicy and very flavorful.

There is also the perfect combination of various spices, both fresh and dried, making their dishes different from Western cuisine.

India has a rich history that stretches back for centuries and includes many influences like Arabic, Persian, Chinese, and European cooking styles.

There are over 100 varieties of curry that can be made from meat, seafood, or vegan ingredients.

Indian cuisine also varies between different regions, from the East to the West, and the North to the South.

For example, coastal areas tend to eat more seafood, Hindus don’t eat beef and Muslims don’t eat pork.

Some things that are common across the country are the use of rice, naan bread, curries, and a lot of vegetables and spices.

Indian food is suitable for vegetarians because it offers many meat-free options.

What are the differences between Indian food and Bengali food?

Bengali and Indian food are very similar, but they do differ in some aspects that make each cuisine unique in its own way:

Indian food is spicier than Bengali food

In terms of flavor, Indian food tends to be spicier than Bengali food.

Indians use more hot spices like chili peppers, peppercorns, cinnamon, curry powder, or cumin.

If you are not a fan of spicy food, you better ask the cook to adjust the spicy level before ordering a dish when visiting India.

Bengali cuisine uses white rice, while Indians use Basmati rice

Another difference between the two cuisines is their rice.

In Bengal, they typically eat regular white rice which can be simply steamed or fried with lentil and carrot.

On the other hand, Bastami is the most popular type of rice that Indians eat.

Bengali food is served with more rice, while Indian food is typically served with naan bread

Although rice plays an important role in both Bengali and Indian cuisines, it seems to be more popular in Bengal.

Meanwhile, in Indian cuisine, they tend to serve both rice and naan bread in their daily meals.

Naan bread is a kind of flatbread that is usually made in the tandoori oven, a clay oven in Indian cooking.

Bengali people eat more fish, Indians eat more meat

Fish is a staple ingredient in Bengali cuisine.

This ingredient is mainly used to make curry in this state.

On the other hand, in India, mainly coastal areas eat seafood, while the inland indigenous prefer meat like lamb and chicken.

What are the similarities between Indian food and Bengali food?

Since Bengali is a region of India, their cuisines share a lot of things in common.

Below are some typical similarities between Indian food and Bengali food:

Indian food and Bengali food make use of a lot of spices

Both cuisines are reputed for using a lot of spices that make their dishes very flavorful and unique from other Western cuisines.

Some popular spices that are widely used in Bengali and Indian cuisines are chili pepper, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom, mustard seeds, or curry leaves.

The two cuisines share a lot of staple ingredients

Another similarity between the two cuisines is their staple ingredients.

You will find rice, flatbread, curries that are made from lentils, meat, or fish in both Bengal and India.

This makes their meals look and taste relatively similar.

Stewing and grilling are the main cooking methods in both cuisines

The two cuisines also share cooking methods.

Stewing to make soups and curries or grilling food are two popular techniques used in Bengal and India.

Which one is better?

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It’s true that there are many similarities between Bengali and Indian food, but they also have some key differences.

Therefore, choosing a region’s cuisine can be an intimidating decision.

However, our article has given you the essential information on both Indian food and Bengali food so that you can know more about them and know exactly what each cuisine offers.

So which one between Bengali and Indian food sounds more appealing to you? Let us know in the comments below.

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