Adda, in Bengali, means a place where people gather for conversation, and where there’s conversation there’s food.
Durgo Puja is here, and so is the time to feast on some authentic Bengali delicacies. While the pandals are some of the most happening places to be at this time of the year, for those who simply want to enjoy a taste of Bengal without the chatter and crowd of the pandals, Monkey Bar is the place to go to.
Spreading the festive cheer, the restobar has come up with a special puja menu that goes beyond the traditional Bengali dishes and gives a quirky spin to it. They are offering a special ‘all-day small plates’ menu for ‘Pujor Adda’, featuring some unique and offbeat dishes. From Malai Chingri Fuluri, a prawn fritter dish, to wholesome Murgir Cutlet, everything has a unique spin to it, while keeping the traditional Bengali flavours intact. Head Chef Sumit Choudhary reveals how the entire menu has been inspired by the indomitable spirit of Bengal that celebrates the triumph of good over evil during this beloved festival.
Adda, in Bengali, means a place where people gather for conversation, and where there’s conversation there’s food. And that is the idea behind the menu. So, what’s on the menu you might ask? All the dishes are filled with tales of Kolkata’s culinary diversity including home-inspired favourites to street-side classics. Small plates of seven dishes are what the menu offers, and it is the best sort of compact menu you can ask for.
Comforting local gems like pulled kosha mangsho sliders with the traditional curry sandwiched in a milk bun stood out for us. It is also one dish that sums up the Durga Puja feast for Chef Sumit who explained how kosha mangsho is important to the cuisine. “Kosha Mangsho being one of the most authentic Bengali delicacies, represents the culture and the warmth of the Bengali cuisines,” he said. Speaking about the idea behind the spin-off of Pulled Kosha Mangsho sliders, he said, “We created our Kosha Mangsho sliders to suit the gastropub aesthetic while also rejoicing in the ceremonial palate from the home-inspired dishes.”
The Bengali-style minced chicken cutlet of Murgir Cutlet was another flavourful addition with khejur chutney, which Chef Sumit said is a “prominent accompaniment throughout pujo and all year round”. The traditional radhuni masala also found its way to the menu. It is what is used in most Bengali homes, and at Monkey Bar, it found a whole new dish dedicated to it in the form of Radhuni Murg Tikka, where chicken was marinated in the spice mix.
Gondhoraj lemon is another very popular ingredient from Bengal and has been used by every Bengali family since ages. Here it found its place in the form of gondhoraj lebu mayo paired with prawns, considering how citrus always works well with seafood, and the aroma of gondhoraj lebu adds an extra flavour to the dish.
Vegetarians, however, have fewer options as only one dish is available on the menu and that is the Mochar Seekh Kebab - banana flower and sweet potato seekh, drizzled with a spicy red chilli sauce. A must-try though. So, if you are a foodie at heart, this is the best time to explore some of the best Bengali cuisine has to offer, or as Chef Sumit puts it, “experience the melting pot of cuisine, culture, experiences, and flavours”.