These Mumbai home chefs will ensure your feast continues even after Durga Puja
It took Pia Promina Dasgupta Barve two years to perfect the recipe of Murgi Gwalondo, a legendary Bengali chicken curry that was born on the steamers that would ply from Goalondo - a small town at the confluence of the Padma and Brahmaputra rivers in Bangladesh - to Narayanganj near Dhaka during the pre-Independence era.
Every time she would make the curry, her father would dismiss it saying it didn't taste like the original version, also known as Fowl Curry, which he had tasted on an overnight trip on the steamer. Until one day, when she got the balance of spices right, and her father exclaimed, 'Udi Baba!' That's how Murgi Gwalondo was added on the menu of Kewpie's, a home-style restaurant that she founded in Kolkata back in the 1990s.
And today is your chance to pre-order this unusual steamer curry ('350), which is part of a special menu curated by Barve and Assamese home chef Gitika Saikia. Bringing together Bengali and Axomiya Nepali dishes, the menu celebrates both Bijoya Dashami and Dashain, the 15-day long festival of Nepal. "During Durga Puja, most people eat only at the pandals. So, we decided to curate the festive menu after Dussehra. We knew people would be tired, and they can thus order the dishes from the comfort of their home," says Saikia.
The Nepali section of the menu features Chicken Bara ('250 for three pieces), an appetiser of spiced patties stuffed with minced chicken, and Kwati ('300), which includes mutton chunks cooked with a variety of lentils and spiced with garam masala and coriander-cumin powder. It can be had as a soup or with plain rice. You can also try Nepali Pork Curry ('300), where the meat stars in a hot and spicy, robust red gravy.
Interestingly, the mainstay in both the sections are vegetarian thalis. "Vegetarians often feel neglected in these celebrations. These dishes are a tribute to the Nepali food I've grown up eating at friend's homes," says Saikia. The Nepali Veg Thali ('700) comprises Wo Bara, or lentil pancakes made by the Newari community, along with Alu Ko Achar (a sesame-flecked potato preparation), Alu Tama Jhol (potato bamboo shoot gravy), Gundruk Chutney (made with fermented mustard leaves), the ring-shaped and deep-fried sweet called Sel Roti and Makhana Kheer.
Gitika Saikia and Pia Promina Dasgupta Barve
Meanwhile, Barve's Bengali Veg Thali ('700) includes Ghee Bhaat, Lau Motorshuti Dal cooked with bottle gourd and split moong dal, Kumro Chechki (pumpkin stir-fry) and a green jackfruit curry called Enchorer Kalia. For dessert, tuck into the Bengali sweet, Doodh Puli. "It's a type of pitha that's usually made during the Sankranti festival. The filling is similar to the one you find in a modak," says Barve. There's also Golda Chingri Malai Curry ('400) and Mangsho Gota Masala ('400) for prawn and mutton lovers.
On: October 7 (today is the last day to order)
Call: 9820445990 (for takeaway or delivery)
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