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regular-article-logo Thursday, 22 February 2024

Mahabharata to Makaibari in food quiz

The quizmaster was Siddhartha Chatterjee, best remembered as Topse from the Feluda movies

Brinda Sarkar Calcutta Published 08.01.21, 12:40 AM
The finalists of the quiz on stage.

The finalists of the quiz on stage. Brinda Sarkar

A food quiz kept women entertained at Saras Mela on Saturday. The contest was exclusively for ladies and again, most of them, turned out to be stall keepers.

The quizmaster was Siddhartha Chatterjee, best remembered as Topse from the Feluda movies and who also runs the Bhojohori Manna chain of restaurants. Assisting him was Soumyajit Das, special secretary to the panchayats and rural development department and administrative secretary of the state comprehensive area development corporation (CADC), that was organising the fair.

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The preliminary round had 20 women on stage and eight among them qualified to the final round later. Given that the quiz was for laymen, questions were fairly straightforward. Someone or the other managed to answer posers like “what are Makaibari and first flush types of?” (tea) and “what are arabica and robusta types of?” (coffee beans).

The “biriyani” round had the women naming Wajid Ali Shah as the nawab credited for bringing the delicacy to Calcutta and they also guessed correctly that the word biryani itself was derived from Parsi. “The dish is called briyani and birani in different parts of the world, though I doubt the waiter at the restaurant here will understand if you ask by those names,” added Chatterjee.

The “sweet” round did a tour of the state and the women got busy naming sitabhog as the famous dessert from Burdwan, lyangcha from Shaktigarh, mecha sondesh from Bankura and jilipi from Cooch Behar.

But since most participants were from the districts not many could perform in the round on heritage eateries of Calcutta. Few could tell a Basanta Cabin from Anadi Cabin or a Mitra Cafe from Allen Kitchen but the multiple choice format saw them through. They weren’t too familiar with the dishes mentioned in the international round either — Pad Thai of Thailand, Doner Kebabs of Turkey or tacos of Mexico. “But don’t worry about it,” assured the quiz master. “Tacos are simply neemki with some sauce.”

Finishing top of the class was Ruma Bera, a fair volunteer from Howrah. “I am most pleased that I could answer the question on cod. It was about which fish is a great source of vitamin A and D,” she smiled.

Debakripa Das Ray, a Rajarhat resident who found out about the contest while exploring the fair, got a question about Satyavati correct. “I’ve read her account in The Mahabharata and knew she was called Matsyagandha. I’m glad I could recall the name when I needed to today.”

Those who lost out didn’t mind either. “It’s all right; we learnt so much today,” smiled Mithu Chakraborty, a fair volunteer who bowed out after the first round. The prizes for the contest were distributed by M.V Rao, additional chief secretary, panchayats and rural development department, and the winners received vouchers to shop at Saras Mela itself.

Pick of posers from the stage

Q1. What kind of painting is this cat with fish on the right? Kalighat painting

Q2. Who in the Mahabharata was also known as Matsyagandha? Satyavati, great-grandmother of the Pandava and Kaurava princes

Q3. Which country grows a third of the world’s coffee? Brazil

Q4. Which dessert is said to have created by Nabin Moira? Rosogolla

Q5. What language does the word biryani originate from (in picture below right)? Parsi

Q6. Which tiny heritage food joint was a favourite adda haunt of Uttam Kumar? Basanta Cabin

Q7. Which sage is the Vishnu avatar Matsya said to have rescued from deluge (picture right)? Manu

Q8. What is the old name of Coffee House? Albert Hall

Q9. What are Makaibari and “first flush” associated with? Tea

Q10. Which is the largest fish in the world? Whale shark

Q1. What kind of painting is this cat with fish on the right? Kalighat painting

Q2. Who in the Mahabharata was also known as Matsyagandha? Satyavati, great-grandmother of the Pandava and Kaurava princes

Q3. Which country grows a third of the world’s coffee? Brazil

Q4. Which dessert is said to have created by Nabin Moira? Rosogolla

Q5. What language does the word biryani originate from (in picture below right)? Parsi

Q6. Which tiny heritage food joint was a favourite adda haunt of Uttam Kumar? Basanta Cabin

Q7. Which sage is the Vishnu avatar Matsya said to have rescued from deluge (picture right)? Manu

Q8. What is the old name of Coffee House? Albert Hall

Q9. What are Makaibari and “first flush” associated with? Tea

Q10. Which is the largest fish in the world? Whale shark

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