Baisakh on Plate
Sonar Bangla Rangla Punjab
Where: Kava-All Day Dining at Fairfield by Marriott
When: April 10 to 15
Pocket pinch: Variable from meal to meal and from day to day. The cheapest rate is Rs 1,180 for lunch on Saturday as also from Monday to Wednesday, while the costliest is on Thursday, with both lunch and dinner costing Rs 1,416, all inclusive.
Poila Baisakh and Baisakhi will be ushered in together with a special menu curated by guest chef Priyanka M, that draws on the culinary traditions of both states. So right from the appetiser, there are parallel servings of both on the buffet table. If Aam Poda Sharbat comes hand in hand with Masala Lassi as option, Golbari Style Kassa Mangsho in the main course has a variant in Ludhiana Special Cream Chicken. For dinner, it could be Patiala Style Handi Mutton giving company to Dhania Kanchalanka Murgi. There would be rich options for fish lovers and vegetarians too. If for lunch there is Calcutta Style Chicken Biryani, complete with potato, for dinner there would be Wagah Border Chicken Biryani. The desserts too have half a dozen dishes that are combinations like Baked Mihidana with Rabdi and Kesar Pista Phirni.
Restospeak: “As Bengal welcomes Baisakh, Punjab is also buzzing with the festive flavours of Baisakhi. So we are bringing a unique food festival with mouth-watering delicacies from both states,” said Priyanka M. “We are not merging the two cuisines in any dish. We are staying true to the flavours of both traditions,” said hotel manager Abhishek Sachdev, pointing out that residents here had an adventurous palette that constantly looked for something new. “That is why we are not serving only Bengali dishes on Poila Baisakh.”
Poila Baisakh Culinary Extravaganza
Where: X-Spicy, Indismart Hotel, Sector V
When: April 15, lunch from noon to 4pm and dinner from 7 to 11pm
Pocket pinch: Rs 999, including two pegs of IMFL drinks or two premium beers.
The Bengali buffet revisits time-tested favourites like Chingri Malai Curry and Pabda Machher Jhal as well as offers fusion dishes likes Loitya Shutki Salad.
“Foodies are always on the lookout for new, experimental dishes but during festivals, they long for a familiar taste. We try to provide both,” says Kaushik Kumar Saha, associate director, food production, Indismart Hotel.
So diners will be welcomed with Gandharaj Lebu Mishri Sharbat and Aam Pora Sharbat and starters like Fish Kabiraji with Tomato Kasundi and Chicken Cutlet, cooked in the Anglo Indian style. The Loitya Shutki Salad cooks the de-boned fish with ginger, garlic onions and coriander. The Duck Kosha is also a newbie on the menu, inspired by Santhali cuisine. “This dish takes at least an hour to cook and this is besides the dressing and paraphernalia,” says Saha.
Also try the Stuffed Karela. Bitter as it may sound, the gourd is first deseeded and boiled in salt and turmeric. “This removes the strong bitter taste and retains only a mild and flavourful one. The gourd is then cooked in a gravy that will leave diners asking for more,” he says.
If there’s one dish every Poila Baisakh at Indismart must have, it is their signature Kosha Mangso with Luchi. “To perfect this dish we have tasted Kosha Mangsho across the state, learnt from them and added our own zing. It has become very popular among customers,” Saha says.
For dessert, there is Rajbhog, Baked Mishti Doi and Jungle Rice Payesh, cooked with unpolished rice that lends a taste quite different from the one city folk are used to.
Restospeak: “In the pre-Covid days, Poila Baisakh used to be a busy time for us and we are expecting good response this year too,” says Biswarup Biswas, group general manager, Indismart Hotel. This he anticipates as their recent pork festival and New Year’s eve bash were both lapped up by foodies. “Still, to maintain Covid safety, we are providing home delivery of the dishes in Salt Lake, New Town and Rajarhat free of cost.”