The Telegraph
Wednesday , October 17 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Festive fusion on a platter

Festive feasting takes on a whole new meaning during Durga Puja when celebrations revolve around good food and great conversation in the company of family and friends.

To rev up that festive spirit, hotels in the steel city have planned elaborate a la carte and buffet menus for Durga Puja. The focus is on the palate and ambience, to create that spirit of bonhomie that is present in every pandal at the time. While the major attraction promises to be Bengali delicacies, other favourites like Chinese and Mughlai are not being ignored either.

Citi Inn in Pardih began welcoming patrons to its Bhuri Bhoj food festival from Mahalaya on Monday. On offer were all-time Bengali favourites in prawn, bhetki, hilsa and mutton. Daab chingri and bhapa shorshe ilish, along with the usual must-haves like luchi and chholar dal, and the not-so-common nolen gurer rosogolla heralding the dessert spread completed the picture.

“The waiters are going to serve clad in dhuti-panjabi, for that authentic Bengali feel. Prawn, fish and mutton are being cooked in a dozen different ways to suit every taste,” said Sudip Banerjee, executive director of Citi Inn.

The Sonnet, on the other hand, is opting for more North Indian and Chinese fare. On the three main days of Durga Puja — Saptami, Ashtami and Navami — there will be a DJ in attendance at the banquet hall Ivy, which will double up as the dance floor. Live counters offering paranthas and kathi rolls among other delicacies for Rs 500 per person, would keep the taste buds tingling. The Chinese fare would include hakka noodles, chicken manchurian and fish in coriander sauce.

Dayal International has tried to strike a balance between east and north. So to keep the steamed rice with shorshe ilish on a banana leaf company will be chicken biryani served with salad and raita. Each would be a combo pack worth Rs 300. The chelo kebab combo —saffron-flavoured basmati rice served with kebabs — would come for Rs 350. “In desserts we are offering pannacotta, mango-flavoured kheer, brownie with ice-cream and rajbhog. The special spread will be available from October 20 to 23,”said James Bernard, general manager of Dayal International.

Meanwhile, Hotel Smita is set to go heavy on pomfret. There would be golden fried pomfret, grilled pomfret, tandoori pomfret and schezwan pomfret. For those not too fond of fish, malai chingri, mutton kassa and kumpao chicken would be the consolation. For the traditionalists, chicken and mutton biryani have been included in the menu too.

“One person can easily have a full meal for Rs 150 to Rs 200. We are also offering golden fried pomfret with chilled beer or red wine. There are many who swear by it,” said chef S. Nandy. The special menu would be available between October 19 and 24.

And to keep the look pandal-like, the restaurant at Hotel Smita will be adorned with glittering chandmalas.