A woman’s culinary activity makes her a participant in the sacrificial aspect in which cooking is closely connected to religion. Preparation of a meal is also linked to Karma (desire). A young woman must study the rules of culinary erotica and develop them into an art to win over husband’s attention- a universal feminine strategy.
The best role model for a Bengali woman is Draupadi as it is believed that she used to keep all her five husbands happy and none used to return from her kitchen hungry.
The rules of do’s and don’ts governing personal cleanliness and when to eat was effectively reinforced by religious sanctions and celestial occurrences. Bathing and changing into clean clothes dried in the wind were perquisites for the daily puja. Women did not enter the kitchen at all times and before doing so head bath was mandatory. Before a solar or a lunar eclipse, the hearth is not lit. Food, cooked or uncooked is not eaten. After an eclipse, the kitchen is washed before it resumes its normal operations. The reasons given are that the absence of the main illuminating body – the sun and the moon- it is believed that contamination by insects and other harmful bodies may go unnoticed.