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With visiting cooks from West Bengal, the Bangalir Bhuribhoj festival at Paprika is not to be missed

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With the Navratri celebrations in full swing, Courtyard by Marriott invites you to celebrate Durga Puja, the Bengali way. Paprika is hosting a feast of authentic Bengali delicacies, Bangalir Bhuribhoj, by visiting cooks Arpan Langal and Alok Basu from West Bengal, starting today. Part of a catering outfit, they are not new to Chennai — having been to the city years ago through restaurants like Naveen Vilas, to cater for Bengali functions. While Langal, who is in charge of the mains, promises treats like kalia, alu postho and chingri panch phoron, Basu, the sweets specialist, advises you don’t leave without trying the sandesh, rosogolla and doodh er puli, that are staples during Durga Puja. We catch up with Langal ahead of the festival:

Ingredients without which there’s no Bengali cuisine.

Chondoni (a Bengali masala), mustard and mustard oil.

Places to visit in West Bengal, while on a food tour.
All Bengali restaurants in Park Street shouldn’t be missed — like Bengali Nivas and Southern Bengal Cuisine. For sweets, Gopal Bhaad, Haldiram’s and KC Das are the best. Dishes like lau saag er ghonto with tiny fish that is prepared around West Bengal, can’t be found anywhere else.

Cuisines that are similar to Bengali?
Orissa and Bihar’s dishes are similar mainly because they also cook in mustard oil like us.

Ingredients you are bringing with you for the festival?
Chondoni, aatod, authentic mustard and home-made masalas with jeera and aada baata (ginger paste). We have also ordered hilsa  (herring), which is not generally found in Chennai.

Putting a Bengali spin on a South Indian dish?
I only know how to prepare chicken Chettinad and idly, dosa and sambhar vaguely, but the onion pakodas, that are made with curry leaves and spices, can be made in a Bengali style by using just besan  (gram flour) and rice flour with onions and salt.
From September 26 to October 3.  `1,250 per head. Details: 66764000

— RP

with inputs from Sharmistha Maji

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