Feast from the East: This Durga Puja, tuck into authentic Bengali fare from these home chefs in Bengaluru
For a gourmand, one of the most awaited festivals of the year is Durga Puja. From the food that is served as bhog to the street food pop-ups at pandals, the festivities are incomplete without sampling everything that's on offer. This year though, it's not going to be the same. The pandemic has confined us to our homes and pandal-hopping will be definitely missed.
But for those who don't want to miss feasting on the authentic Bengali dishes, then here's a look at home chefs in Bengaluru who are offering degustation menus on all the main days of Durga Puja.
If you are looking for unique dishes such as Pur Bhora Beguni (stuffed brinjal pakoda), Mochar Chapor Ghonto (banana flower with grated coconut) or Aam Kashundi Bhetki Paturi (mango and mustard paste coated bhetki wrapped and steamed in a banana leaf) to feast on this Durga Puja, then dial Sumana Biswas. Originally from Kolkata, Sumana serves family recipes. Her Puja special meals will be served on Saptami, Ashtami, Nabomi and Dashami — the last four days of the festival. Rs 550++ upwards
Srobona Das, the lady behind TinniGinni, has curated a special Pujo Feast menu. Dishes such as Kosha Mangsho (a rich mutton curry with potatoes), Gobindobhog Rice ( an aromatic small-grained rice from Bengal), Peyaaj Mushuri Dal (Masoor dal with fried onions and coriander), Phulkopi Aloo Koraishuti Bhaja (Cauliflower, potatoes and peas dry vegetable), Jhingey-aloo Posto (Ridge gourd and potatoes in a rich khuskhus paste masala), Tomato Khejur chutney, Kalo Jaam (Black gulabjamun, made of channa) and Gur Payesh (Kheer with organic Jaggery) are on the menu. Another reason we recommend Tinni Ginni is for their sustainable packaging. On Ashtami, Srobona will be taking orders for the special mutton meal. A meal for two is Rs 1,501++
Amrita Roy Sarma and her husband Parijat Chakraborty are the people behind Bong Yo. Amrita is from Kolkata and Parijat is from Durgapur, so their fare is a mix of different dishes from the two regions. This year, the couple is kicking off celebrations with the Bhuri Bhoj or the pre-pujo meal, which will be served this weekend (on October 17 and 18). It’s a six-course meal and includes dishes such as Mooger Dal, Doi Potol, Basunti Pulao, Anarosh’r Chutney, Mishti Doi, Roshogulla and Mishti Paan. For the puja, they will serve different dishes on each of the last four days. Options include Mutton Kosha, Loochi and Chicken Kosha, Khichudi, Labda and Chatni, and Chaler Payesh. Rs 151++ upwards
Chest of Spices
Home chef Priyanka Rahut Mitra starts her puja deliveries from the evening of Shasthi (the sixth day). Phulkopi Mouri Bata (cauliflower in yoghurt with fennel), Chanar Paturi (cottage cheese coated with mustard paste and coconut, steamed in a banana leaf wrap), Kachkolar Kofta (raw banana kofta in a gravy with ghee and garam masala) and Potol’er Dum (pointed gourd cooked with spices in dum pukht style) are some of the dishes on the menu. All the vegetarian dishes that Priyanka is cooking for the puja will have no onions or garlic. Rs 280++ upwards
Mother-daughter duo Srimoyee Ray Banerjee and Ratna Ray are known for whipping up a storm in their home kitchen. Going by the name Bhooka Bongs, the duo serves authentic Bengali fare only on weekends. But for Durga Puja, they are taking orders for Saptami, Ashtami and Nabomi. Dishes such as Radhaballavi with Aloo Dum (urad dal stuffed kachori with spicy aloo dum), Chhanar Paayesh (cottage cheese in creamy milk with pista) and Chingri Malai Curry (creamy prawn curry) will feature on their menu. Rs 950++ upwards