Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bengali Food Festival @ Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai

Bengali Food Festival
The province of Bengal is where the food festival is inspired from and what best than to have a meal cooked traditionally at a Bengali food. The region has a rich history and is comprising of foodies who love their food (Sweet water fish, Desserts you name them) and unlike many parts in India they offer the non veg items to their deities too. A region from Assam in the east to Bihar, Jharkhand in the west and hilly bhutan to its north and orissa to south with bay of bengal covering the 80% south comprised of Bengal (Pre partion) the food was influenced by the natural setting of rivers, bay of bengal and neighboring states too. The current menu is from West Bengal (West of Modern day Bangaldesh) a state which has a mix of food which can be subtle (And fiery too!!). This is something I haven't had as entire meal was something I was looking forward too. 
Vessel full of  Grains - A good Sign!

Fresh Water Fish Counter - Bengali Love it
When Bengali food comes to.mind instantly you are transported to the good fish loving..mustard oil loving ppl.. And the heavenly desserts (I have a very sweet tooth). When I was invited by courtyard for their short food festival I couldn't really say no to them partly as I was informed it was a Bengali chef making his home's food (One point) and he was to keep the entire experience as homely as possible (+1 in my books).
Rolls Kolkata Style
With these things in my mind I went off on a Working Saturday evening (yes majdur like me works till 7 pm on Saturday) to very easily accessible star property of the Marriott (read extremely close to Mumbai metro station). The food festival #Bengalifoodfestival was based in Momo cafe a buzzing cafe at the courtyard. The cafe has a buffet system (This festival can only be found in Dinner menu). The buffet carries the Bengali dishes with other menu items (for feasibility and customer demand). 
There is live Chaat counter (Yes girls you heard it right live chaat right from amhar Kolkata ) and a roll counter, fried stuff (good stuff) counters. The servers do serve you all the items just in case you are tired at your table. But then knowing me I can't sit on just one place while in a food festival (I get full if I sit for a long time and sleepy too) I first gave a visual treat to my eyes right from the desserts (Guilty me) first with the fish counter (Rohu, prawns on display) to the chaat counter.
Live Chaat Counter
I did try the Puchkas first (Panipuri Kolkata style for those who don't know what it is). It was perfect with a filling of potato, lentils and spicy chutney. Ahh this was something I was looking at to start my palate going. Then I feasted my eyed upon the traditional pickles on display (Raw mango and Raw papaya one which I tasted later).

Puchkas = Bengali Version of Pani Puri
I later sat on the table with fellow foodies and the chef started sending us the good stuff. We were served assorted starters chicken cutlet, Fish fry, vegetable chop, dhonepatar bora (A Bengali version of Kothimbir wadi). The chicken cutlet was tender and tasty whereas fish fry was perfect chakna (Chef told us the fried stuff is something which is served from 4pm to 7pm on Kolkata streets where people eat it as Nashta). Vegetable chop was really something for the veggies. (They can have it with their drinks). These starters were perfect with the drinks.
Assorted Starters - Veg to non veg from Left to right

                                                        Kolkata Style Rolls
We were served Jhaal Muri (Bhel puri with mustard oil something which a very few may like as mustard isn't everyone's taste)
Jhaal Muri
We were served the Bengali Thali of the entire main course.

Bengali Thali
Aloo jhuri bhaja, beguni, pool bhaja all of these are fried stuff with first one being potato one second one being fried brinjal (i liked this one more) out of the two. Aloo jhuri bhaja was crisp fried crunchy (yummy chakna material) and pool bhaja is good choice for veggies.
Veg Thali with all its glory
The mains Gondhoraj lebu (A very traditional item found in Most Bengali Households it origins in Bangladesh but is stocked in Bengali households served it just like it..Never had such a lime family member), Sukto the vegetable gravy dish is a comfort food which is loved by the Bengali. All of them are the traditional items served in a Bengali household and were good. Aloo jhinga posto was a lovely dish of potato and ridge gourd (gravy was fabulous). 
Non Veg Thali in its Bengali Glory!!
Soese illish the quintessential Bengali dish steamed Hilsa (They Can kill for this fish) in spicy mustard gravy that I wouldn't miss. Chingri macher malai curry is something so good that the fish lovers would kill for a prawn based creamy curry is recommended. Tui macher jhol aka Rohu fried fish with gravy was something i loved it and Kosha mangso is a Mutton Dish which bengalis love to have (I now know why they love it).
The yellow lentil cholar dal was something close to us Marathi ppl (varan). I guess Kolkata and Mumbai have a lot common in food due to being costal megacities. We were served all of this and even more in the Thali (Mega Bengali Thali as I called it) other items served were aloo dom (Dum aloo bengali style with mustard oil), dhokar dalna (Lentil Kofta in gravy is a yummy dish) and a refreshing Masti Pulao which complimented the mustard induced flavours of the menu items with its subtle dry fruit flavoured rice, koraisutir kachuri aka Luchi filled with Peas (Aka Peas stuffed Puri) is something i hadn't tried before well very well with the meal served. The three pickles / chutneys i talked about earlier were also served tomatoes chutney made up of tomato date and shelf life of a month was yummy tangy sweet one. This one plastic chutney raw papaya one is called plastic due to its appearance but its taste was something you wouldn't want to miss. Amber chutney the raw mango chutney (pieces of raw mango) with spices in it (Panch foran or the five spice powder (a mixture of cumin, fennel, fenugreek, kalonji, and black mustard seeds)as commonly used in Bengal..I gotta get my hands on the spice mix soon) was lovely addition to the thali. 
Chutney - Bengali Style
Overall the thali was lovely with all sweet spicy tangy tarty and pungent tastes coming in making it something food connoisseurs delight.

How could I go for a Bengali food fest and not eat desserts. The array if desserts served couldn't be missed (after the heavy meal which made me motionless for a while till I gathered myself up for the desserts). Mishti doi (Dahi flavoured with jaggery dates and whey drained out if it) is lovely healthy dessert one needs after a heavy meal ( I wasn't missing it for sure). Mango Sandesh and Parval Sandesh (is something Joy u have to try to believe it..recommend it). Rasmalai was as lovely as it gets in Kolkata's kc Das.
My Dessert Dish - Iam Sorted!
The meal and experience in overall is something to try for those who haven't tried the bengali food experience and its open till 24th so headover quickly to try it.
Chef who created the Magic!
Experience: Bengali Food Festival
Type of Meal: Dinner (Either Buffet or Sit Down..Your choice)
Location: Courtyard by Marrriot Chakala, Mumbai ( https://www.google.co.in/maps?rlz=1C1CHBD_enIN729IN730&q=courtyard+marriott+chakala+mumbai&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjsqbP56MzUAhXEQY8KHd5FBCEQ_AUICigB)
Period: Till 24 June 2017.
Price: Priced at 1880/- per head + Taxes
My Recommendation: If you want to try bengali food you can visit the place.


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    Thanks for sharing this

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