Bengali cuisine, with its rich and varied heritage, is renowned for its wide array of delightful dishes. Among these, Luchi and Alur Dom hold a special place, being a classic combination that is often enjoyed during festive times, family gatherings, and also as a beloved Sunday breakfast.
Luchi is a deep-fried bread that is soft, fluffy, and lightly crispy on the outside. What sets it apart from the ubiquitous “Puri” of North India is the use of all-purpose flour (maida) instead of whole wheat flour, giving it a unique texture and flavor. When done right, Luchi puffs up into a beautiful golden ball, creating a hollow center that’s perfect for scooping up curries.
Alur Dom is a spicy potato curry with a rich, flavorful gravy. The potatoes are usually first boiled, then fried and finally simmered in a tangy and spicy gravy made from tomatoes, ginger, and various spices. It’s somewhat similar to the North Indian “Dum Aloo”, but the Bengali version has its unique flavors, primarily due to the use of Panch Phoron (a five-spice blend commonly used in Bengali cuisine) and other regional spices.
How to Make Luchi:
- All-purpose flour (maida) – 2 cups
- Water – as needed
- Salt – a pinch
- Oil – for deep frying and 2 tbsp for the dough
- In a mixing bowl, take the flour, salt, and 2 tbsp oil. Mix well.
- Gradually add water and knead to form a smooth dough.
- Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into small balls and roll each ball into a flat disc using a rolling pin.
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Once hot, gently slide in the Luchi and fry until it puffs up and turns golden brown.
- Remove and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
How to Make Alur Dom:
- Potatoes – 4 medium-sized, boiled and peeled
- Tomatoes – 2, finely chopped
- Ginger paste – 1 tsp
- Panch Phoron – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Red chili powder – ½ tsp
- Cumin powder – ½ tsp
- Coriander powder – ½ tsp
- Garam masala – ¼ tsp
- Green chilies – 2, slit
- Oil – for frying and 2 tbsp for cooking
- Salt – to taste
- Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
- Halve the boiled potatoes. Heat oil in a pan and fry the potatoes until golden. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pan, add 2 tbsp oil. Add the Panch Phoron and let it crackle.
- Add ginger paste and sauté for a minute.
- Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder. Cook until tomatoes are soft and oil starts to separate.
- Add fried potatoes, salt, and enough water to make a gravy.
- Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Finish with garam masala and fresh coriander leaves.
Serve hot Luchis with the flavorful Alur Dom and relish the classic Bengali delicacy!