With plenty of mishti doi and manic mustard mixes, this Bengali festival at Crowne Plaza was epic!
When eating a Bengali meal — there is no question of stopping at one. So when we popped rasagollas like there was no tomorrow recently — there were no regrets. Just sweet bliss. And a silent thought: one more?
The good folks at Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park gave us a delicious homestyle preview tasting of ‘Chowringhee,’ their Bengali festival that kicks off at The Residency, this weekend. Executive Chef Deva Kumar tells us that there will be a buffet-style spread with a different rollout of dishes each day, as we sip on a refreshing Shikanji which has just the right blend of sweet and salty to keep us coming back for more.
We hear that to keep the authenticity of the flavours, visiting Chef Sahadeb Kamila, from Holiday Inn Resort Kolkata NH6, has already packed sufficient stocks of Gondhoraj lemon and mango ginger along with his luggage!
Also, we’re told by chef Deva, as our Mochar Chop arrives, to expect live stations catering everything from Jhal Mori (popular Bengali street food made with puffed rice) and Churmur (savoury chaat) to the much loved Mishti Doi.
For now, we settle in for a crunchy bite of what’s in front of us. It’s interesting to observe that the texture is fairly meaty, so much so that the banana blossom cutlet could easily be passed off for a non-vegetarian dish. Top it off with a quick dip of that heady kasundi mustard, and we are happy diners.
What follows are some main course staples on a Bengali table — Kosha mangsho, Cholar Dal, Palak Chorchori, fluffy Luchi (a distant cousin of the puri, made with maida instead) and rice — a wholesome feast all round. The mutton is a ready winner and tastes as succulent and flavourful as our last meal in Kolkata.
But what surprises us however is how taken we are with the simple dal preparation — which includes cubes of coconut for flavour, apart from of course being cooked in mustard oil, a thumb rule of the cuisine. Don’t miss the seafood spread that will be a much-awaited part of the spread. “We are trying to bring in hilsa, but fingers crossed,” chef Deva tells us, leaving us in anticipation.
For the moment, we sample a platter of Bhekti Patauri (fish wrapped in a banana leaf and slow-cooked in mustard paste). It is as we expected — exquisite.
July 19 to 28. For dinner only. Meal for two INR 4,000 inclusive of taxes.
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