Bengali cuisine is as rich and diversified as it culture. If you explore the state, you will find some unique recipe at every nook and corner. This makes it impossible for us to experience Bengali cuisine at just one go. Be it the vegetarian dishes or the meat-based ones or the seafood recipes - options are many, leaving us spoilt for choices. In fact, the modern Bengali cuisine can be defined as a union of various food cultures including Bangladeshi (then East Bengal), Mughlai, Marwari, English and more. Celebrating the beauty of multi-cultural Bengal, The Oberoi Gurgaon brings some of the classic Bengali dishes with their ongoing food fest, titled Kolkata Classics.
As the name suggest, this festival celebrates Kolkata's eclectic cuisine with a mélange of Bengali home-style classics. Curated by food historian Pritha Sen, it showcases family favourites and heirloom traditions.
We recently visited The Oberoi, Gurgaon to try the Kolkata Classics and we experienced was a pure bliss. The meal was divided into 'Veg Thali', 'Meat Thali' and 'Fish Thali' - each of which was a complete three course meal with different delicious veg and non-veg recipes. For the unversed, in a quintessential Bengali household, even a non-veg meal includes some vegetarian recipes in it. Keeping up with the tradition, Ms. Pritha Sen tried presenting the same in each of the thalis.
We tried the fish and the meat thali and here all it included. The starters in both the thalis were same - Khoi er bora (home-style fritters made with puffed rice), Matsyer lebu kebab (pan-fried fish kebab made with gondhoraj lime zest and aromatic spices) and Mangsho pitha (spicy pulled chicken, smoked in sal leaves). Each of these dishes was flavourful, aromatic yet comforting to the core.
Moving on the main course, the fish thali included - daaler borar til jhol (lentil fritter dunked in sesame seeds gravy), doi potol (parwal made in yogurt gravy), fish kaliya (made with rohu fish), chingri macher malaikari (coconut prawn curry), ilish bhapey (Hilsa marinated in mustard and steamed in banana leaf), cholar dal and begun bhaja.
On the other hand, the meat thali included - palong chinar kofta (palak-chenna kofta dunked in coconut milk gravy), doi potol, murgir jhol (home-style chicken curry with aloo and thin gravy), kosha mangsho (slow-cooked meat in Bengali garam masala), hansher dim er paturi (duck egg spiced and roasted in banana leaf), cholar dal and begun bhaja.
Both the thalis were accompanied by rice, luchi, chutney, papad and shahi ghee (ghee with infused flavours of whole garam masala).
Sounds grand, right? We must say, each of these dishes were rich, home-style and provided a burst of flavours to our palate.
No lavish meal can end without some desserts at the end. It was no different for this grand meal. The dessert for both the thalis included baked rosogolla, baked Sandesh, kheer kodombo, patishapta and misti doi ice cream - the classic Bengali mishti.
If this lavish meal is making you slurp, then we suggest visit The Oberoi, Gurgaon and try it for yourself. Trust us this meal experience is sure to break the conventional perception of what a Bengali cuisine is!
Where: threesixtyone degree, The Oberoi Gurgaon
When: September 9, 2021 - September 19, 2021 (Lunch and Dinner)
Cost: Meat and Seafood thali - INR 2750, Veg thali - INR 2500
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.