As Bengalis celebrate their New Year, Poila Baisakh tomorrow, Dhara Vora invites a Mumbai chef, and restaurateurs to pick their favourite dish
Kosha Mangsho has always been the most favourite Bengali dish for me. The slow cooking process of the meat, flavoured with garam masala is a treat in itself. It never fails to impress anyone. It’s a known fact that most Bengalis live to eat and not the other way round, and most of them have grown up licking their fingers to Kosha Mangsho’s velvety gravy, biting into the juicy pieces of the meat, cooked lovingly by their grandmothers and mothers.
It is a traditional Bengali recipe that uses goat meat. The New Year means happiness and prosperity to us. And we follow this day by taking a holiday and celebrating it with our close ones. At home, it starts with a puja, wearing new clothes, followed by meeting and greeting friends and family.
Then, we have a gala lunch either at home or at any restaurant. In our restaurant, we start with a new ledger book, a dedicated puja and prepare a mouth-watering menu for our guests and we ensure that there is a food barrage.
— Sanjay Mukherjee, owner, Kolkata Callin’
My favourite Bengali dish is Hilsa curry and rice. Hilsa is called the king of fish. It is an uncommon fish available in the Indian market. This makes it more popular. It is the tastiest fish due to the distinctly soft, oily texture and mouth-watering flavour.
Hilsa curry and rice
We serve it at the restaurant too. At home, we dress up in our best apparels for Poila Baisakh, which is a harvest festival, and celebrate it with friends and family. The house is beautifully decorated; and women make beautiful rangolis at the threshold of the home.
My kitchen exudes the aroma of freshly prepared Bengali delicacies, especially traditional sweet dishes such as rosogollas, payesh, sandesh, kalakand and ras malai, as it’s considered to be a good omen to start the year on a sweet note. New Year cuisine for lunch contains various preparations of fish and rice.
— Prasenjit Ghosh, chef de cuisine, 25 Parganas, Hotel Sahara Star
A good home-cooked Daab Chingri (prawn in tender coconut) is my favourite. It’s my comfort food and I feel my mom (Suchhanda Chatterjee) cooks it the best. It is on Oh! Calcutta’s menu and has always been appreciated by our customers.
For Poila Baisakh, we wish each other ‘Shubho Nobo Borsho’ and perform a small puja at home. There is also a variety of mishti that is prepared like rosogolla, sandesh, payesh, komola bhog and kalakand.
The menu for lunch comprises of many fish delicacies cooked in different curries.
— Avik Chatterjee, head of innovation and new formats at Speciality Restaurants
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