As part of the Grand Trunk Culinary Journey, Kolkata Food Festival is being hosted at the Leela Ambience Convention Hotel. Its the last stop of this journey which started from Amritsar and made stops at Old Delhi and Banaras. The food festival celebrated cuisines from across the NH1 (Grand Trunk Road), bringing to you mouth-watering dishes from various cities that came along the way.
To bring out the authentic flavours of Kolkata, Chef De Cuisine Ashwani Kumar Singh travelled to the City of Joy to gather the secrets that lie hidden amongst the busy lanes of a city famous for its indulgent variety of Bengali cuisine.
The food festival aims at recreating the culinary delights as well as the ambience of Kolkata and brings together its culture and music for an unforgettable experience.
Within this culinary journey our first stop was the Cutlet/Chop/Bhaja counter which served a wide variety of fried fish, chicken cutlet, mutton chop and Vegetable Chop and trust me words can’t do justice to such an elaborate spread. It was awesome, crispy fried fish, some small, some big, some like cutlets and some like fingers, it was a treat of tastes. I personally loved the prawn cutlet and fried fish.
And how can one ignore Jhalmuri and Puchkas at a Kolkata Food Festival, and I have never ever tasted Jhalmuri earlier because I don’t like the taste of raw mustard oil, but this was awesome. Crunchy, crispy and flavoursome. Also the puchkas were fantastic, the water was just perfectly spiced.
The main course again was an elaborate spread and consisted of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies. Bhekti Paturi, Kachu Pata Chingri Vapa, Lau Ghanto, Galda Chingri Malai Curry, Chittal Peti, Kosha Mangsho, Murgi Jhol, Chicken Vorta, Sukto, Aloo Posto, Lal Saag, Paneer Er Rosha, Chollar Dal, Kacha Lemon Moong Dal, Kichuri, Bhaat, you name it and it was there and that too in all authenticity of the tastes and flavours. Kudos to chef Ashwani Kumar, that he left no stone unturned to bring in the actual flavours by using best of the ingredients and some of those were directly sourced from the city of joy.
The Achar counter was one of the highlights for me, I simply relished all of them. Gondhoraj Ghol, which was basically ber done in a sweet and sour way was mind blowing, Pineapple Chutney, Tomato Chutney were two other things I loved, and you know usually they are eaten after the meal in order to increase appetite so that one can then savour the sweetdishes.
And who can beat Bengalis when it comes to sweet dishes, I mean these sweet dishes have just no comparison at all. Sondesh, Nolen Gurer Rosogulla, Kamala Bhog, Malpo, Sita Bhog, Pithas, Mihi Dana, Dimer Halua, Payesh, Mishti Doi.. OMG my mouth waters even as I write about them. The platter that we were served was so tempting that I can’t tell you, and it was such a great sugar rush, that even though were were full, it was difficult to resist the temptation.
Trust me when I say that this is one festival you should not miss, because we often don’t get to satiate our cravings for Bengali food, so while its there, make the most of it. You still have about 4 days, as the festival is on till the 16th April, so waste no more time and head straight to Leela Ambience Convention Hotel and enjoy this feast of Kolkata Food. I had a great time indeed!