A specialty of West Bengal
, Shukto, is a thin, soupy, and bitter sweet item. This is a vegetable curry made with bitter gourds and other vegetables and flavored with mustard seeds, nigella, fenugreek and cumin. This is a must in a Bengali full course lunch menu. It is usually eaten at the starting course of a Bengali fare and not eaten at night. The Bengalis believe that the bitterness of this item helps in purifying their blood.