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May 9, 2018

Food fest in Nalban serving some of the tastiest fish dishes of Thakurbari heritage

Food fest in Nalban serving some of the tastiest fish dishes of Thakurbari heritage

A typical Bengali can hardly be kept apart from a daily helping of fish. The great poet and writer, and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore was no different either. He was a well-known lover of fish, indeed of all good food.

Hence, on the occasion of his birth anniversary, better known as ‘Pochishe Baisakh’ (25th of Baisakh, his birthday according to the Bengali calendar), the State Fisheries Development Corporation (SFDC) is organising a fish festival at its restaurant in Nalban in Kolkata.

It started on May 8 and will continue till May 13. This year, Pochishe Baisakh falls on May 9. SFDC is a body under the aegis of the Bengal Government’s Fisheries Department.

The connection between Tagore and fish has been furthered by one of the sources for the dishes – Amish-o-Niramish Randhan, a culinary classic in Bengali by Prajnasundari Devi, a niece of Rabindranath Tagore, an expert chef herself, and whose cooked items were among Rabindranath’s favourites, as well as of many members of Thakurbari (the residents of Jorasankho Thakurbari). The other book from which dishes have been selected is Rannai Boi, another classic, by Leela Majumdar (better known as a children’s author) and Kamala Chattopadhyay.

History says that Thakurbari was a melting pot of cuisines from around the world, be they non-vegetarian or vegetarian. Going with that, the fish dishes selected for the festival also boast of a wide range of influences. Among them are ilisher dolon, bagda chingri bhate, bhetkir gravy cutlet, chingri puff, macher pie, grilled shole and several others.

So what are you waiting for? Head to Nalban before it’s too late and indulge your taste buds in some of the tastiest dishes in Bengali cuisine.