Once Upon A Time – Just Too Maach Bengali Food Festival

Green Park Bengali Food Festival - Komolabhog

Green Park is famous for its Midnight Biryani buffet, and all year around haleem. However, it’s also popular among the bongs in Hyderabad due to its Bengali desserts. This week Green Park is going all out to woo the Bongs and is offering an eye popping menu at a tempting price.

The Bengali Food festival that’s cleverly titled ‘Just too Maach’ began last week, and will go on till this Sunday. As the name suggests, the star attraction are the fish dishes. However, the spread is lavish and offers something for everyone.

Bengali cuisine typically doesn’t have starters in the truest sense of the term. Green Park is serving Kolkata’s famous Kathi Roll (Egg and Chicken) and Peyaji (Onion Pakoda). While the Kathi Roll failed to get the taste of the street food stalls of Bengal, the Peyaji was perfect.

Main course had Khichudi (Khichdi), Dry Fruit Pulao, Kolkata Style Chicken Biryani, Steamed Rice, and Luchi (Puri made from Maida). Sides included Shukto, Chhanar Dalna, Alu Matar Kosha, Bandha Kopir Torkri (Cabbage), Ghoogni, Musoor Dal, and Aloo Bhaja. The Channar Dalna was completely off the mark, but the rest of the dishes felt authentic. Ghoogni, Aloo Bhaja with poshto sprinkled on it, and Luchi is a combination that you must try.

There were a grand total of nine non-vegeterian dishes on offer. Doi Mugh and Mangsher Jhol were the chicken and mutton dishes respectively. Both of them are simple, homely dishes that go well with both Luchi and Rice. Fish offerings included Pona Machher Kalia, Muri Ghonto, Padba Machher Jhal, and Bhetki Machher Paturi. Paturi is one of my favourite preparations of fish, but it’s not an easy dish to serve in a buffet. Green Park also had its problems with serving this. The first set got drenched in the water that pooled in the container after the steam condensed. It was replaced after I pointed it out. The Bhetki Paturi had the flavours I was looking for, but I would have preferred them to have a bit more intensity. The Pabda Machher Jhal hit the right notes for me, but the Muri Ghonto was off key. It had an awfully large amount of rice for a dish that’s supposed to be mainly cabbage prepared with fish bones. Last but not least was Chingri (Prawn) Malai Curry, which I once again liked.

As I mentioned earlier, Green Park is famous for its Bengali desserts, and this was on display in the buffet. Sweet dishes included Chhanar Payesh (which was actually Ras Malai), Sondesh, Malpua, Payesh, Kalakand, Lobongo Latika, Komola Bhog, Cham Cham, Rasogolla, and Chhanaar Jilipi. By the time I reached the desserts, I was stuffed, but somehow, managed to taste each of the sweet dishes on offer.

The Just Too Maach buffet is priced at Rs. 850, which is a great value for money considering what’s on offer. Whether you are a bong or you are looking to explore the various facets of this versatile yet little known cuisine, the food festival is not to be missed.

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