Bengali Food Fest Set The Durga Puja Mood In Hyderabad
Image Credit: Bengali fish curry, kancha golla, and mochar chop

For Bengalis feasting always revolves around maach and mishti, but there is enough room for more. Echoing this sentiment, Cayenne – a multi-cuisine restaurant at Mercure Hyderabad KCP, has curated a special Durga Puja food festival. Launched on 26th September 2022, it will continue till 5th October 2022. Available only during dinner, it serves over 50 authentic and traditional Bengali culinary fares. 

Hyderabad, a melting pot of cultures, has a substantial Bengali population. Various Bengali communities organise Durga pujo on a large scale across the city. And this food fest appeared as the best excuse to ditch cooking and get submerged in the flavours of their home state. I couldn't ignore the Bong in me and decided to satiate my tastebuds.

The elaborate menu is designed by Master Chef Ganesh along with another in-house Bengali chef to showcase the decadent flavours of Bengali cuisine. 

"We aimed to familiarise Hyderabadi foodies with delectable Bengali delicacies. It's time that one must know how diverse this cuisine is. It took us a month to curate the entire menu. And almost all the ingredients are sourced from Kolkata to retain the authenticity," shared Chef Loknath. 

 The menu has a fine balance of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. For starters, there are Mocher Chops (Banana Flower Cutlet), Piyaji, Posto Bora, Beguni (Eggplant fritters), and the non-vegetarians have a few more options. I couldn't stop myself from munching on macher chop, chicken cutlet, dimer devil and chingri chop.

Dimer Devil

Although there is an array of salads like Aloo Kabli,  Lebu Maach, Dim Dhone Pata, and Tandoori Murg Chaat, I chose to give them a miss. Moreover, when there are typical Kolkata-style puchkas, who could miss them?

Puchka or Paani Puri

You might think I am a petuk (gourmandise); I have no shame. So boldly, I headed towards the main course. The menu changes in a few days. So, it includes entrée comprising Kolkatta Chicken Biryani, Mutton Dak Bunglow, Ruhi Macher Kaliya, Malai Paneer, Kanchkola daal, Kosha Mangsho (Mutton), Golbari Mutton Kosha, Pabda Macher Jhol, Chicken Kosha, Aloo Deya Macher Jhol, Chingri Pualo, and Chicken Gol Morich. Vegetarians have chaanar torkari, aloo posto, Radha Ballavi, mator kachuri, mug daler kachuri, aloo dum, cholar daal, chachra, and kacnhkolaer daal. 

Mutton Dak Bunglow

I filled my plate with a serving of ghee bhaat, Basundi/ mishti polao, chanchra,  Rui macher kaliya, Mutton dak bungalow, posto bora and a small serving of Kolkata Biryani. The taste of posto bora tickled my childhood memories around Bankura. Apparently, the locals of this district in West Bengal have a special love for poppy seeds or posto. As I took a morsel of mishti polao with mutton gravy, I could sense all the authentic flavours. At the fag-end of my main course, like any other pure Bengali, I went for sweet chutneys. The tomato and kismis mishti chutney and pempe (raw papaya) chutney made me feel homesick. 

I was told that on the rotational menu, one also gets to taste musur daal, luchi ghugni, jhinge aloo posto, shukto, aloo bhaja, and even bhapa ilish and ilish paturi. I wasn't lucky enough to get the last two. But before I could start sulking, the lavish spread of mishti (Bengali desserts) brought a smile to my face. Forgetting my constant effort to keep the calorie count under check, I said to myself, 'mishti naa holey haye' (It won't be complete without sweets). 

A platter of Bengali sweets

I adorned my plate with a serving of supple rasogolla, sondesh, kacha golla, Gobindobhog chaaler payesh, mishti doi, and Sita Bhog. The creamy payesh tasted heavenly, and I kept digging in. Kacha Golla surpassed my expectation by melting with every bite. Likewise, Sita Bhog, which is rare to find, was prepared with perfection. 

Kacha Golla

There are other Bengali sweets options too. A few of them are Raj Bhog,  Goja, Ras Malai, Cham Cham, Mihidana, Chanar Payesh, Baked Rasagolla, Pantuva, Darbesh, and Angoori Rasmalai. A live counter is set up to serve delicacies from the regional Bengali cuisine along with fresh fruits.

This elaborate Bengali buffet, Mach, Misti and More, is priced at Rs. 1599/- plus taxes per person and is available from 6.00pm to 11.00pm.