Calcutta might have officially changed to Kolkata , but for me it will always be ‘Calcutta’ . It does sound nice to hear from my non-bengali friends when even they say ‘kolkata’ in their accent.
Three things that they all try to tell to show their fondness for bengali’s – Kolkata, roshogolla , ‘Ami tomakey bhalobashi’ (which means I love you) & they add ‘you all say things gol gol’ . I can only smile at these ,cause Calcutta will always remain as ‘Calcutta’ with all it’s mysticism ,more than I can explain.
The association with Chinese, French, Dutch,Portugese, Armenians and obviously the British Raj has taught us to appreciate lot of flavours along with the bengalis’ home specialities shukto, chocchori, jhaal, jhol, tok, mishti .
Now that we all stay away from our roots we get to try lot of food , especially in a place like Bangalore – name it & you can try it. But the call of the roots are stronger than anything else, and you get to understand it even more when you have to see the dishes in front of you and your hands don’t stop.
Among the Bengali restaurants in Bangalore I have almost tried them all, except “Oh Calcutta” ,if you ask me ‘why?’ , my response will be – I consider it to be ‘the ultimate place for bengali cuisine in namma ooru’ and I shall visit it when the right time comes.
During this time of the year I miss ‘Chaitra sale’, ‘shopping’, ‘khaowa daowa’ & to compensate for that finally on 23 Chaitra 2024 I made it to ‘Oh Calcutta’ , I shall mark the date in my calendar. You must be wondering which calendar is she talking about , its my bengali calendar , the last few days of the year – I prefer to check that. Last few days ? Yes , it’s bengali new year soon …. On 15th April we will celebrate ‘poila boishakh’ ( the date varies – 14th/15th from year to year). So my pre-poila boishakh’ Saturday night was spent in #ohcalcutta
Firstly the new look of #churchstreet uplifted my mood , then as I took the elevator to reach the 2nd floor of the building I was reminiscent of all those talks I have heard about ohcalcutta all these years. Inside the white plates with the graphics of the famous landmarks of Kolkata , the tinted glass depicting howrah bridge , Victoria ,Shohid Minar left me even more nostalgic.
Now coming to food – we started with mochaar chop, panch phoron paneer Tikka, fish fry ( quite close to the nostalgic diamond cut). Then I tried something I have never tried before ‘kankra chingri bhapa’ (steamed crabmeat n prawns, it’s interesting as it’s in the form of paturi i.e. Wrapped in plantain leaf) & ‘murshidabadi murghi’ in a satay like presentation.
Then we ordered for bengalis’ eternal love luchi – cholaar daal with aloor Dom. A plate of luchi has 6 round , white , fluffy luchi & we kept ordering for more.I also tried the dhokaar daalna , kacha lonka chicken ( chicken in green chilli) & koshaa mangsho (mutton). In between these we got gandhoraaj diye ghol , this is something new & my favorite now. This will be an aphrodisiac during the summer afternoons. Can I leave without having rice ? With rice I had tel katla (big pieces of Katla fish) .
We finished our dinner with bhapa’ shandesh (mildly sweet) & patishapta (nostalgic – with coconut & jaggery) , reminded me of my granny’s efforts.
Interestingly they have a special buffet for the coming weekend – choitro shankranti & poila boishakh for 805+taxes & 950+taxes & it’s quite an extensive one
chchana aamkashundir paturi
Dim mangsher chop
Cocktail fish fry
Chitol machcher muithya
Chingri Malai curry
Shorshey bata maach
Mangsher Kalia & the list goes on ….