‘Sindal’ is highly valued as a delicacy of rural Bengal in Dinajpur. Due to its completely different characteristics and taste, it is a favorite food of the people of this region.
Cindal was once one of the instruments used in domestic occasions, sending relatives home, as a bargain or entertaining at home. Not only that, this delicious food made by the women of rural families was also sold in the markets.
With the change of days and the extinction of small native fish, the traditional food of this region is getting lost. Now the busyness of the women of the house to make sandals is no longer visible. There is no rush to sell in the market. However, although not usually seen occasionally. Many people still make the traditional food as a hobby. Sindal is basically made with different types of small fish, such as- mala, darka or putti with different small species of fish.
First the fish has to be washed well and dried in the hot sun for 5 to 7 days. If it is crispy, the dried fish has to be ground into powder. After that, the white manakchu and black kachu have to be washed only in the raw state after washing the stalks. Kachubata is mixed with mala, darka or putti fish halved powder, dried chilli, salt, garlic, ginger paste as required. Once all is mixed, apply turmeric and mustard oil and dry in the sun for 5 to 7 days. Sindal is made by covering it in a basket or nest (so that the birds cannot eat it) and when it dries a little hard.
Later it has to be stored in a dry pan. Putting some ashes in the pan can protect it from various types of small insects. Dried sandalwood wrapped in plastic paper and kept in a plastic box or refrigerator is good for up to 3 years. In this case, it is sometimes necessary to dry in the sun.
When cooking, the ashes are removed from the sandalwood and cleaned, then it is washed well with water. Cinnamon can be cooked in different ways. Sindal is mixed with catla or boiled fish and cooked with a little more salt. Although the practice of cooking sindal with vegetables is well known, the popular cooking method is sindal bharta. In this case, you have to boil it with sindal rice 5 minutes before unloading the rice.
Next, fry it in light oil, fry it with chilli, onion, garlic, salt, mustard oil and grind it by hand or on the floor.
In the evolution of time, Sindal is lost in the crisis of fish and various activities.