Shubho Nobo Borsho: Celebrating the Bengali New Year at Oh Calcutta, Andheri

Some people have asked me about what’s the traditional way to celebrate the Bengali New Year. What is the right way to wish a Bengali?

Food. Lots of it. Good food. Traditional Bengali food. Hearty eaters. Lots of enthusiasm. A few Bengalis to take charge of the ordering. To explain the menu to everyone. To act as if they were hosting people at their own house. Strategizing on what to order.

Fish chops or fries? Vegetarians? Mochar chop? Must haves? Chhlolar daal luchi. Alu bhaaja please. Alur dom. Ok that will do. Kosha mangsho. Should we do fish curries and rice? Do you want begun bhaaja and daal. Yes, yes don’t worry there will be vegetarian food. I want chicken, I don’t eat red meat. I looove prawns, the one with mustard. And rice please (went the Tamilian). Can I have some rice please? (went the Bengali). More luchis. Lots of them. I don’t want rasgullas. I want rasgullas. Yes, malpuas would be good. What, no malpuas? Chutney. Mango chutney. No chutney? Tomato chutney. Done.

Fish fry

Mochar chop

Alur dom

Kacha lonka murgi

Kosha Mangsho


Chholar daal

Tomato khejurer chutney

Shorshe narkol chingri

Roshogollar payesh

Four beaming Bengalis. Two Malayalis celebrating their New years too. A Marawari married to a Marwari from Calcutta. Twa Tamilians digging into the fish and prawns. One Andhra’ite.

The food arrived. Everyone became quiet. Eating studiously for about two hours as the crowds collected outside. Saturated smiles all around.

As someone aptly summed it “the energy was in the silence”

Yes, that’s as Bengali a way of celebrating the New Year or Poila Boishakh as I can think of.

Now for some green tea to make place for our Chinese dinner

The proud vegetarian ... showcases the wealth of Bengali vegetarian cuisine

Storm before the lunch
No delegation or empowerment when it comes to ordering lunch

"The energy is in the silence" as Deepak said

The Rajni fans cannot have a meal without rice

Finally got some rice after the Rajni fans let go

This is the way we do it


Unknown said…
Life is very unfair. But I have learnt to live vicariously!
Kalyan Karmakar said…
as have your readers Pree :)

Thanks Harman
Kunal said…
Oh Calcutta is on my list of restaurants to visit when I come down to addition to having your home cooked food!
Kalyan Karmakar said…
we will do both Kunal
Kunal said…
Thanks Kalyan...looking forward to that!
Pinku said…
U said it...This IS the way to not only greet a bengali but also welcome the bengali new year :)

Shubho naboborsho...