One of the many draws of Durga Puja is the number of food stalls in make-shift tents that are set up during the Puja days, dotting the city lanes and bylanes. The sheer variety of items is a testament to the fact that food has and probably always will be one of the most crucial mediums through which people celebrate. Even in households, there is almost a ritualistic way of cooking food during the festivities, be it by adhering to strict scriptures or to certain family traditions. Our idea of Durga Puja certainly could not let go of the joy of food and cooking that is part of the festival season.
For our Durga Puja spread, we started off by paying our homage to early morning wanderings in shorot and almost chancing upon a small hole-in-the-wall that serves Bengali breakfast, i.e. a healthy dose of sweet chola daal with kochuri; we substituted kochuri to have a dhakai porotta which seemed to us more festive. For the next dishes, we continued going back to our personal memories of Puja food. So, ideas of particularly pujo food were played around with to offer a spread that is distinctively festive and yet familiar with special honourable mentions of dishes like chaap with considerable street cred. What we had finally was something that we thought reflects the spirit of pujo in Kolkata, where shukto, a strictly vegetarian, ‘holy’ dish can easily become part of a spread that features chaap, a dish with arguably ‘mleccho’ (foreign, dirty) origins.
Explore delicious ingredients for your Durga Puja spread in our collection: