A no-fish meal is no meal for most Bengalis. I don’t like fish but that doesn’t mean I am not a Bengali. I am told there are more than fifty varieties of freshwater fish in Bengal. There is Rui (more popular because of ceremonial and ritual status), there is Chingri, there is Ilish, and there is Parshey (oily specimens with bulging bellies). So much emotions are aroused when Ghotis and Bangals fight over the superiority between Chingrir Malai Curry and Bhapa Ilish.
No Bengali meal is complete without sweets. One of my friends used to say, Mithai raja ki sawari hoti hai, jahan jaati hai, apni jagah bana leti hai’ (Sweets are like King’s chariot; wherever they go they make their way). This description fits in so well with Bengalis. Howsoever full your stomach may be, if you see Rosogolla, Sandesh, Pantua, Mishti Doi staring at you, it is hard not to let them enter your system.
Paan goes very well with the bulging belly.