Aaheli: The Torchbearer of Traditional Bengali Food in Kolkata

I had left Kolkata when I was 17, and for about a decade I was in Banaras, Jamshedpur, and Bangalore during my student life and for my initial work years. While I got exposed to some delectable cuisines of Bihar, Eastern UP and Karnataka, I used to miss home food as well as the larger Bengali cuisine. So, on my transfer to Kolkata in the late eighties, I was happy and eager to explore Bengali food in the city.


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The Salt House: A Promising European Restaurant in Kolkata

Prior to my recent trip to Kolkata, I have been seeing a lot of posts on social media about The Salt House from trustworthy friends like Rukhsana and Anindya. The latest European restaurant to open in the city, it serves European cuisine with a twist, incorporating local ingredients into the dishes as much as possible. The innovatively styled dishes in their posts were some more aspects which interested me, and as a result, in spite of my busy schedule, I readily accepted an invitation to review the restaurant during my short stay Kolkata.

Bhetki Roulade
Bhetki Roulade served with Sauteed Mushrooms

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Milee Droog: Experiencing Russian Food in Kolkata

I try to visit Kolkata two to three times every year. The visits are always short and less than a week, given my constraints at home. And, for every trip, I carry with me a list of food places to cover. Visit after visit the list gets longer as I am hardly able to scrape the surface of the changing food scene in the city. The amount of experimentation which is being done on the local cuisine is praiseworthy, and places serving uncommon cuisines are also coming up fast.

Uzbec Lamb Plov
Uzbec Lamb Plov

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Street Food from Varanasi, Part 2: Thandai, Chaat, Mithai and Paan

Continued From Part 1: Kachoris, Lassi and Rabri

When we were students in the early eighties, one of the must-dos after exams was to go to Godowlia, have a thandai laced with a little bhang and then go watch a movie of Big B or Mithunda at Mazda. The go-to shop for thandai those days was Mishrambu, bang on the crossing. Now, thirty-five years later, there are about five shops next to each other dishing out a range of thandais. A chilled milk-based drink with a soaked paste of almonds, cashews, and pistachio along with saunf, thandai is not just a drink for Holi in Banaras but enjoyed year-long. I tried a Kesaria Pista Malai Thandai at Mishrambu, which has saffron and pista in it too. The heavy drink was still as sublime.

Malaiyyo

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Street Food from Varanasi, Part 1: All About Kachori, Rabri and Lassi

Varanasi is a city very very close to my heart. I spent the biggest chunk of my student life here, and the holy city has contributed to significant learnings and unlearnings that I have had. A return to the city after a gap of a decade was to soak in the spirituality of a place which is bustling and tranquil at the same time. The name itself signifies the philosophy of the city. Banaras is where the potion of life (“ras”) is ready (“bana”), you only have to drink it.


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Bohri Food Festival at The Westin Hyderabad

I have never had the opportunity to try out Bohri cuisine before. I had heard a lot about it from the Bohri food trails of Mumbai friends, read about it from the articles of food writers as well as seen photos of the food, which had made me quite curious. The Bohri Food Festival at Kangan, the Indian restaurant at The Westin provided me the first opportunity to familiarize myself with the cuisine.

Bohri Green Mutton Raan

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Rivaayat-E-Patiala: The Royal Cuisine of Punjab Recreated at The Trident

Rivaayat is an initiative of the Oberoi Hotels and Resorts group to revive interest in traditional Indian cuisine and bring back the nostalgia of recipes long forgotten.  As part of the nationwide program which started three years ago, we have had three festivals at The Trident Hyderabad. This year, the promotion is back with a difference, with Chef Parvinder Bali presenting the Royal Cuisine of Patiala as part of a promotion named Rivaayat-E-Patiala.


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Best Places to Enjoy Your Biryani in Hyderabad

Along with Charminar, the other thing Hyderabad is known for is its biryani.  Citizens of no other city can remotely come close to the fascination for biryani that we Hyderabadis have. We steadfastly refuse even any comparison with the other variants of biryanis in India, let alone accept that they come anywhere close to it in taste.

Biryani

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