Since time immemorial, food connoisseurs have been falling back on the delicious cooking of their mother and grandmother. At a recent event that saw city’s eminent persons delight in some lip-smacking food tasting, the lost recipes of Bengal were discussed, cooked and shared. With the thought that ‘We do not just lose ancient recipes; we leave behind the love along with them’, culinary expert and former journalist, Sharmila Basu Thakur, and veteran culinary content creator, Indrajit Lahiri, had an engaging discussion.”I have had the good fortune of learning to cook from my mother and grandmother, who were excellent at rustling up delicious Bengali dishes. Greats of Bengal such as Kabi Nazrul had also visited my maternal uncle’s home (mama bari) for an enjoyable meal. I am a foodie as well as a keen cook and so I conceptualised this event pretty naturally,” said Sharmila.Attended by several prominent people in the city such as food connoisseur and great great grandson of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, Shahanshah Mirza, Honorary Consul of Norway in Kolkata, Nayantara Palchoudhuri, KCC director Reena Dewan, author Rupa Chakraborti and interdisciplinary artiste Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee, among others, the event saw huge appreciation for the recipes. “I loved the fact that such a concept was thought of. It’s really nice and important to bring forth the culinary treasure we have. Our grandparents would know the correct food value and the food combinations for a healthy life. Now with global fusion food, we are probably making wrong permutation combinations,” said Shahanshah.With the festive season just a month away, this event celebrated Bangaliana and aimed to bring back or at least discuss the once-loved culinary delights like daaber payesh, beetroot bata and stuffed eggplant, to name a few. Each of these items has a unique story around it. For example, boukhuda bhaat was the typical rice cooked with leftovers by the women of the house as they were often the last ones to eat when there was not much food left. The session saw an engaging discussion among food enthusiasts who shared many such anecdotes followed by an exotic lunch based on the lost Bengali menu.
Source: Times of India