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.


Read more ...

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

Read more ...

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

Read more ...

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

Read more ...