Seeking Bengali Food during Pujo

By Tara Bose Kapur

One of the most awaited festivals for Bengalis is the Durga Puja. The Pujo Pandals dotted around the city are crowded with people lining up for the bhog in the afternoon and the cultural programmes in the evening. After paying their respects to Ma Durga.

The festivities are not just limited to Bengalis, even non-Bengalis get caught up in the festivities and seek Bengali cuisine. To eat out or dine in!

It’s a myth that vegetarians get a raw deal. Bengali cuisine abounds with a huge variety of vegetarian dishes, each cooked in a unique manner. If you think it’s all about tomatoes, ginger, garlic-based gravies, you need to experience it yourself!

Here are my favourites for Bengali cuisine, sweets and fast food. Some restaurants, some delivery only but the most interesting ones to my mind are helmed by home chefs.

Euphorhea’s Kitchen, Home Chef, 9820904694; Delivery only
This is run by renowned home chef, Rhea. She has put together an amazing Bengali menu of many vegetarian and non vegetarian delicacies which you need to order by Sunday 14th for delivery between October 16th to 19th. I strongly recommend her. Get it home delivered and have a Bengali Feast with family and friends

Hungry Cat Kitchen, Caterers, 9820928658; Delivery only
They have curated a Bengali Pujo Special Menu – Bhetki Kasundi Pulao, Dhakai Chicken Curry, Kosha Mangsho jacket potatoes. I’m drooling. Run by two talented and innovative home chefs, they specialise in giving a delicious tweak to traditional comfort food. Pre-order, for delivery between October 16-21st. Love the food from Hungry Cat Kitchen

Nina’s Café, Mahalaxmi; Dine in
Great for Bengali Street Food, Roll, Shingara (samosa), Puchka (Kolkata’s Pani Puri), Chicken Chop, Bhapa Doi (steamed sweetened yoghurt). It’s part of a lovely boutique store called Nina’s Cottage

O Calcutta, Khar, Andheri West and Tardeo; Dine in
The pioneer to introduce Bengali cuisine to Mumbai and still going strong. Bhetki (fish) fry, Kosha Mangsho (mutton), Kacha Lanka Mangsho

Calcutta Club, Oshiwara Andheri; Dine in
The Chicken Chaap is amazing. So is the Biryani.

Bhojohori Manna, Chembur, Powai, Andheri West, Thane, Vikhroli and Kopar Khairane; Dine in
Fish Fry, Mochar Chop, Nawabi Dhakai Biryani, Kosha Kakra (crab), Bhetki Paturi (steamed mustard fish in banana leaves)

Peetuk, Andheri, Powai, Kandivili and Thane; Delivery only
Kosha Mangsho, Chingri Malai Curry, rolls, biryani. Try their thalis and their pulao luchi combos, like Chicken kosha with pulao or luchi.

Hangla’s, Bandra, Lower Parel, Powai, Andheri and Kandivali East; Delivery only
Though famous for their rolls, their biryani is pretty good.

Rajbari Rasoi, Lokhandwala Andheri; Dine in
This offers a very large selection of Bengali vegetarian dishes – including the Echor Dalna (jackfruit curry), Kachkolar Kofta (raw banana), Potoler Dolma (stuffed parwal) and Kumror Chokka (pumpkin) among many others which were last cooked in my grandmother’s kitchen in Kolkata. In addition, they have a vast selection of sweet water fish varieties, from Katla, Iilish (Hilsa), Parshay, Kai, Bhetki, Aar, Telapia, Chitol and more as well as Pomfret and Prawns.

Bijoli Grill, Powai; Dine in
Chicken Kobiraja, Kosha Mangsho, Daab Chingri strongly recommended. Keep space for Malpua for dessert

Mustard, Worli; Dine in
The newest jewel in the crown of Bengali cuisine. Offers cuisine from East and West Bengal. Bengali main course dishes come as a full meal. I loved the new take – Bangla Ghorona Maacher Thala – very different and recommended for all fish lovers. Positioned as a mezze platter, there are four small bowls of fish preparations: with pumpkin, mustard (shorshe) prawns mash, Bombay Duck slivers and fish roe

Sweet Bengal, Nariman Point to Powai, Thane, Vashi, Kandivili; Takeaway
The quintessential mithai (sweet) shop! My favourites here are the Nalen Gurer Sandesh, the Jal Bhara ones. And the Nalen Gurer Roshogola

 

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Tara Bose Kapur is a foodie, a foodie and a foodie. When she’s not discussing food, she’s possibly talking about food. But there’s loads (or loaves) more that she does in life. Like being a communications consultant to the rich, famous and needy, and advising some of the hottest brands in the world in PR. And she runs a chhota bakery in Bandra that makes some yum (and sinful) stuff. For Xyngr, Tara Bose Kapur reviews eatspots around town. Xyngr reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.