The Nabami narrative begins in the cacophony of the crowd. The streets bathed with light resemble a jana-samudra, meaning sea made of people. This isn’t a figurative expression. You need to see for yourself!
The Story of Nabami
And why wouldn’t the crowd go nuts, it’s the penultimate day of Durga Puja 2016!
The adda sessions are at its peak during Nabami. Friends and siblings separated by continents sit together and share tidbits of their life over a cup of piping hot tea and smoking shingara (samosa).
Be it an erudite club or a salt of the earth friends circle, the meet and greet gear up as the puja days wind down. In this fast paced life, this nabami evening and the subsequent night comes as a relief. A much-needed one!
When do I celebrate
29th September, 2017
What’s the specialty
Maha Nabami Puja, Ayudha Puja, and Durga Balidan.
Maha Nabami Puja is the celebration of Durga’s Mahisasuramardini avatar. This is the avatar of the mother Goddess who slew the demon king Mahisasur. The traditional ritual of Durga Balidan requires an animal sacrifice but the devotees who refrain from these practices can instead sacrifice a symbolic entity like a white pumpkin also called Kushmanda. In many parts of the country, Goddess Saraswati, Laxmi, and Parvati are worshiped on Nabami called the Ayudha Puja. Vehicles and tools of the trade are venerated and worshiped during this puja.
Dress to impress
After a night of indulging neck-deep into traditions and going back to the roots, keep it light and breezy with casuals. Recommended wear: T-shirt with Jeans.
A lehenga saree would be an ideal suit for Nabami. Nothing too fancy and nothing too bland and at the same time very comfortable.
Glam up and save up at the same time with Myntra Coupons. Now buy ethnic and western wear without shelling out huge bucks.
For the love of food
Available in both crunchy and not so crunchy varieties, this simple pan fried eggplant (brinjal or begun) is the cornerstone of bengali cuisine. Easy to cook and serve and a joyous treat, Begun Bhaja is all rolled into one.
Chingri (prawn) vs Illish (hilsa), this war has been waging on for ages but who’s the real winner? The foodies of course! This beautiful dish made of prawns stuffed in a tender coconut (daab) is a must have for any seafood fanatic. This Durga Puja 2017 DO NOT miss out on this mouthwatering dish!
Yes, noodles aka chowmein in West Bengal, made at the small roadside stalls are a must have during the festivities. This is a very common snacktime option for the normal days as well. But then the craze of gorging on a plate full of almost bland and yet so delicious roadside chowmein, topped with shredded cabbage, caroot and cucumber can never be given a miss.
Malai Chom Chom
Among all the Roshogolla rush, this rich and gourmet sweet dish is often neglected. But Malai Chom Chom is a guaranteed paradise for everyone with a sweet tooth.
Nolen Gurer Payesh
This famous rice pudding made of Nolen Gur or date palm jaggery is a culinary mainstay for the Bengalis. Laced with nostalgia, love, rich dry fruits, and creamy deliciousness, this is one dish which ought not to be missed out.
What’s better than a Roshogolla? How about a Roshogolla soaked in syrup for hours at a stretch and then coated with mawa and paneer? This is exactly what a Kheer Kadam or Ras Kadam or Khoya Kadam is. Need I say more?!
Want more food suggestions and fashion tips? look into our Dashami article. The epic conclusion to the 10-day long festivities.
We hope you had a good time reading and learning about Bengali cuisines, etiquette, and culture. Do let us know how you felt about this article in the comments below 🙂
Experiences of a gastronomad
G. B. B.
Sammya Brata Photography