Wow, it’s been almost a year and a half since I’ve been doing the Finely Chopped Mumbai Food Walks.
It’s been a great ride so far. Meeting people from different walks of life. From different parts of the world. The support one has received from various restaurants and eateries has been fabulous. And those in the press and folks who have attended the walks and spread the word have helped the walks grow. What I have really enjoyed is being able to take people to my favourite eating places in Mumbai, order my favourite dishes, introduce people to the folks at the restaurants who have been such kind hosts to me and to see people fall in love with the eateries which have so made me feel at home in Mumbai.
I must confess that what excites me the most is when I am eating, sharing, talking about my own Bengali cuisine. Over the years the options for Bengali food have grown in Mumbai. I have actually done two Bengali Finely Chopped Mumbai Food Walks in Bandra. One covered Bengali snacks and Bengali nouvelle cuisine. The other the Durga Pujo food walk. But the action when it comes to Bengali food lies in Oshiwara. It all started with the Calcutta Club. Then came Kolkata stalwart Bhojohori Manna which has become one of my favourite restaurants in Mumbai and one of the few places in the city that I travel to go and eat at. A place where I often take people to for a taste of classical Bengali home styled cooking. And recently Kamdhenu, a new but very popular entrant to the South Kolkata mishtir dokan (sweet shop) scene has opened at Oshiwara.
A year back I held an Oshiwara Bengali Finely Chopped Food Walk. You can read about it here. Thought I will do one more on Saturday.
So here’s the plan.
We start with a Bengali weekend breakfast which is a stop at the local sweet shop before you go to the fish market. Over there we will talk about the sweet shop culture of Kolkata and the North and South Kolkata tussle. Yes, we will have some sweets too. If lucky we will try some shingaras (Bengali samosas) but last time I went to Kamdhenu I was told this there only in the evening.
We will then move to our next stop for a taste of Bengali Moghlai food which is considered to be an intrinsic part of the DNA of Kolkata. We will try out the biryani here and talk about the origins of biryani and the different types of biryani. We will try some biryani as you will get a very unbiased (!) point of view from me on why we Kolkatans believe that the biryani of Kolkata is the best biryani ever. You will also get to know about the famous Moghlai restaurants of Kolkata so that you know where to head to next you go to Kolkata and what to order there.
You can read my article on biryani which was published in the Times of India Crest here.
We then go to one of my two favourite restaurants in Mumbai to have a 12 course sit down traditional Bengali lunch. During the lunch you will be introduced to the famous dishes of Bengal. The dishes which make us probashi (expat) Bengalis go weak in our knees at the thought of. You will be introduced to the course by course style of eating typical to Bengalis. And the order in which you are supposed to eat the dishes and the rational behind this. You will end the meal as a pro on Bengali food with a clear idea on how to take charge next time you go to a Bengali restaurant to eat.
You can read about my take on the Bengali thala which appeared in the Mint Lounge here.
Pic for representative purposes and is from my lunch at Aheli, Kolkata
One of those who have been on the last Bengali food walk at Oshiwara said that of all the Finely Chopped Walks she has attended, this had the most food.
So come hungry.
# When: 28th June 2014, Saturday
# Time: Lunch. 1200 to 1530 hrs
# Location: Oshiwara Police Station, Andheri (W) Mumbai, near Woodside Inn
# 3 stops including 2 sit down meals: can be made vegetarian friendly
# Costs: Rs 2,500 (two thousand five hundred) per person inclusive of the food tastings.
#Carry umbrellas, eat a light breakfast as this is going to be a heavy eating experience. Carry Digenes as most Bengalis do
Do book early as we keep a small group in the walk to keep the feel of an adda/ outing among friends.
To join, write in at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @finelychopped or write to me at the Finely Chopped Facebook page. Given limited, and fast filling up seats, please don’t change your minds.