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The greatest and the longest month of festivities for Kolkata is about to end. Started in the beginning of October, Durga Puja celebrations these days stretch for 10 days, although officially it is supposed to be of 4 days. Then was Laxmi Puja, Kali pujo, Diwali and Bhai Dooj. Each of these celebrations is coupled with food which is traditional for homes, as well as the new age food which the restaurants offer specially to mark the celebrations. The best part of this season is the inertia mode of celebration which lingers on even after the actual days of the festivals and hence the celebratory eating out too.
This is just the perfect timing to celebrate birthdays and Yauatcha, the famous dim sum place is the birthday boy for this month. It is their 5th year in India and 3rd year in Kolkata and head Chef Wang Yixuan has curated a special menu for this occasion, which comprises of Mandarin dumpling, spicy pork wanton in Szechuan sauce, chicken and coriander dumpling and many more. The wok dishes will also see some addition in the form of Sichuan style lobster with vermicelli, lotus leaf wrapped fried rice with shiitake mushrooms and few more. Like this was not enough, as desserts Yauatcha now has introduced eggless chocolate pebble and blueberry pistachio bar. Here is wishing the dim sum house great times ahead.
When it is Diwali, its homemade sweets which take the centre stage, however the sweet shops also have the cash registers ringing during this time. Starting from Diwali and continuing till Bhai Dooj, it is the sweets all the way. Anyone going to a sweet shop during this period will only experience long waiting time and standing in queues. The Diwali sweets are more North Indian in nature with the usage of ghee and dry fruits and others, so while buying the Diwali laddoos, the rush is more at Gupta's, Haldiram’s or Tiwari's. Whereas, for the Bhaiphota mishti, it is the traditional Bengali sweet shops which play the role of a trusted partner. From Balaram Mallick, Nobin chandra Das, K.C. Das, and Bhim Nag amongst the biggies or the neighbourhood sweet shop, each one adds up some innovations of the season to the traditional sweets.
The October month can be safely considered as no calorie counting season and as the nip in the air starts slowly, one starts to look forward to the month of November to quickly pass away so that December starts as the season of cakes and poolside barbeque parties.
A true blue Kolkata foodie, Anindya loves cooking and eating his Kosha Mangsho. Anindya weaves stories around food as he believes exceptional food is an emotional experience. Previously a restauranter, now a passionate photographer and traveller, he runs a successful blog called Pikturenama and contributes to other publications.