Nabanno - Traditional Home Style Bengali Food

The scenario for restaurants serving Bengali cuisine in Hyderabad has seen quite a bit of churn with new places opening up and the older ones closing down. Nabanno is one of the newer Bengali restaurants in Hyderabad having opened its doors just before Durga Puja last year. In a short period this restaurant has made a name for itself not just among the Bengalis in Hyderabad, but also other lovers of Bengali food. The restaurant completes one year of its journey in September.

Nabanno Baithakkhana
Nabanno Waiting Hall

The restaurant is in the third floor of a building in Nizampet X Road, Kukatpally. As you enter the restaurant, you cannot help but notice the tasteful decor. There is a sitting area modeled after the boithok-khana or drawing room of a traditional Bengali family. It has a lot of books for people to browse through if they have to wait for a table. In a corner, an old style gramophone is on display with old 33 rpm records. The glass door leading to the main hall showcases poetry from Rabindranath Tagore in his own inimitable style of handwriting.

Nabanno restaurant
The Restaurant

In the dining hall there are paintings and photographs on the wall bringing forth glimpses of Bengal. One side has a gallery for displaying photographs on Bengal and some eminent personalities from there, along with their quotes in Bengali. Ethnic decor with cane furniture, jute table mats and handloom cushion covers adorn the 36 seater restaurant. Soft lighting and artistically placed lamp shades render a cosy and warm ambience.

Beguni Nabanno

As you wait for your food, have a detailed look at the menu. The menu is really innovatively designed. It also has interesting excerpts from old East Indian literature like Charjapad and Manasa Mangal – the excerpts related to food.  You find out that Nabanno serves some uncommon items which are not normally available in Bengali restaurants – items like Fena Bhat (over boiled rice) with boiled eggs, Panta Bhat/Pakhal (overnight fermented rice), Peyaj Posto (onion with khuskhus), Marich bata and Shutki Macher (dried fish) Chochhori.

Nabanno Shukto

To start, try their Marich Bata, which is a dish from Bangladesh, a paste of vegetables with chillies. It is sweet,spicy and goes well with hot steamed rice. For both me and my wife, our ancestors are from Bangladesh, and this dish tasted so much like the grandma’s home food from our childhood.

Their Labda, the traditional Bengali dish made from an assortment of vegetables and panch-phoron is not to be missed. Now we mostly have labda with khichuri during the festivals. Here the labda was ghee flavored and tasted different. Again the hot rice played the perfect foil to it. The shukto lovers  can also try out their Chapor Shukto.

Bengali Thala

A favorite dal here is masur, prepared in a very patla (dilute) fashion and garnished with split chilies and coriander leaves, the way it is prepared in Bengali homes. A dash of lemon added to it means that it made a fabulous combo with rice, and the two large daaler boras (pakoda). Nabanno also serves the popular Bengali Macherr Matha Diye Mug Daal (moong dal cooked with fish head).

For vegetarians, you have the Bengali delicacies like Mochar Ghonto (banana flower), Dhokar Dalna (lentil cake gravy) and Begun Bahar (brinjals cooked in mustard sauce).

The non vegetarian portion of the menu is extensive. You have a wide range of items ranging from fresh water fish, sea food and meat.

Nabanno sorshe pabda
Sorshe Pabda

The Rohu fish curry seems straight from your home kitchen. It was a light and non-spicy curry with papaya, cauliflower and daaler bori in it. To be savored with a dash of lime and a raw green chili. The Sorshe diye Pabda Mach has large sized fish cooked in mustard curry. Tyangrar Jhal is a spicy onion based gravy whereas the Rui Machher Kaliya is a thick curry cooked in curd and garam masala.

Murgir Jhol Nabanno
Murgir Jhol

The chicken preparation is the standard Murgi-r Jhol cooked with onion, ginger and garlic. It is the standard fare we have in the normal invitations. For mutton lovers go for their Bata Moshlar Manghso prepared with authentic spices. Nabanno makes a delicious Banglar Mishti Pulao to go with these dishes.

Bata moshlar mangsho Nabanno
Bata Moshlar Mangsho 

The Chatni (chutney) of the day can be from mango, pineapple or tomato. Among the dessert their Malpoa is a hot favorite. The Chaler Payesh has a different recipe where they add grated coconut to taste different from the traditional way. They also make their soft and fluffy Rosogollas in house as well as the signature Gokul Pitha and Patisapta.

Nabanno Malpoa

Currently, Nabanno has an unlimited buffet in the weekends called “Shoni-robir Mahabhoj”.  The buffet has a huge spread. Right from starters like Beguni or Kumro Bhaja, you have three vegetarian dishes such as Mochar Ghonto and Chapor Shukto, at least three fish preparations, and chicken. Misti pulao and rice are available to go with the dishes whereas the Luchis are served on the table. The range of desserts normally includes Payesh and Malpoa. The buffet is priced at Rs 599 plus taxes.

Subhasish and Paramita, the couple who run the restaurant along with their partner Abhijit are very passionate about the restaurant as well as the need to serve authentic Bengali fare here. They especially take care of the non-Bengali clientele patiently explaining the nuances of Bengali food. Subhasish himself has designed the interiors of the restaurant. The best thing I like about this place is that you almost get a piece of Bengal - not just food, but a glimpse of its music, literature, paintings, motifs as well as traditional art of rural Bengal.

To celebrate their first birthday, Nabanno will host a Bengali Food Festival from 12th-15th Sept. The menu will have quite a few new items as well as some some of their popular delicacies.

Address: Nabanno, 3rd Floor Plot 1 and 2, Sardar Patel Nagar, Nizampet X Road, Kukatpally, Hyderabad.
It is next to the Nizampet X Road petrol pump in the same building which houses Domino’s in the ground floor.

Telephone: 040-40203180, 8885559225

Also read: The Goalondo Steamer arrives at Nabanno

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