The average Bengali who might not even have heard of Irishman George Bernard Shaw, however, seems to live by Shaw’s quote ‘There is no sincerer love than the love of food’. While most Bengalis like to argue on random facts of life, I am sure no Bengali will argue with me when I say, ‘Bengalis do not eat to live, but live to eat’.
Delicious, aromatic, light and varied Bengali dishes come from the most unexpected sources. Backyard vegetables, fresh water fish, succulent meats and flowers are intertwined with traditional Bengali spices to create exotic flavours. The cuisine combines the lost culinary delights from old Calcutta clubs, the Nawabi and colonial era with traditional Bengali preparations. On the occasion of the Bengali New Year, Cidade de Goa has something deliciously special in store for you – A Bengali Food Festival, from 7th to 15th April, at Café Azul - the poolside café.
The buffet is a lavish spread that starts at 7:30 pm. Always on time, we were welcomed with a Traditional Tikka, Amer Sorbot (mango drink) and Sandesh. A whole burst of flavours and round of sweetness to prepare us for the feast ahead. Now for those who know, Bengal is undoubtedly the ‘Fish Capital’ of India. To Bengalis, fish is not merely a food item, but the symbol of the intellectual and cultural Bengali. The fish delicacies of Bengal are just as famous around the globe as the Parisian platter. The menu reflected an ode to the Eastern land with fish taking centre stage, smeared and cooked with hand-ground spices. We got lost savouring the leaf wrapped Bhetki Paturi and the spicy Macher Kalia and Chingri Malai Curry among the fish delicacies. The team under the guiding eye of Chef Sunit, added their innovations to some of the Bengal’s favourite dishes while retaining the essence of traditional Bengali cooking.
Adorning the menu were historical flavours and recipes researched from grandma’s cookbooks. They were restored with a modern twist in the classic Kochi Pathar Jhol, Dimer Chop, Aloo Jhinga Posto and Kosha Mangsho. We got to round off the perfect meal with Bengal’s famed desserts like Khir Kodombo, Pantua, Strawberry Rosogullas and of course, the cult classic – Mishti Doi. It was an innovative and richly layered experience, laden with history through every morsel. A story of Bengal, the old and the new.
An award winning photojournalist, Nolan is torn between food & travel. Having held multiple exhibitions across- he loves to capture the essence of a meal or moment through his lens. Known for his love of food he believes in making viewers salivate over drool worthy pictures, titilating their palates over social media. His photography added vivid dimensions through his contribution to the book The Culinary Heritage of Goa which won the Gourmand Best in the World for Historical recepies in 2015. Author of the ever popular food/travel blog www.nolansatwit.com, many have commonly referred to his wit or 'twit'iness. A recepient of the prestigious REX Karmaveer Chakra award by UNESCO he spends most of his time divided between sampling the various offerings of the gastronomic world and his unending quest for new and far flung places.
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