Maneesh Srivastva, food , travel and lifestyle blogger, photographer, Durga puja thali café fontana taj palace Bengali Thali Non-Veg

Bengal Food @Kafe Fontana, Taj Palace Hotel – Dwell in The Paradise of Fantastic Food!

In my last post I talked about my childhood memories of prasads and my love for bhog. You can read the full story here.
I love Bengali food and I can continue endlessly discussing not only about Bengali food but also on their rich culture.
I clearly reminisce celebrating Durga Puja ( In Bihar too we celebrate durga puja), visiting huge pandals and the glorious idol of Maa Durga.

The entire day was spent in pandal and at night we loved the cultural programs as well as orchestra. Typically in other states, Bengali Durga puja nights are showcase of their rich culture, however In Bihar it is mainly north India orchestra and other cultural programs. My Bengali friends would take us to pandals and gorge on non- vegetarian stuff and I would wonder, that we don’t partake non vegeterain during navratras and Bengalis dwell in the paradise of fantastic food!  It took me couple of years, to convince myself that I should also enjoy Puja the way Bengalis do! So while my family celebrates navratras and continue to fast and feast on pure vegetarian, I humbly enjoy the grandeur of Durga Puja along with my wife who is Bengali and feast and gorge on  everything that we get at the various stalls including non-vegetarian!

The unique and the different proposition of vegetarian vs. non vegetarian is enlightening! Maa Durga comes home( to her mother)  and the entire family and friends welcome her in their own way. Ahhh what a fantastic culture, where they have so much respect for women!.
I went through lot of posts and articles online, before I started writing about Bengali food, Durga Pooja and bhog.  And then I came through couple of articles written by Pritha Sen( for Times of India(Kolkatta edition ) which actually encouraged me to share history of Durga pujo and bhog.
**“There are three main schools of Durga worship — Vaishnav, Shakta and Tantric. The first upholds nonviolence and purity and the food is vegetarian sans onions and garlic. In the Shakta tradition, Durga or Chandi is worshipped as Shakti, the Divine Energy, the multifaceted woman with 10 arms (Dasabhuja), the Eternal Mother (Jagaddhatri), the Creator (Annapurna, the goddess of fertility), the Destroyer (Kali), the Daughter (Uma),Wife (Sati or Parvati) and so on
— a composite deification of Stree Shakti (woman power). Needless to say therefore, like Durga’s 10 arms, the cuisine too is at its varied best, incorporating both fish and meat”.**
** Pritha Sen Article(Published in TOI(Kolkatta Edition))
While writing this feature, I felt that I am in Bengal and I am enjoying Durga puja with them and rejoicing the “Shondha aarti” and dancing to the tunes of “dhaak”i. If you really want to enjoy the Real pujo,  you must visit Kolkata during this festive season. In Delhi too Durga Puja is celebrated with equal grandeur!
I always was excited for Durga puja as our Bengali family friends would frequently wait for arrival of Ma durga.The onset of mahalaya would set the ground and the most awaited during the Puja was the bhog that I would wait eagerly-  starting “Shashti”. We used to visit Kali bari and they would offer bhog twice a day. I wouldn’t have to stand in the long queue as my friends had access to kitchen and I used to relish the kheechuri and chorchori – the divine taste that still rejuvenates my soul each time whenever I have it and even today! I guess my love for Durga Puja and bhog resulted in me getting a Bengali wife! Hence the childhood spirit of Durga puja is re-lived each year with her!
When I got invitation from Kafé Fontana for preview of Bengali food festival which is starting from 29th September and will last till 3rd October, it was deja –vu!.
This Bengali food festival not only offers bhog thali, where you can relish Prasad from temples of Orissa and Benga, but also has other dishes like begun bhaja, labra, khichuri, along with aloo potol dalna, luchi and dahi pakhla.
Bengali Thali Veg Maneesh Srivastva, food , travel and lifestyle blogger, photographer, Durga puja thali café fontana taj palace
Interesting innovative idea that has been culminated for people to relish and rejoice the festivity of Durga Puja and  I am sure people will love to try a different festival food which is very different from regular navratra thali.And not only this, like in pandals, after savouring the maha Prasad, you gorge on some of your favourite non-veg food from various stalls,  here too we get to relish non-veg and sea food thali  that has the famous kosha mangsho and malai chingri(prawn cooked in cream ).
Rejoice the glories of Maa Durga and enjoy and relish the warm hospitality and authentic delicacies at café Fontana!
Non-Veg Thali
Sea-Food Thali
Crumb fried chicken cutlet
Crispy fried fish
Bhaja Bengali Muger Dal
(Tempered split green grams, a bengali delicacy)
Tempered Split Bengal gram with dices of coconut

(Sweetened rice and milk concoction, flavoured with palm jaggery)

(Assortment of vegetables, a staple during Saraswati Pujo in most Bengali homes)
Lamb cooked with onion, coriander and red chilies

Tempered Split Bengal gram with dices of coconut

Aloo Potol Dalna
(Spiced potatoes and parwal, Bengali style)
Home-style Bengali chicken curry with potatoes
Prawns cooked in coconut gravy

Begun Bhaja
(Fried eggplants bengali style, a traditional accompaniment to Khichuri)
Bitter gourd, Green banana and vegetable preparation with panch phoran
Mustard marinated fish wrapped in banana leaf

Bengali Bhoger Khichuri
(A Durga puja specialty prepared with Moong Dal and an assortment of vegetables)
Basmati rice flavoured with homemade clarified butter

Bitter gourd, Green banana and vegetable preparation with panch phoran

Dahi Pakhla
(Curd Rice and water, a part of the CHAPPANBHOG or MAHAPRASAD in Jagannath temple, Orissa)
Crisp puffed bread
Basmati rice flavoured with homemade clarified butter

Natun Gurer Payesh
(Sweetened rice and milk concoction, flavoured with palm jaggery)
Tomato and dates chutney
(Sweetened rice and milk concoction, flavoured with palm jaggery)

Crisp puffed bread

Kancha Aamer Chaatni
(A chutney made out of prolonged sauteeing of tempered raw mangoes)
Sweetened chena dumplings
Tomato and dates chutney

(Fried bread of Bengal)
Sweetened chena dumplings

(A refreshing beverage made out of curd, water and sugar. Atraditional recipe from Orissa)
 Quick Facts:
Date: 29th September to 3rd October2014
Timings: Lunch – 1230 – 1445 hrs
Dinner – 1830 -2345 hrs
Price: Veg Thai – INR 1950 (exclusive of taxes)
Non-Veg Thali – INR 2250 (exclusive of taxes)
Seafood Thali – INR 2750 (exclusive of taxes)
Venue: Kafe Fontana, Taj Palace, New Delhi
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I am a Delhi based blogger and write everything that gets us connected to life and creates an impact. My posts are about new places that I get to explore, cuisines that define taste of India and other countries, art that aestheticize our inner world and culture that defines beauty of people and place. My passion lies in exploring the unexplored aspects of life. Photography is my passion and I love to capture the diversities that brings out each moment alive. My forte lies in creating stories and my life is beyond journalism that has evolved into my blog.

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