The launch of New flavours to 'Purba Banglar Ahaar' by Taj Gateway Kolkata4:06 AM
Saying I love Bengali food would be an understatement...rather I am ready to spend my entire life cooking, feeding, teaching sharing this joy hoever is interested. So when an invite from Buzz; Gateway Kolkata came through KFB I was elated. More so because they serve East Bengali or Bangladeshi bengali food which eludes me to no end. Its like a deja vu experience for me, ingredients are so similar to what I cook on a daily basis yet quite different in technique and taste. For many personal reasons I cant attend most of the review invites these days but Gateway being so close to my place was easier for me to manage.
This time the event was to launch the new menu called ' Purba Banglar Ahaar' at Buzz and I and Another KFBian, dear friend Indrani were there to sample the delicacies. After a round of refreshment with purely traditional Aam khejurer Sherbet, the executive Chef Asish Roy explained his journey in curating this special menu.
|Aam Khejurer Sherbet, little too sweet for my taste|
In his own words though East Bengali cuisine is mostly non vegetarian as they love to add fish parts even in their vegetable dishes. but in the set up of a hotel he had to keep the balance by incorporating both veg and non veg in the menu. To deliver the authentic flavour of these Bangladeshi delicacies they have established a vendor base who gives a steady supply of authentic ingredients like Kagzi lebu (Variety of fragrant lemon) and Poa Bhetki (baby Asian Sea Bass) all year round.
|Chhanar Paturi or fresh cottage cheese steamed with mustard and other spices|
The menu is set in a course based meal kind of set up where they have made combination of various dishes to give the customer a complete taste of authentic Purba Bangla style sit down meal. Depending on your mood and appetite you can chose a smal meal with two dishes or an elaborate meal with several courses. For example, you can order a meal of Dimer chop (Egg chop) and Dhakai Roast Murgi (Bengali Roast Chicken) with rice or Chatur Parota (Chickpea flour flatbread). or can opt for a veg meal consisting of leafy green fritters (shaak patar bora), Mochar chop (banana blossom chops), Gach panthar gelasi (raw jackfruit curry), Chanar paturi (steamed cottage cheese with mustard and spices, Lentil, rice, flat bread and a dessert along with some refreshing drink.
For photography a huge table were prepared with all the new dishes and an amazing array of fresh seafood, the soul of any Bangladeshi dish. The table looked attractive with beautifully plated and rilliantly executed dish. Our Tasting Thali (Platter) consisted of all the new dishes.
We started our meal with Mochar chop, a vegetarian deep fried, crumb coated starter prepared with Banana Blossom. This is a quintessential Bengali dish and the Chef did full justice to its taste and texture.
|shaak patar bora, leafy green fritter|
The Poa Bhetki'r Beguni was a simple batter fried Asian sea bass, each of which weighed 250 gms(the golden fritter on the platter). I guess I dont have words to describe it. though deep fried but it was wonderfully light with a perfect balance of fish to batter which was fried to a perfect golden hue. Loved every bite of it with the accompanied raw mango relish.
The Masoor dal or red lentil (the third bowl from left on the platter) is not what we usually eat at home rather it was thick and the liberal use of spices gave it a more hearty texture. Perfect to combine with rice and some bhaja (fries) for a meal.
|Bhapa Chingri, steamed prawn with spices|
The next dish the Chingri Bharta was by far my favourite dish. Shrimps made into a paste and cooked with generous dose of chillies and spices resulted into Nirvana in a bowl. It's rather a dry dish and you need to mix it with rice to truly apprecitae the flavour and texture. The strong aroma of this dish will linger on your finger which could be an added bonus if you are a fish lover like me :-)
|Dhakai Roast Murgi|
The Dhakai Roast Murgi came with a lovely flaky Chatur parota (Roasted chickpea flour flat bread) which was a delight to tear and dunk in the creamy gravy. This is classic Bangladeshi preparation made mostly during celebrations and is rich with raisins, almonds, creams and are slow cooked in the oven for beautiful creamy texture. Though the chicken dish looked tempting with the gravy but somehow it could not make a lasting impression like the other dishes.
But we all loved the 'Khashir Gelasi'(spicy goat meat stew) (second bowl from right on the platter). The slightly spicy gravy was perfect to dip in the parathas or to mix with rice. The meat was soft and succulent which was slow cooked over a long period of time for an absolutely delightful melt in the mouth texture.
I have a huge sweet tooth and I always keep space for dessert and the meal did not disappoint at all. The Bhaja pithe (The first right on the platter) was a beautiful mishti with flaky, deep fried sweet dough encasing a wonderful reduced milk stuffing. The whole thing was dipped in a sticky syrup but proved to be perfectly sweet.
The next mishti, Malai Kusum looked and tasted absolutely adorable. The kheer or reduced milk stuffed in a saffron scented homemade casein was perfectly sweet.
Apart from these dishes the menu also features varieties of leafy green fritters like Paat patar bora (jute leaf), Gime shaaker bora (local bitter greens), Steamed prawns with mustard and spices, steamed fresh cottage cheese with mustard and spices, Gaach panthar gelasi or spicy stew with raw jackfruits, Boal Do Pyaza or a Sylhetti preparation of Boal fish with copious amount of onions etc.
The entire menu is available at Buzz; Taj Gateway. You can do a pre booking at 033 30990323
and drop there to savour your meal in leisure.