What's In A Box? packs quite a punch with delectable Bengali dishes
There are perhaps as many varieties of fish fries in the country as there are cooking styles. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala, one can have Karimeen fry, where the fins are taken off and the whole fish is fried as a single entity. In Mumbai, one can have shallow-fried pomfrets embalmed in bread crumbs.
Bengal, the land of fish worshippers, has mainly two types of fish fries. One is the typical fried fish, or maach bhaja, quickly rustled up in domestic kitchens without much preparation by moms and aunts who depend on the fresh fish to do the magic.
The other type is the carefully prepared fish fry that is some sort of a copy of the English fish and chips where the fish goes through a lot of carefully orchestrated steps before appearing on the dish in a flaky golden avatar. It is this second variety that comprises one of the most coveted snacks in Bengal withstanding the test of time.
It is this precise item with which What’s In A Box? scores a near-perfect 10. Coming from a month-old home kitchen based out of Kestopur, it has been launched by Shrutanwita Chakraborty, a former media professional and trained home-chef Sayeri Pramanik.
The fry, which is slightly shorter than the length of a keyboard of a laptop computer, has a real thin coating and is surprisingly perfect in appearance and taste. As a result, fresh bekti constitutes the bulk of the item and one does not have to look for the fish-like needle in a haystack.
We also sampled the Bengali-style baked bekti and prawn malai curry. Both come packed with steamed rice as a combo meal.
The fish comes lying on a thick bed of gravy that is made of coconut, mustard and a liberal dose of chillies. Those who have cultivated a taste for anything hot will lap it up. Those who have not, should take a small portion of the gravy with the rice.
The fish is thick, steamed and heavenly.
The prawn malai curry comes with two pieces. The taste is as authentic as it can get with the coconut milk adding a tinge of sweetness.
It takes some guts to launch a service with items that have been cooked to death with every family having at least one member who claims to be an expert in either cooking or sampling these preparations.
Available on pre-orders, there are only 10 items that Chakraborty is offering. The items are eternal favourites of many Bengalis. But she needs to pack a few more items in the box to add variety.
For a start, she has already scored on the quality front.
Price range: Rs 60-195 and place your order at 7076055433. Delivery within a radius of 5km from Kestopur between 4 pm and 9 pm