From the multifarious Bengali cuisine to the Oriental to the Continental, the world is your oyster when it comes to food this Durga puja - an opportunity for people here to gorge on spicy, sinful delights.Durga Puja, one of the biggest annual festivals in eastern India, marks the victory of good over evil, with the slaying of demon Mahishasura by Goddess Durga. The five-day festival starts Oct 20 and the subsequent four days - Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashami - translate into frenzied pandal-hopping in new clothes, meeting friends and family and stuffing oneself to the brim.Gearing up to serve the traditional and old forgotten Bengali fare is the quaint Koshe Kosha eatery that promises to rustle up innovative reciepes using age-old ingredients like mango-ginger and kasundi (mustard)."Our special puja dishes include aam aada bhapa chicken (mango-ginger steamed chicken balls), aam kasundi prawn (jumbo prawns in mango and mustard) and chingri (prawn) biriyani which will be part of the various thalis (platters)," Arunima Paul who runs Koshe Kosha, told IANS.Also on the menu are ever-popular desserts like baked rosogolla and daab (green coconut) ice cream."During the pujas we all want to have some good spicy food and we will cater to that," said co-owner Arun Das Sharma.Joining the fray, 6 Ballygunge Place, another Bengali cuisine restaurant, promises a different buffet for each of the four days."One can try kanchalanka dhonepata murgi (boneless chicken cooked with coriander and chilli), ada jeera bata aloo dum (traditional Bengali dum alu cooked with cumin, ginger and chilli) and bagda chingrir bhuna (tiger prawns cooked Dhaka style) on different days," said 6 Ballygunge Place owner Pradip Saha.
Aura, the multispeciality restaurant at The Sonnet, is ready to cater to the Bengali food lover through its dinner buffet spread through five days of the pujas."Besides the non-vegetarian fare like iilish barishali (Hilsa cooked traditionally in Bangladeshi style) and mangsher dak bangla (mutton cooked in Raj era style), we also have vegetarian spin-offs of the popular (steamed) fish paturi," said a restaurant spokesperson.After your fill of native gastronomic fare, let the flavours of the Orient assault your senses."In Kolkata, after Bengali food, the most popular cuisine is Chinese. So our Puja special platter offers that to our patrons," said Rajarshi Banerjee of The Wall, a restaurant specialising in Chinese and Japanese cuisine.With a roster of non-vegetarian dishes like panko fried chicken wings Szechwan style and equally tasty options for vegetarians, including egg plant in tausi sauce or vegetables in tobanjan sauce, foodies are spoilt for choice at The Wall.After Bengal and the Orient, one can round up the hunt for lip-smacking pleasures with Continental food at Harvey's World Cuisine."Special preparations like chicken in blueberry sauce and a wide range of pastas add to the variety of the food that you can choose from during the Puja," Harvinder Singh Walia of Harvey's told IANS.From Saptami to Dashami, with a host of sumptuous sweet and savoury offerings, the pujas are sure to tickle one's taste buds and add a few more inches to one's waistline.
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