It is 'Jamai Shoshthi' and forall the jamais' (son in laws) of Bengal, it is the 'D' Day. The essence of thisfestival or the social custom is family bonding over food (what else!). The sonin laws of Bengal are treated royally on this day in the Bengali month of 'Jaistha'by the Shoshur bari (the in laws). While the essence now is family bonding andtogetherness, in the past it was believed that this was held to please the sonin laws so that they would treat their daughter well throughout the year. Manymay raise an eye brow over this, especially modern men. Today it is more to dowith celebration along with food and is something to look forward to. Of course,there are certain religious rituals that take place, however that is quitesecondary.
Traditionally, a normal menu ofJamai Shoshthi used to comprise of the seasonal fruits, 18 - 19 main courseitems with a focus on fish and desserts such as rosogolla and sandesh. Themother in laws would cook all of the courses and treat their son in laws overthis grand lunch. However, nowadays due to the fast moving culture, familiesflock to restaurants.
The restaurants serving Bengalicuisine in Kolkata leave no stone unturned to make this an affair to remember.Let us take a look at some of the special menus which will be put up this year
Aaheli at Peerless Inn, known for its traditional Bengali menu hasmade this a gala affair with an option of two kinds of thalis (Rs.1975/- plustax and Rs.1225/- plus tax) and À la carte as well. The thalis have some uniquedishes such as borishaler ilish, bhekti phool kopir dalna, suravi pulao, goynabori, lichur payesh to name a few from the list of almost 12 - 15 main coursedishes. Some special À la carte dishes such as rui macher patishapta, kadolipushpo ghanto, dhumrogandhi ilish and bhekti paturi adorn the menu and areavailable at very reasonable rates. This would be available for both lunch anddinner on Jamai Shoshthi.
First Innings, the multi cuisine restaurant of The Stadel, will showcase its culinary expertise with alavish Jamai ShoshthiSpecial Bengali buffet lunch from the 10th till 12th of June.The buffet lunch priced at Rs. 1081/- all inclusive, comprises of the summerspecial fruit platter with some fried stuff as starters. The main coursecomprises of dhakai polao and hing kachori, dal, main course vegetarian and maincourse non vegetarian with mach paturi (baked fish in banana leaves), kosha mangsho(slow cooked mutton), gondhoraj murgir jhol and prawn malai curry followed bythe desserts.
Aura, the all day dining at The Sonnet atSalt Lake, starts the spread with aam pora sharbat, topse fry, dimer devil,mochar chop and sorshe chalkumro bora as starters, a wide variety of vegetariandishes which have jhinge aloo posto, narkel diye cholar dal, to name a few. Kalobhuna mangsho, aam chingrir mortopiya and morog montajan are the non vegetarianchoices followed by rosogolla, mishti doi and others. While this is the menufor 10th, the extended celebration continues for 11th also. Priced at Rs 1000plus taxes and a complimentary beer pint, this is worth checking out.
Lokaahar, the authentic Bengali food place, invitesall the son in laws and the family with some authentic Bengali food such as machermatha diye daal, morola machhe piyaji, rui posto, ilish machher jhol kalo jirediye and others.
Saptapadi, at Bagha Jatin in Jadavpur, has come upwith some innovative dishes and a special thali for the son in laws to devourupon.
Bhojohori Manna, one of the pioneers of Bengali cuisine inKolkata and nationally, wants to keep it open for the mother in laws to decideon the menu for their sons in laws. While they will have a variety of fishitems in hilsa (ilish), bekti and chitol, for prawns they will have threeseparate sizes namely large, jumbo and super jumbo. Mr. Siddhartha Bose, theowner says that they want to keep the menu open and flexible instead of a thali,where the dishes become mandatory. The main purpose of that is to attractpeople from all fields of life. They will have their signature dishes such as Bekti Rongpuri Fry, Mutton Dakbangla and Ilish Borishali. The desserts will be servedin a platter where the guests can pick and choose.
For all the mother in laws who still want to cook for their son in lawsand not treat in a restaurant, Macchli baba- the boutique fish shop in Kolkata,which home delivers fishe will deliver the choicest of fishes to the doorsteps.
Itis a nice time to be a son in law of Bengal. Go ahead and get indulged in somedelicious food.
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