Undivided Bengal Festival at Hyatt Place, Gurgaon not only celebrates the street and household delicacies of Kolkata but also of the erstwhile district of Bengal which has now come under the region of Bihar. You will experience the pure, unadulterated version of homely dishes coming straight from the heart of Chef Rick Kundu and Food Writer and Curator Maneesh Srivastava.
The land of Bengal is rich and fertile and the only province that extended from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. The abundance of water ensured the growth of the fishing industry and paddy cultivation. Fish Curry with Rice still remains to be the staple dish of the people there. West Bengal itself grows more than 267 species of freshwater fish and also the famous saltwater fish called Illish (Hilsa). However, no one can ignore that the cuisine in this part of the country is diverse enough to include most of the meats, vegetables, and pulses that are consumed in other parts of the country. Bengali food culture has been more of an inspiration to other cultures than it is inspired or influenced by them. I’m pretty sure West Bengal has more foodies per square feet than any other state. Visit Park Street in Kolkata and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
In my article about the Purvaiya Food Festival at Holiday Inn, Delhi, I mentioned how the cuisine of Bihar is not talked about much. I am again reiterating that it is the most underrated cuisine and because of the rich flavor profile it offers, it deserves to be among the most celebrated cuisines of India.
I forgot to mention that if any state in India is to be crowned the king of desserts, it has to be West Bengal
Each dish in the Undivided Bengal festival is chosen to keep in mind the life of the locals in Bengal and Bihar and the menu is rotating daily. On the day I visited, the lineup included the best from both the states. I have now learned that some dishes from Bangladeshi cuisine have also been added to the table. The mesmerizing taste and the story behind every dish deserve applause, however, the ones that deserve special mention are Mutton chops, moong dal pakodi, puchkas, Champaran meat, fish curry, aloo ki bhujia, and kache Kele ki sabzi. They even had the famous chicken Kathi rolls which is among the most popular street foods of Kolkata. Overall I would say that it was pure comfort food. It is simply a version of the food that gives us joy, only better.
I forgot to mention that if any state in India is to be crowned the king of desserts, it has to be West Bengal. Other than the famous Sandesh, Mishti Doi and undeniably the most delicious sweets in the country, the city of Kolkata is also known for its bakeries.
Here, in desserts, we tried the Ras Gulla, Mishti Doi and the special kheer known as Payesh which was a show stealer. The festival is part of the dinner buffet and is there only till 3rd March. I highly recommend it.