Authentic Bengali food is a big draw at the Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road, this week
From street favourites like jhalmuri and phuchkas to the famous kosha mangsho, the special Bengali menu at Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road boasts and celebrates authentic flavours.
The ongoing Bengali Food festival at the Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road, celebrates more than the State's culinary offerings. As we sipped on the jal jeera and nibbled on a bowl of koraishutir chaat that has green peas in the mix that works like an amuse bouche, we soon realised that one must bring a large appetite if you want to do justice to this generous pop-up meal that had been put together as part of the two-week long Durga Puja celebrations.
With home chef, Chef Joyadrita Ragavendran Chatterjee, of Food of Joy: Flavours of Bengal, at the helm, you can look forward to some authentic fare at this collaboration. "Be prepared to embrace potatoes - because that is the most popular vegetable in Bengali cuisine," said the chef humorously, to the vegetarians. We discovered that she was not really kidding as they started with entrees that included a plate piled high with large chicken cutlets, chingri chop (shrimp croquettes) and Banana Flower Chop (cutlets stuffed with banana flowers) - all very perfectly crunchy, delicious and had ample amount of the root veggie. However, the Chaal Kumror Jhuri Bhaja won us over with slices of pumkin sandwiched between mustard paste and potato, and batter fried. When dunked in the raw mango relish, the flavour is enhanced.
Though, the series of chats like the typical Jhalmuri (a close cousin to the bhel puri), Phuchka (definitely related to the pani puris) and Papri Chaat were a delight - once the main course was served it eclipsed the starters. Of course, the traditional luchi was especially delightful when paired with the famous Kosha Mansho (mutton curry with cubes of potatoes). The meat was melt-in-the-mouth and the piquant curry was addictive. Chef insisted that we start with the Shukto as a palate cleanser - we, of course, found it to be delicious and savoured the kasundi and bitter gourd in the mix and wiped the bowl clean.
The Doi Maach (fish curry) needs some patience as the pieces are a tad bony, but the flavour is spot on. Chingri Bhapa with steamed rice was deeply satisfying for seafood lovers even as we dug into the aloo dum and the cauliflower roast. Here, we insist you try the much-talked about Bengali biryani - the juicy mutton pieces and cubes of potato in the fragrant rice can cajole space out of the most stuffed bellies!
For desserts we had Rosogollar Payesh and Malpua. We took our time and lingered over conversation at this point - as the palate couldn't resist the sweets though now we were officially overeating!
On till Oct 17, available for dinner only.
At the Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road.
Priced at INR 1,450++