I would not call ‘Peth Pujo’- The Bengali Way – the ongoing food festival at The Café at Hyatt Regency Pune, a Bengali Food Festival. Here is why?
It is so because, it is a SHOWCASE – a showcase of Kolkata, a city that is a melting pot of cuisines, all thanks to its culinary past. It aptly showcases how completely distinct cuisines sit happily next to each other each unique and yet each from Bengal. How the Amish and the niramish (Bengali vegetarian and non vegetarian) bumps happily next to artfully designed rich, meat based dishes from the Mughals and how the Awadhi influence came from the bawarchis, masalchis and Khansamas who tagged along with the last Nawab of Awadh who was exiled to the outskirts of Kolkata and gave local food the sweet spices, nuts and dried fruit that are characteristic of their cuisine and then came the British who got with them not only their baking expertise but also their tea, cutlets culture.
Over time, Kolkata became home to many more communities Chinese, Tibetian Portuguese, Tibetian, They came and settled here and made the most of local ingredients to build a collection of dishes, across street foods, family diners, bakeries, mishti shops and ethnic eateries.
And this is exactly what the food fest at Hyatt curated by Chef Anirban Dasgupta intends to do…It intends to give you a glimpse of the food from Kolkatta be it the China Town Chinese or something like the Railway Mutton Curry from the archives of Anglo Indian Kolkatta. The fest asserts to indulge in exciting culinary fiesta by offering wide variety of food from the City of Joy. Set up in a buffet style, the spread includes diverse food range with host of variations.
From Kolkata streets the puchka, jhaal muri and the Roll counters are a dose of nostalgia.
And as you walk along the food spread you will come across the china town influence with threaded chicken, Chinese stir fry, gobi Manchurian, the chindian fried rice and how can I forget the moms with that tongue numbing chilli chutney and the kolkatta style chicken chowmein
Wait for all this to settle down in your stomach and head over for some fried goodness. Bhaja literally means fried in Bengali. It could be anything from a simple stir fry, deep fry or batter fries. Though the famous Telebhaja (deep fried in oil) is very very close to my heart, the bhaja platter here had seasonal veggies that were deep fried with minimum spices. We tucked into Eggplant (begun), Potatoes (aloo) and pointed gourd (patol) okra (dhyarosh) or bitter gourd (karola). And along with that the carrot and beetroot chop and mochar chop that lived up to the power of fried snacking in Bengali cuisine
After a terrific array of appetizers, the main course was eagerly awaited and they did not disappoint. The first round featured Luchi with Kosha Mangsho and yes I did take that helping of Aloor Dum too
The second round featured Gheet Bhaat (Rice with Clarified Butter) along with no-frills, homely Bengali preparations like Musur Daal, Chenar Dalna and the array of chutneys like the plastic chutney (raw papaya chutney), kuler achar, the sweet tomato chutney with dates and the Kacha amer chutney (raw mango chutney)
The non vegetarian dishes included in the buffet were Chingri Macher Malai Curry, Doi Maach (Fish cooked in yogurt gravy), Kosha mangsho, and Chicken Chaap for the Nawabi twist to the buffet that were polished off by the entire group
Rounded of the entire meal with the Roshogolla, Nolen Gurer (date palm jiggery) Icecream, Mishti Doi, Cham Cham, Milk cake and Lengcha
Price per person for the entire spread:
Lunch: Rs. 1050
Dinner: Rs. 1299
The fest is on till the 30th of this month.
Please note that this is not a fixed menu for the festival, the menu changes for lunch, dinner and other days of the week keeping the ethos of the festival intact. In case of any enquiry please get in touch with the hotel directly