The Park Hyderabad’s Barsho Baran Flavours of Bengal is a fitting introduction to the cuisine of the region
If you ask any Bengali, Poila Baishak or the celebration of Bengali New Year inevitably means shopping for new outfits and a huge spread of home-cooked delicacies. Keeping that in mind, The Park Hyderabad has curated a Bengali food festival, at Aish starting today. At the venue, we were greeted with mellifluous Bengali tracks and home chefs, Swarnali Pal and Sarbani Lahiri who have curated the festival.
What initiated a wave of nostalgia was the starter platter. The Enchorer Cutlet (deep-fried jackfruit coated with breadcrumb) and Vegetable Chop (fritter made with seasonal vegetables) reminded us of childhood trips to the roadside stalls where we would endlessly spend our pocket money. The Prawn Cutlet, which came soon after, was fried to perfection and went well with the kasundi (mustard sauce).
As we sipped on our mango sherbet, we were ready for the main course. The Luchi (the deep fried flatbread) with the Cholar Dal (lentil preparation made with Bengal Gram) was the first to arrive. The slight hint of sweetness of the dal complemented the crispy luchis, which we also paired with Chappar Ghonto. “This dry vegetable curry is cooked with ginger and asafoetida was so well-received last year that we thought of including it again,” said Swarnali.
Ghee Rice and Shukto (mix vegetables with mustard and poppy seeds), has been the comfort food of Bengalis for generations now, and today too it didn’t disappoint. The additional main course, including the trio of Mutton Biryani with pieces of spiced potato and Chicken Chaap won us over. Hyderabadis might wonder what the potato is doing in the biryani, but we would urge you to give it a chance! We had to make room for the Bhetki Paturi. The hint of mustard smeared on the steamed fish, wrapped in banana leaves was a welcome relief from the spicy kosha mangsho.
Any Bengali meal would be incomplete without desserts. So then came the Nolen Gurer Payesh (rice pudding with jaggery), Kheer Singara (fritter with dry rice), Langcha (deep fried cottage cheese dipped in sugar syrup) and Mishti Doi (sweet yoghurt). If that seems way too much for you, we suggest you give the Payesh and Doi a miss. Langcha and Kheer Singara, that’s not otherwise available in the city are the highlights of the fest.
Till April 16.
Rs 1,199 ++.
Photos: S Senbagapandiyan