Shukto To Kosha Mangsho: Enjoy Bengali Food At This Delhi Fest
Image Credit: The GT Road, All Bengali dishes on a plate

While there is no dearth of regional specialties in India, Bengali cuisine is often deemed as paradise for meat lovers. Why, you ask? Well, most of their popular dishes are either meat-based or seafood delicacies, with a few exceptions of vegetarian delights like shukto and begun bhaja. Even during Durga Puja, while many people fast and abstain from non-vegetarian food, Bengalis relish all the meaty treats.

An ode to the mélange of flavours that encompass this rich and delicious fare, Chef Naresh Kotwal - Executive Chef at The GT Road in New Delhi - is the brains behind the ongoing Bengali food festival at the restaurant. The eatery is known for their lavish buffets and their idea is to bring the best of regional flavours at one place. This time around, Chef Naresh picked on some lip-smacking delicacies from Bengal and incorporated them into their menu.

The meal began with some meaty appetisers like mutton chop. These bite-sized, deep-fried balls were stuffed with minced meat and tasted heavenly when paired with mint-coriander chutney. Next up, we tried the steaming hot daab chingri. For the unversed, daab refers to coconut and chingri means prawns in Bengali. The creamy prawns are cooked inside a green coconut and served hot, straight out of it. The process of cooking the deveined prawns in a coconut, along with coconut milk, is what lends it the creamy texture and mildly sweet flavour.

Source: Daab Chingri/The GT Road 

While the first course of the meal introduced us to Bengali flavours, the main spread was like a dream come true. With a diverse range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, there is plenty to choose from. Meat lovers should definitely keep themselves occupied with kosha mangsho and macher jhol, while vegetarians can dig into shukto, aloo posto as well as dhokar dalna. While the former is a quintessential Bengali mutton dish (cooked in a tomato, onion, and yoghurt curry), the latter is a spicy fish (macher) gravy made with onion, ginger and garlic. Both are best eaten with rice or parotta.

Source: The GT RoadThe shukto is a combination of a variety of vegetables like sweet potatoes, drumsticks, flat beans, raw papaya, and more. The dhokar dalna, a lentil curry made with chana dal dumplings, is savoured with rice. Then there were other non-vegetarian options too like the Kolkata-special biryani as well as dimer dalna (fried egg curry).

Source: Shukto/The GT Road

Apart from meaty treats, if there is anything that Bengalis are known for, it has to be their mishtis or sweet meats. Not just rasgulla, there were a host of other authentic Bengali bites to end the meal on a sweet note. Nolen gurer rasgulla, payesh, kheer kadam, mishti doi, cham cham, sandesh, and much more were on offer at this elaborate Bengali feast that would leave one spoilt for choice.

Source: Kosha Mangsho/The GT Road

    Heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker, add cumin seeds and allow it to splutter. 

    Then, add cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon along with onions, and sauté until the onions turn soft. 

    Next, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell goes away. 

    Add red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder and mix well. 

    Add the mutton pieces and stir well with the masalas. 

    Next, add the curd and gently mix. 

    Now, add 1 cup of water and close the lid. Pressure cook for 10 minutes or 4 whistles. 

    Check whether the mutton is cooked and soft. If not, pressure cook for some more time. 

    Remove the lid of the cooker and cook the gravy on a low flame while stirring for about 5 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated and you get nice, thick gravy. 

    Transfer the gravy to a bowl and garnish with coriander leaves and cumin seeds. 

    Serve kosha mangsho with luchi or steamed rice.