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    Chef Giri from Sonargaon, Taj Bengal shares a taste of specials beyond the usual suspects 

    We TRIED aam porar shorbot – an aperitif of liquid mango pulp, flavoured with cumin and spice, an unsual phoolkopir paturi – mustard-marinated chopped cauliflower, wrapped and steamed in a banana leaf on the lines of the popular fish dish, a crisp chingri – prawn cutlet, and a favourite Bengali snack dimer devil – hard-boiled eggs covered with spiced minced meat, closely resembling Scotch eggs and served as a tea time snack all over Kolkata. The Bengalis know how to treat their meats and seafood. A sumptuous food9anchor2mutton kosha mangsho, narkel diye chholar dal – melt-in-the-mouth channa dal with a delicate spicy flavor, chingri malai curry – a huge prawn cooked in wickedly creamy coconut milk, and the ever popular aloo posto – potatoes in a poppyseed paste, arrived on individual platters. We mopped up the gravies with traditional luchis before trying an aromatic saffron chicken and potato biryani.

    Sugar rush
    Desserts were rasmalai and nolen gurer payesh – a thick rice kheer cooked with molasses served in an attractive matka. We thoroughly enjoyed the dessert but we did miss the sandesh and the rasgulla. They also offer macher jhol with bekti since hilsa is a bit bony and difficult to eat.

    Rs. 3,500++ upwards for two. At Masala Klub, The Taj West End, Race Course Road. Details: 66605660

    — Vani Reddy

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