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Over the last few years, there has been a renewed interest in sub-regional cuisines. If you look at the cuisines from Bengal, we have had quite a few promotions looking just beyond Luchi, Kosha Mangsho and Rosogolla. We have had festivals celebrating the Indo-Chinese food from Tangra, the Anglo-Indian food from Park Street, and the Muslim cuisine from Bengal. The cuisine of erstwhile East Bengal and its sub-regional variants is another area regarding which we can see a lot of enthusiasm.
Even in Hyderabad, the food lovers are delving much deeper into the Bengali cuisine.
With Nababarsho or the Bengali New Year’s Day around the corner, Aish, the Indian restaurant of The Park, Hyderabad is back with their annual Bengali festival Barshobaran. The festival, which is into the third year celebrates select Bengali food with a special peek into the recipes from East Bengal.
The festival kicks off on 12th April and goes on beyond the New Year Day till 16th.
Offered as a sumptuous buffet for both lunch and dinner, it is being curated by home chefs Swarnali Pal and Sarbani Lahiri.
The menu incorporates most of the well-known dishes from Bengal, including those from many sub-cuisines of the state.
An example is the Chicken Kabab from East Bengal which is very different from the traditional North Indian preparation, with minced chicken flavoured with spices and shallow fried.
Of course, on the other side of the spectrum, you also have the traditional Bengali Luchi that can be paired with Chholar Dal, Begun Bhaja and Kosha Mangsho.
Pabda Mach with Rosun
The main courses look at many traditional Bengali recipes such as Potoler Dolma, Shukto and Daab Chingri. The Bengali Muslim delicacies such as Mutton Biryani with the mandatory potato, and Chicken Chaap feature prominently too.
Among the sweets, Kheere Singara sweet version of the triangular snack) and Nolengurer Payesh deserves a mention.
Here are some of my recommendations from the promotion:
Raw jackfruit is a popular vegetable in Bengal. It is coated with breadcrumbs and fried in this preparation.
It is a dish which is associated with Bengali New Year. The lentil cake and vegetable preparation incorporate diverse tastes from sweet to spicy.
Tiger prawns cooked in mustard and coconut paste and served in a tender coconut.
Boneless bhetki fillets in a special marinade steamed inside banana leaves.
Tetul r Tomator Chutney
A sweet and sour relish of tamarind and tomatoes.
Shaktigarh is a place in Bardhaman district known for the long fried sweet made of chhana and dipped in sugar syrup.
A passionate food and travel enthusiast, Sabyasachi is quite popular in the food and beverages circles of Hyderabad, the city he has made his home for the last twenty-five years. As a much-travelled sales person, Sabyasachi has been exposed to many international cuisines as well as regional food from remote corners of India. He blogs about his food and travel experiences at Foodaholix, and is a frequent contributor of food-related articles to the print media.