India is an agrarian country ever since Vedic times. Which means that life follows an agrarian calendar based on the annual cycle of farming activities.
The harvest season is one of great celebration in India celebrated all over the country with great fervor. This week is a celebration of the spring harvest. And festivities promise to be in full swing all over the country. Punjab will celebrate the rabi crop harvest with Baisakhi (which also marks the start of the Sikh New Year). The Bengalis usher in their new year with Poila Boishakh festivities. Assam and the North East will celebrate Bohag Bihu, Kerala, will celebrate Vishu and Tamil Nadu will celebrate Puthandu with Mangai-pachadi.
Being in Mumbai, we get a taste of celebrations from all the different farming communities right here in the city! Here is a round-up of harvest festivities and food festivals showcasing traditional dishes made on these days that one can look forward to trying in the city this week:
1. The Bombay Canteen, Lower Parel is dishing up a Rongali Bihu feast in association with Assamese cuisine expert, Gitika Saikia until Sunday, 16th April 2017. Assamese delicacies like Ghila Pitha, Koldi Sana Bhaji Rongalau Aag Kothal Guti, Kothol Gobori and much more are being served as part of a especially curated a la carte menu. One needs to book this feast prior to attending the restaurant as there are only a limited number of meals being served every day.
2. Bengali cuisine specialist Pia Promina Dasgupta Barve has designed a remarkable spread to celebrate Poila Baisakhi at her residence in Bandra on Sunday, 16th April 2017. The feast will include Bengali cuisine delights like Beulir Dal, Dharosher Jhuri Bhaja, Daab Chingri, Murgi Gwalando, Aasto Katla Maacher Kalia Paturi etc. Here is the link to know more about this meal.
3. Through the Authenticook platform that offers culinary experiences through home-cooked meals, one can enjoy traditional Vishu, Bihu and Poila Baisakh meals this week. One such meal is going to be prepared by Ananya Banerjee, well known cookbook author, food curator & chef. She will be presenting a delectable feast on Saturday, 15th April April 2017 at her residence in Sewri that will include delicacies like Doi Mangsho, Chingri Macher Boda, Chanar Paturi, Beguni and many more Poila Baisakh delights. The highlight of Authenticook meals is that most of the dishes are not available in any restaurant in the city and you get to experience how the harvest feast is celebrated in a typical community home.
4. Taj Hotels in Mumbai are bringing the flavor of harvest season to the city by showcasing special Baisakhi and Poila Baisakh delicacies from 14th April 2017 till 23rd April 2017 as part of an exceptional a la carte menu during both lunch and dinner service.
o Masala Kraft at The Taj Mahal Palace, Apollo Bunder will be treating patrons to a mélange of Baisakhi and Poila Baisakh favorites which include Kosha Mangsho – a classic Bengali mutton curry, Koi Macher Paturi – fish steamed in banana leaves, Achari Paneer, Dahi ke Kebab and Punjabi Chole.
o Masala Bay at Taj Lands End, Bandra will be serenading patrons with Baisakhi delights like Pede Wali Lassi, Sukhe Kofte amongst many harvest special preparations.
o Tiqri at Taj Santacruz will be dishing up delectable treats like Potol Posto pointed Gourd in poppy seed based gravy, Dum Wale Rajma Chawal, Makhana Kheer etc.
5. Citrus at The Leela Mumbai, Andheri will be dishing up traditional Baisakhi treats like Peethiwali Tikki, Chooza Makhani, Mardaan Murgh Malaiwala, Paneer Makhanwala, Sarson da Saag, Lahori Seekh, Aloo Bukhara Kofta etc. as part of lunch buffet on Thursday, 13th April , 2017. Also, as part of Vishu celebrations, dishes like Avial, Malabar Parotta, Chemmeen Roast, Kozhi Ularthiyathu, Erachi Chili Fry will be included in the lunch buffet on Friday, 14th April 2017.
The mere mention of all the aforesaid delicacies has us salivating already and we cannot wait to savor them. What about you?