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Bengal calling

Feast on the festivities of `Poila Boishak' at Hotel Golkonda - the venue for the Bengali banquet.

SWEET SIDE: A `mishti' platter of ten mouth-watering items.

THE ONLY thing one would miss in the ongoing Bengali food festival at Hotel Golkonda is where Bengali food is best had -- in Bengal amongst Bengalis -- amidst great bonhomie where the mother ladles limitless helpings and one just eats on and on, occasionally discussing ingredients in details, among other things. Save for that, the food festival is an unmixed slice from a predictable Bengali kitchen.

Coinciding with the festive spirit of Poila Boishak or Bengali New Year, the elaborate fare found a swarming clientele - connoisseurs and general public alike, - who seemed to relish every morsel served in the platter. Of course, machh had a dominating presence but one could find typical Bengali items like, Neem begun bhaja, Echorer dalna, Shukto, Aloo roshun korola bhaja, Lau ghonto and Chorchori.

"The main emphasis of the festival was to give our clients an authentic taste of food cooked in all conventional Bengali homes," says Assistant Food and Beverage manager Santam Sen Gupta. "We have hired the services of expert chef Basu, specially for the festival," he continues.

As for the food, indisputably authentic is the word. Why not? "Most of the masalas and even a lot of foodstuffs are being imported from Kolkata for the festival," says the Asst. F&B manager. The menu is a generous arrangement with quite understandably, the ubiquitous presence of Aloo in most of the dishes.

DELICIOUS TEMPTERS: As close to home as it gets.

Although the banquet keeps changing everyday, one can expect to find a few common items. A typical meal would come with six different types of salads, Ghol (thin sweet lassi), Aamer chutney, Mishti pulao, Muchmuche aloo bhaja, Potol bhaja, Shukto, Chanar dalna, Jhinge aloo posto, Dharosh Shorshe, Lau daal, Phulka and Radha ballavi, among others.

The Bengali fascination for fish is evident in the endless list, Machher paturi, Muri ghonto, Lau chingri, Bhapa machh, Kakrar jhal, Machh bhaja, Machher jhol, Chingri machher malai curry and Doi machh. Kosha mangsho, Malai murg, Shorshe mangsho, Moroger jhal and Dhakai Mangsho complete the rest in the expansive non-veg line-up. The buffet dinner priced at Rs. 250 per person, concludes on April 20.

"Extreme care has been taken to deliver the best of Bengal in every bite at the ongoing food fest," asserts Sen Gupta adding, "A Bengali ambience has been created inside the hotel for that feeling of camaraderie." Nochiketa completes the setting with his sonorous sonnets.

A mishti platter of ten mouth-watering items to end the meal will surely win over all those with a sweet tooth. Certainly, Tagore's claim that Bengali is sweet because of its sweets, can hardly be refuted.


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