The Coming Of Age Of Modern Bengali Food
Image Credit: Misti Doi, Kuler Achar, Spinach and Amaranth dust by Ritabrata Biswas

Indian food has seen the coming of age with chefs and masterchefs creating out of the box makeover with everyday dishes, Indian food is seeing a facelift. With contemporary restaurants breaking grounds and even street food elevating to gourmet level, chefs like Gaggan Anand, Manish Mehrotra, Garima Arora to name a few have shown the world their own creative interpretations local homegrown Indian flavours

Taking a look back home, Bengali cuisine is one such versatile cuisine that needs no introduction and when it comes to fusion and modern take Chef Vikramjit Roy, owner, partner ‘The Tangra Project' says “I don’t understand fusion, but what I do is the current culture & lifestyle. What I try to do is take a food memory, use the techniques I have honed over the past 18-20 years to cook it, and present it in a visibly soothing way. The depth of versatility of ingredients, and it’s treatment is so vast in Calcutta, which is mostly never explored, my idea is to get that out in a way which would suit the lifestyle we are leading today!  

 With the wave to modernize the table, it’s like an retro era on the table is served. Rooted into its many of the indigenous elements, this cuisine is also seeing a metamorphosis of sort with dishes like Makha Sandesh and Pecorino, Bandel Cheese Mousse ort as simple as the baked roshogolla.  Ritabrata Biswas, Head Chef Octa & Hammer, Kolkata adds “Bengali food has to get it's place, and that's why I always try to portray the modern part. The fun factor of Modern Bengali Cuisine is you can implement all the modern techniques and still you have a chance to play with traditional flavours. Before we jump into modern culture we all need to realise and gain knowledge about the traditional Bengali cuisine, it's not only about few dishes, but many more.  When I talk Bengali cuisine, I try to mean cuisine from Undivided Bengal. I believe all Chefs, who are from Bengal, they must start showing their interest in their own cuisine”.

Bengal has seen a lot of influence when we take of the food that we see and eat today. Be it the Chinese, Awadhi, or the very favourite European fare, the brown sahib culture has seen a desirable influence in the cuisine.  Morphing or evolution that the food is seen has resulted in innovative plates that sees taste of Bengals ingredients and flavours that too with a twist. Roy further emphasise “For me, it is about evolution. Like for everything else in life, we have evolved - be it the kind of clothes we wear, or the technology we use, or even the mode of communication. But when it comes to food, many a times we still don’t want to go beyond the perception of “authentic” or “traditional”. For me, food should go hand in hand with the lifestyle we are leading. The idea is to understand the essence and core of the culture and use techniques that would help those dishes evolve. The intent is to share the diversity that Calcutta upholds which is for the time we are in - in other words contemporary. Memory plays a big part in my life and the small things we grew up eating, which we might have forgotten, needs to be nudged. For people who have memories of it would be nostalgic about it, but even for people who do not have relative memory would enjoy it completely”.

Summing up as he outs there is no confusion over fusion.