Mangaluru: You all might have tried the North Indian Thali, South India Thali, Gujarathi Thali, etc at many of the restaurants in town and beyond- but here is an chance for you to savour the cuisine of Bengal, at the “Bengali Thali Festival” exclusively featured at Hotel Taj Gateway-Bunder Road in the city, from 30 January until 8 February at the cozy Cardamom restaurant, which symbolizes the liaison of ethnic Epicurean delight and quaint splendour. After successful food fests like Thai Food Fest, Awadhi Food Fest, Goan Food Fest, Punjabi food Fest, Iftar Dinner Buffet etc, Taj Gateway now brings you the authentic Bengali food cuisine of about 15 different items meticulously prepared by the in-house chefs, which will be served at the table on a mega platter/Thali. Bon’g’ Appetit- so get ready to try some Bongs (West Bengalis) cuisine!
Platters (thalis) of quintessential Bengali delights, both Veg and Non-Veg will wow foodies at the Bengali Thali Festival. Gastronomes can have a bit of everything from starters to desserts in a single plate. “Bengali food can be best enjoyed in thali form. So we came up with this thali form, rather than the buffet style. The main thali will be vegetarian and add ons will be available along with it. The thali will be totally themed on Bengali food items, and the best part is that unlimited food will be served on request,” said T K Joy-Food and Beverage Manager at Taj Gateway. ” Since this Bengali cuisine is something unique and traditional, I think Mangaloreans should try and the bite of it. Me, along with experienced chefs namely Hapijul, Pankaj and Tapas have put our sincere efforts in meticulously preparing the Bengali items to satisfy the Mangaluru connoisseurs/food lovers”- Parimi Shreeram, Executive Chef at Taj Gateway..
The lip-smacking ensemble includes small bowls of customary Bengali vegetarian fare like Nimki, Shukto, Chutneys, Guguni, Kachu Pui Saak, Aloo Posto, Rasgulla, Misti Dahi, and much more.The ubiquitous steamed rice, luchis (deep-fried wheat flat bread) and potato fries form the core of the sweet and savoury array of dishes, while non-vegetarian mainstays like Macher Johl ( Bengali fish curry), Kossa Murghi ( type of Bhuna chicken curry) are the tempting add-ons. Sweet sensations include the famous Mishti Dahi (sweet curd) and Rasgulla, the dessert specialities of West Bengal.
The following items are featured in the ‘Bengali Thali Festival’ :
Nimki : Bengali Fried crackers/savory snacks made of sooji, samolina, black pepper, cummin seeds etc
Sosa Sorsay : Cucumber salad with a tinge of mustard.
Papaya/Annanas Chutney : Chutneys made of Papaya and Pineapple
Suktho : Assorted vegetables in milk in Bengali style
Aloo Posto : Potatoes cooked with poppy seeds, mustard oil, onion, chillies, sugar etc
Kachu Pui Saak : Vegetables cooked with spinach- a traditional Bengali dish
Luchi : is a deep-fried flat bread (Poori) made of wheat flour that is typical of Bengali cuisine, Assamese, others.
Sona Moong Dal : split moong dal roasted in ghee/oil till it turns deep golden (not brown)
Guguni : white peas/mutter in tomato gravy is a delicious dish from the east of India, especially in Orissa and Bengal.
Sada Baath: Plain pulav rice, a perfect item to go with Bengali curries.
Dimer Chop: is a Bengali style ‘Deviled-Egg’ flavored with spiced coating
Macher Johl: a fish stew/curry liberally seasoned with turmeric, garlic, onions, and grated ginger. Potatoes are sometimes added.
Kosha Murghi : Spicy dry Bengali Bhuna Chicken made with mustard oil, bay leaves, cardamom, garlic, ginger etc
Misti Dahi : is a fermented sweet dahi or sweet yogurt. It is made with milk and sugar, while also using yogurt and curds. This Dahi is a popular dessert in the states of West Bengal, Odisha and Bangladesh. It is prepared by boiling milk until it is slightly thickened, sweetening it with sugar, either guda/gura (brown sugar) or khajuri guda/gura (date molasses), and allowing the milk to ferment overnight. Earthenware is always used as the container for making Misti Dahi because the gradual evaporation of water through its porous walls not only further thickens the yoghurt, but also produces the right temperature for the growth of the culture. Very often the yoghurt is delicately seasoned with a pinch of elaichi(cardamom) for fragrance.
Rasgulla: This is one sweet the Bengalis cannot live without, and you too are sure to fall in love with it once you taste these super-soft, milk-white Rasgullas. Remember that everything matters in the making of perfect rasgullas — from the amount of lemon juice used and the lump-free kneading of the chenna, to the consistency of the sugar water. A must try Bengali dessert.
Bengali cuisine is appreciated for its fabulous use of panchphoron, a term used to refer to the five essential spices, namely mustard, fenugreek seed, cumin seed, aniseed, and black cumin seed. The specialty of Bengali food lies in the perfect blend of sweet and spicy flavors. For Bengalis, food is one of the most essential aspects of their day to day lives. Ladies spend lot of time in the kitchen cooking delicious feast for the family.
The staple food of people in Bengal is rice and fish. A typical Bengali needs to have fish in every meal; otherwise there is a feeling that the meal is incomplete. There is an ample stock of fish in every household, because fish is cooked frequently, almost on a daily basis. Even the Brahmin Bengalis relish fish. Fish is a part of every festivity celebration. To lend a distinctive flavor to the fish, it is deep fried in mustard oil and then cooked in gravy.
Most of the cooking is done using mustard oil. Traditional Bengali food always ends up with mishti Dahi- a sweet curd. Bengali food is famous for its mithais (sweets). The most popular Bengali mithai is Rasgulla, which is enjoyed by people all over the country. To fully relish their meal, Bengalis eat the food with their fingers – So even though you are at a Star where spoons/forks are set on the table, it is advisable to use your God given fingers. It is indeed quite exigent to find authentic Bengali dishes outside the Bengali kitchen. But your search for authentic and traditional popular varieties of Bengali cuisine will end at Taj Gateway-Mangaluru.
If your craving for Bong food has gone beyond control, and if you don’t want to spend a bomb, then this ‘Bengali Thali Fest’ priced reasonably, and that too at a Star hotel is a perfect dining place for you. Food is definitely traditional and also tasty. Cozy atmosphere and ambiance is an added benefit. So head on to The Cardamom at Hotel Taj Gateway and experience the goodness of ‘Bengali’ aka ‘Bong’ food. Make your next dinner night at The Taj Cardamom!
For more details/reservations call Hotel Taj Gateway at 0824-2420420 ; T K Joy-Food & Beverage Manager: 7829144550; Vinay-Sales Manager: 9886896865
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