Savour cricket feast, with Kohli

Laxmi Ratan Shukla inaugurated a food festival celebrating the spirit of the tournament

By Brinda Sarkar in Calcutta
  • Published 7.06.19, 7:11 PM
  • Updated 7.06.19, 7:11 PM
  • 2 mins read
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Dishes from the festival drawn from cuisines of countries participating in the tournament (Brinda Sarkar)

How about watching Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit a helicopter shot while munching on a ‘Mahi’ Fever Fish Fry? Or watching a Pakistan game nibbling on Peshawari Fish Tikka? Or cheering for Sri Lanka eating Kandy Chicken?

Laxmi Ratan Shukla, former cricketer and state minister for sports and youth services, came down to Eco Park’s Cafe Ajante on the first day of the Cricket World Cup and inaugurated a food festival celebrating the spirit of the tournament.

“After Kapil Dev and M.S. Dhoni, we all want Virat Kohli to bring home the World Cup but the pressure at that stage is tremendous,” said Shukla. “This is not the IPL. Simply donning the India jersey is a huge responsibility. But I wish the team luck and am sure cricket fans will enjoy watching the games while eating the World Cup-themed food here.”

Also present was Debashis Sen, chairman cum managing director of Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco), who is offering a vent to all the fans who think they know just how India can win the Cup. “We’ve put up a big message board outside Cafe Ajante for you to write your advice, comments and suggestions for Kohli’s men. Every time the board fills up we shall click it and send the picture to the official Team India email.”

Besides the message board, a selfie zone with a Virat Kohli statue has been installed outside Cafe Ajante, that itself is next to the Eiffel Tower replica. The food festival, however, is also on at Cafe Ekante, in the Eco Park island and at Biswa Bangla Gate.

“Biswa Bangla Gate, in fact, is doing the best,” said Snehasis Sinha, general manager of the three outlets. “It’s going house full with or without big World Cup games. The best-selling item would be the Lancashire Grilled Prawn, that is grilled in olive oil with herbs.” It costs Rs 446.

The prawn dish is a tribute to England and similarly, the festival features food from other World Cup-playing nations. From Pakistan are delicacies like Mutton Chapli Kebab, a spicy, shallow-fried take on steak. From West Indies is Caribbean Jerk Chicken Salad, a spicy chicken dish with herbs like cumin, oregano, thyme and coriander.

The Sri Lankan representative is Kandy Chicken (Rs 373), a coconut milk-based dish that uses tomato and kokum, a sour tamarind-like fruit. And for a sweet finish, try the Pavlova, a dessert from down under. “This cake is meringue-based, meaning it is made of beaten egg-white. The dish is popular in both Australia and New Zealand, although we are adding sliced kiwis as garnish on top as a tribute to New Zealand,” said Sinha.

The festival will continue till the final match of the World Cup on July 14.