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    Festive cuisine from Bengal takes centrestage at Ashivta Bistro, thanks to a former MasterChef

    FOR HOME CHEF Priya-darshini Gupta, hosting a Bengali set meal pop-up is a mission in disguise. She has steered clear from popular Bengali dishes (like rosogolla, mishti doi) by design. Instead, she brings our attention to lesser-known gems, ones that you will find doing the rounds on plates especially during festivals like Lakshmi Puja or Durga Puja. Take chana payesh for example — a kheer-like milky dessert made of cottage cheese, or a plate of echorer dalna (jackfruit curry) which can easily be passed off as a mutton delicacy at first glance. Gupta’s first pop-up at Ashvita Bistro introduces these and many other festive dishes to an expected crowd of around 70, for lunch and dinner.d75_2513
    The 46-year-old, who hails from Bengal, is a resident of Mumbai (where for the past one year, she has been running an in-home dining service in collaboration with platforms like Authenticook, TGFC and Indian Food Trail) and was among the top 30 contestants of the fifth season of Amul MasterChef India last year. She was chosen from an initial group of around 8,000 participants and is now planning to organise a food trail in Goa next with a few of her
    fellow MasterChef contestants. “We shall be rolling out updates in a month or so,” beams Gupta, who will be focusing on Bengali, Goan and Anglo-Indian cuisine for the programme. Until then, you can sign up for her pop-up and savour dishes like luchi-begun bhaja, labda, phool kopir
    dalna, kosha mangsho and shorshe narkel chingri.
    February 24-26. Rs 799
    upwards for a set meal. Details: 42109990

    —Karan Pillai

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