Announcing my first Bengali Pop Up Luncheon of this year which will be running through out the month of January.
To many, the word “Bengali” does not extend much far beyond this three word – ” Maach (fish), Mishti (Sweet) and Rabindra Sangeet. While this is true to large extent, but there equally exists a vast horizon of Bengali vegetarian dishes that are exemplary of finesse , which demands repertoire of culinary expertise, largely not known much to the rest of Indians. At the same time they represents a profound and sharp flavour contrasts, as you traversed through the fertile plains of Bengal from one end to another, from river to coast , from hills to deltaic plains.
Winter is that season when nature’s bounties are at its best, the palm trees are laden with that pristine and elusive sap lovingly called as nolen gur in bengali and Sankranti is that time of the year again when every Bong hearts sings for those festive spreads of Pithe-Puli. There were times when these festivals were celebrated with much pomp and show, entire clan would sit together for the preparatory work needed for such festive spreads, mounds of coconuts will be shelled, freshly harvested rice will be milled to powder and paste as required, large vats would be set up in the courtyard to distill that liquid gold called nolen gur, the heirloom dessert moulds will be taken out from the trunk, stories will be retold, traditions and culture will be passed onto next generation. All three days or entire week will be observed strictly as pure vegetarian, seasonal dishes will be cooked without onions and garlic, and entire clan, neighbors would join together for the merriment.
To uphold that spirit, and to follow those little forgotten threads of culture, here I am sitting in my urban home trying to recreate those flavours of bygone days.
Do join me here in my Pop Up Luncheon that has been exclusively themed around Winter and Sankranti Special, a pure vegetarian menu without onions and garlic will be on display.
Sankranti / Winter Special Menu
First course –
1.Luchi With Kumro Chokka Chola Diye
(A delightful platter of luchi / poori with semi dry yellow pumpkin and desi chickpeas. A favourite breakfast meal for Bengalis in winter, other than the Koraishutir kochuri and aloor dum).
2.Sankranti Special Moong Daler Bhaja Pitha.
(Fried lentil shells stuffed with coconut-jaggery mixture)
3. Sankranti Special Bhapa Nonta Pitha .
(Steamed rice dumplings stuffed with spicy fresh green peas and coconut mixture).
1. Steamed Basmati Rice
2. Winter Special Fried Moong Dal with seasonal veggies
3. Begun Bhaja (fried discs of eggplants)
4. Posto Narkel Bora (Poppy seed and coconut fritters)
5. Winter Special Beet Hingi (Hingi is an almost forgotten dish from Bengal. Beetroots will be stir fried and generously flvoured with hing and other spices)
6. Winter Special Komola Phulkopi ( A vegertarian version of Koi Komola / Koi fish in orange sauce from across the borders, winter cauliflowers will be mildly stewed in orange sauce).
7. Winter Special Mulor Paturi ( Season’s best radishes will be grated, mixed with sorshe bata and then will be wrapped in cabbage leaves and smoked to perfection.
Sankranti Special Kheer Patishaptas (Mini patishapta / flour crepes stuffed with coconut and milk solids, dunked in thick rabdi.
Booking Link : at Authentic Cook