It is that time of the year when you should stop counting calories and get rid of that fancy diet you had been following. Durga Puja means that it is time to go pandal hopping and indulge in Bengali food delights, available at various stalls in the pandals.
The delicious aroma of Mughlai paranthas laden with eggs and onions, mutton and fish rolls frying, pull not only the Bengali population of the city but also its non- Bengalis. And it is just not food; you can get hold of, saris (taant, dhakai), jewellery, clothes and accessories to add to the experience.
“The pandal has turned into a foodie’s paradise. There are stalls selling biryani, chaat, Bengali rolls, cutlets, jhaal muri, fish and rice amongst others.
Also, there are stalls selling organic food items, t-shirts, jewellery, saris, pillow covers and more,” says Samrat Banerjee of Durgotsab, GK-II. In older pujas, like the one done by Minto Road Puja Samiti, the stalls are more of traditional Kolkata street food.
“We have food stalls selling Kolkata style street food such as chops, cutlets, rolls. We also have stalls selling fancy items such as artificial jewellery,” says Subhasis Chatterjee of Minto Road Puja Samiti.
Delhi-ites are just loving it and since today Navratri fasting ends, many will be free to feast on non-vegetarian delicacies.
“I love going to pandals every evening to have rolls and golgappay (puchkas). Today, I’ll eat the kebabs I saw being cooked the other day, but couldn’t eat as I was going veggie for Navratris,” says Megha Kapoor, a MNC executive.
What to look for
1) Gourments Delight - Puja pandals won’t ever leave you hungry. The various stalls offer items such as rolls, kebabs, momos and more.
2) For shopaholics - There are stalls selling saris, t-shirts, cushion covers, bedsheets. Also artificial jewellery and trinkets.
3) Your Future - There are stalls for tarot reading, palmistry, astrology
4) Cultural programmes