|Pratima at RK Puram Kalibari Pujo|
While the rites and rituals are carried on by pandits the rest of us are kept busy with pandal hopping, participation in dance, music, recitation competitions, catching music and theater performances all of course accompanied by liberal doses of chops, cutlets, moghlai parathas, radhabolobis and many, many kinds of mishti.
The beginning of this gastronomic 5 day extravaganza is rightfully marked by Anando mela. An unique culinary competition where participants make their signature dishes and showcase the same at the pandals. The categories are pre-decided and marks are given for both taste and presentation. A MasterChef competition of our own which has been famous from long before Gary brought it to notice that homemakers can cook excellent food.
|The ladies having set up wares wait for the judges to arrive|
Patishaptas, cakes, brownies, Hyderabadi cuisine, vada sambar, Goan specialities and more was available for us to gorge on.
The satisfied smiles on the faces of the ladies who had soon covered and packed their wares indicating that they had sold out was a separate story all together.
All self respecting pandals always have a variety of food stalls operating through the pujo days - and this is in addition to the fruits & sweets prashad distributed in the morning and bhog (a different menu each day) served to everyone for lunch. I told you food is if not the center then only slightly off center to the right.
This year we were delighted to find an unassuming Royal Chick Chop serving delicious veg and non veg snacks at Deepanwita apart from other chat, kebab, ice cream, chuski and other stalls. What made Royal stand out was the authenticity of the taste and the care they took to check if customers were satisfied with everything.
|Kolkata style rolls - konno katha hobe na|
|Yummy Moghlai paratha - keema and calorie filled, but who is complaining?|
|Crispy flavorsome cutlets - just my thing|
|The Sugar candy man - some things are eternal|
|A chuski is a must after the spicy stuff from the kebab counters|
|So there is vegetarian fare too|
|Kebabs all set to be grilled over a charcoal fire and served piping hot with mint chutney and lots of love|
|Vegs grillables - we welcome our non bong neighbours who are off non veg due to Navratras|
|Pan - a must have after all that stuff|
Asche bochor aabar hobe - it shall all happen again next year...
till then...Jai Ma!