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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Bengali Food Festival at Trident, Hyderabad


Many of my friends ask: Why do you write about food? My answer to them is simple - I cook or I blog about food as eating has always been my most reliable way of understanding the world!. Reveling in a delightful morsel of rice or well made bread gives me immense happiness and it restores a sense of familiarity. And I truly love that feeling.  Today's post is about my experience tasting a myriad of dishes made as a part of tasting event for Bengali Food Festival at Trident, Hyderabad. This is my first time experiencing the cuisine in such close quarters. Being a vegetarian, read on to know more on what I got to taste from a land popular for Maach (fish) and Bhaat (rice)!


I would like to first put it out there that quite a few myths about Bengali cuisine were busted when I read Sandeepa's book and that knowledge really helped me appreciate this cuisine a little more when I arrived for the Bengali Food Festival currently happening at Kanak restaurant in Trident, Hyderabad. It was a fun dinner punctuated by lively conversations, beautiful ambiance, good food and a room filled soulful Bengali music.


The entire restaurant is elegantly designed with a modern, contemporary vibe. One will sure be smitten if a lovely lady dressed in a traditional Bangla attire welcomes you as soon as you enter the place. Isn't it?


While we waited for others to arrive, I had a cocktail named - Indian Paradise. I am a sucker for guava based drinks and this one was just fantabulous with the right about chilli kick from Tabasco. 
Chef Sandip Bhattacharjee who hails from Bengal and has many years of cooking authentic food is spearheading this festival at Kanak. He duly mentions to us that during this food festival, his focus spans across three broad categories of Bengali food: Mushalmanderi aahar (food with Islamic influences), Jamindar aahar (dishes from the zamindari households of West Bengal) and Grameen aahar (food of the peasants).

The evening started with a few appetizers - Beet and Gajur Chop (Beetroot and carrot croquettes with pickled green chillies) and Mochar Chop (Banana flower croquettes with ground Indian spices). Both of them were well balanced with the right amount of breading and fried to perfection. On the right in the below photograph are few side kicks like - fried eggplant, onions, lemons (especially brought in from Bengal) and aloo bhujiya.


The vegetarian main course had quite a few choices - Panch Mishali Shukto (Bengali style Mixed Vegetable curry with mustard paste, sweet potatoes, raw banana and bitter gourd),  Dhokar Dalna (Chana dal koftas, soaked in delicious Bengali style curry) and Aloo Jhinge Posto (Ridgegourd and potatoes cooked with poppy seeds and nigella seeds). 

The Panch Mishali Shukto was beautifully made beneath a sheen of mustardy sauce and I felt the koftas in Dhokar Dalna were a tad bit chewy. I guess that is because of the chana dal which by itself lends a coarse texture than other dals, especially when its steamed. Aloo Jhinge Posto needed a tad bit of seasoning, but I have to say the poppy seed & nigella paste was quite kickass.

[L-R] Panch Mishali Shukto, Dhokar Dalna and Aloo Jhinge Posto.
When I mentioned about a short-grain rice known as Govindo bhog to one of my Bengali friends the other day, she chuckled and proudly said that it is one of Bengal's well-kept secret. It looks like a mini size basmati rice with a sweetish flavor. Basunti Pulao (Sweet rice preparation with saffron and dry fruits) made with this rice and its creamy, nutty texture will surely take you by surprise.

Basunti Pulao
Last in the main course section was Cholar Dal Narkel diye (Bengal gram cooked with fresh coconut, sugar and asafoetida) served with Luchi (Deep fried puffed bread made with refined flour) and Radhaballavi (Lentil and fennel stuffed bread). There is a lovely harmony of flavors in each of these dishes and the creamy-tasting dal along with fried bread is yum and tastefully recreated.

It is a good thing I had a light lunch that day as on normal day, there is no way I would have cherished this food, which is in a league of its own. :-)


Oh wait, we are still left with dessert course. Aren't we? All the Bengali favorites like - Mishti Doi (Bengali styled sweetened yoghurt), Komola Bhog (Orange flavored rasgulla) and Nolen Gurer Ice cream (Jaggery flavored ice cream) are there for offering. Need I say more about how spectacular they are.


A special mention and a big kudos to the high quality of the ingredients used and masterly handled by the Chef at the restaurant. All in the name of making the entire foodie experience a delight and a surprise to the diners, a snapshot of excellence that is rarer than it seems.

To sum up the entire experience in a few words, it was just one of the few times I wished, I had a bigger stomach to eat my heart's content, taste and explore few more spectacular dishes! :-) The evening ended with some smiling faces and happy, full tummies. Amen.

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If you are in Hyderabad, do drop to experience the Bengali Food Festival currently happening at Kanak restaurant, Trident, open for Dinner only. Two days left for it to end, on July 25th 2014. Hurry, time is running out.

Address:
Location: Trident, Hitech City, Hyderabad
Credit Card Accepted: Yes
Vallet Parking: Available
For reservations: Call 91 40 6623 2323 OR e-mail: trident.hyderabad@tridenthotels.com

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2 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Hi Rahul, That is because I am a vegetarian (who eats eggs). See this review by my blogging pal Arundati to know about non veg offerings - http://arundati.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/bengalifoodfestival/

      Siri

      Delete

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