Foodies’ delight as Ahare Bangla Food Festivals kicks off in Kolkata

The West Bengal Government is organizing a Food Festival at the Milan Mela Ground from October 30 to November 2.

An array of dishes, including forgotten ones, fusion food and new-age food, apart from shows by celebrity chefs, seminars on food and songs and dance will be part of the four-day `Ahare Bengla’ to be organized by the State.

In what promises to be a foodie’s delight, the carnival will not only have run-of-the-mill Bengali food, such as prawn malaikari and kosha mangsho, but also exotic dishes of quail, turkey , emu and lamb. Even new and hard-to-get varieties, such as pangash, vennami, basa and vietnami koi, will be part of the mouth-watering spread. Visitors will get to taste culinary delights from across the border with the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission will put up a stall selling mutton kachi biryani and bhuna khichdi.

The Animal Resources department, along with food processing, information and culture, fisheries, agriculture marketing and micro, small and medium enterprises departments, is organizing the festival that will also have stalls of livestock Development Corporation-selling processed meat–Benfish and the state fisheries development corporation.

The primary objective is to promote healthy meat, such as that of quail, emu, turkey and black Bengal goat, which is the best quality mutton, and pork products that are usually not found in restaurants. The department is also showcasing the multiple use of different kinds of rice, such as tulai panji, gobindobhog and black rice, which are rich in protein and healthy. The aim is also to help entrepreneurs who have emu and turkey farms. The festival will have a business-to-business platform to facilitate tie-ups between suppliers and bulk purchasers.

The event also aimed at reviving lost menus of Bengal, among other things. A book on “lost” Bengali recipes will be unveiled, giving instructions on chingri maachher chachchari, galdar kebab, mangser bhaja puli, dimer barfi and several vegetarian items, among 107 recipes.

Stalls will be set up to sell black aromatic rice, known as kala bhat, short-grained aromatic rice, called kalo nunia, gobinda bhog, tulai panji, katari bhog, along with pulses, such as sona mug and bhaja kalai dal.