Restaurants in the city have finally discovered fusion Bengali food this Poila Boishakh
The roast beckti at Sonargaon,Taj Bengal comes bathed in Bengali goodness. It melts in your mouth with strong hints of cumin,coriander and such staples of Bengali cuisine. The aam sondesh is layers of cream,fresh mango slivers and kheer perched on a thin disc of sponge cake. The echorer chop (jackfruit chop) comes with a sweet and sour raisin and nuts filling,grilled like a kebab. The Bengali New Year menu at restaurants finally seems to have tired of the mooger dal-murgir jhol routine. There are some 10-15 Bengali dishes that make the rounds of menus in restaurants around Bengali New Year. Its high time we reshuffled it. Also,people get bored of eating the same old things,however much they like it, says chef Sujan Mukherjee of Taj Bengal. So fusion,till now a strict no-no in Bengali cuisine,is finally making its way into the citys kitchens. A case in point is the prawn Biryani being served at Sonargaon as part of the Poila Boisakh menu. It isnt the typical Central Indian Biryani we are familiar to. The taste is more subtle and the recipe can be traced to the Muslim rulers in Bengal in the past and the culinary tradition of our neighbour Bangladesh, says Mukherjee.
Also,hotels are digging up cooking traditions that thrived in old Bengali households. Like the Becti Kopir Daab Malai,being served at Saffron,The Park as a part of their Poila Boisakh celebrations. The rich curry comprises beckti fish cooked in the creamy green coconut flesh. The recipe,according to the hotel,figures prominently in the gourmet history of the Thakurbari kitchen. The Fulkopi Dab Malai roast served at the hotel comprises spiced deep fried cauliflower served in a fleshy green coconut shell. The Bengali fare,with every passing day,is becoming increasingly cosmopolitan. From cooking techniques to ingredients,Bengali food is finally lending itself to experiment, says chef Sharad Dewan of The Park.
Boutique hotel Swissotel,apart from the traditional Bengali fare,is serving an assortment of mousses and chocolates to complement their Bengali menu. And deboned Ilish is a fixture at most eateries in Kolkata. Cosmopolitan Bengali food is finally getting its due in the city it seems.
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