Bengali’s Survival Guide in Delhi

It is no secret that the ‘Bangalee’ has a natural affinity towards all things cultural. The stereotypical ‘bangalee’ does ‘chorcha’ and is vociferously opinionated on well..everything. In fact, the stereotypical ‘bangalee’ is the standard measuring unit for creativity and intellect. Or so he believes. But it is only the well-fed ‘bangalee’ who is the socially responsible stereotype that we’re talking about. Take the maach-bhaat, maangsho and the mishti away and the ‘bangalee’ becomes the cultural equivalent of a rock. We present Delhi’s own havens guaranteed to satiate not only the stereotype’s cravings but yours too!

Bong Appetit

Located in Malviya Nagar market, Bong Appetit aims to capture the essence of old-day Kolkata with its walls adorned by black and white photos of the City of Joy and an oil painting that depicts the famous Howrah Bridge. The owner, who is also the head chef and likes to be called Chef Baron, often enjoys a chat or two with his customers to help guide you through the extensive menu. While there are many fish preparations such as the papda fish cooked in mustard seeds (Shorshe Bata Papda) and the Kolkata Fish Curry (Katla Kalia), we fell in love with their take on the traditional Bengali mutton preparation- the Golbari Kosha Maangsho. They have decent biryanis and the Ilish (Hilsa) biryani is interesting. For dessert, Chef Baron recommends the baked Nolen Gur Ice Cream which is a delight.

Cost for 2: Rs 1000

Where: Block L, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi

Nearest Metro Station: Malviya Nagar

bong appetit

Ma Tara

This 20 year-old simple little restaurant in CR Park’s market-2 is one of the best places for authentic Bengali food. With not many frills around, you can focus your attention on their rice and fish curry (what else!) cooked in a homely style using mustard oil. Their loyal customers also swear by their preparation of Shukto (tempered mixed vegetables).

Cost for 2: Rs 500

Where: 45-47, Market 2, CR Park, New Delhi

Nearest Metro Station: Nehru Place/ Hauz Khas

ma tara

Oh! Calcutta

A usual suspect for this list, Oh! Calcutta does most of their Bengali food very well. We say most because the rest are just divine. A fine-dine restaurant, it also houses a bar that offers interesting cocktails like the Vodka based Aam Panna Cocktail. The Bhappa Ilish (Steam Hilsa) is heavenly as is the Kosha Maangsho. Their traditional Bengali style prawn preparation Daab Chingri blends the mustard and coconut flavours perfectly. The Doi Maach and Mutton Rezala deserve special mention as does their helpful staff that happily helps you explore the Bengali cuisine off their menu. Do not miss the Nolen Gur ice cream.

Cost for 2: Rs 2000

Where: Ground Floor, International Trade Tower, Block E, Nehru Place, New Delhi / Ground Floor, DLF Cyberhub, Cyber City, Gurgaon

Nearest Metro Station: Nehru Place Metro Station, for the Nehru Place outlet/ Vodafone Tower, for the DLF Cyber Hub outlet

oh calcutta 1

oh calcutta 2

City of Joy

These guys take Bengali food very seriously. To the extent that they buy their spices and fish straight from Bengal! A quaint little place perched in the (not so bustling) Aravali Shopping complex in Alaknanda, City of Joy dishes out most of the Bengali delights (Prawn Malai Curry, Bhappa Ilish, Kosha Maangsho, Murighanta, Aloor Dom to name a few) perfectly. But they’re the best in the business for Papda fish preparations and Chicken Rezala.

Cost for 2: Rs 1000

Where: Unit 2, 1st Floor, Aravali Shopping Complex, Alaknanda, New Delhi

Nearest Metro Station: Hauz Khas

city of joy

Ki Hangla

For our Gurgaon readers, Ki Hangla located in Supermart offers respite to those yearning for Bengali and Bangladeshi cuisines. The Dhakai Bhetki curry is a winner while they do a decent job with Kosha Maangsho and Dhokar Dalna. Spot Jamini Roy’s art along with Calcutta-themed motifs on their walls.

Cost for 2: Rs 800

Where: A 201, Super Mart 1, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon

Nearest Metro station: HUDA City Centre

ki hangla 1

 

Big Bongg Theory

This minimalistic place in Shahpur Jat has a simple rule that you can follow to get dazzled- just walk in and order a thali. From their Begun bhaja (fried aubergine fritters) and the cholar daalna (Bengali daal) to the macher jhol (fish curry) and the maanghor jhol (mutton curry) a thali doesn’t get more Bengali than theirs. For dessert, we recommend the payesh (Bengali kheer) with gur (jaggery) that is a perfect end to the meal with its delicate milk-caramel aftertaste. Look out for their Japanese-style plating that elevates the dining experience.

Cost for 2: Rs 800

Where: 122, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi

Nearest Metro Station: Hauz Khas

ki hangla 2

 

Apart from the restaurants, you can always walk into Market-1 and 2 in the evenings to explore a plethora Bengali street food items such as ghugni, bhel puri, jhal muri, cutlets, kathi rolls and phuchka. The famous fish market in Market-2 forms a source of fresh fish not just for hungry Bengalis but a lot of restaurants in Delhi. The market also has shops that sell Bengali spices. And of course CR Park is always swarming with countless mishti shops for the sweet tooth, notably Annapurna Sweet House, Rasoraj Sweets and Kamala Sweets. Special mention goes to the famous Annapurna Bhandar, Chandni Chowk, the first Bengali sweet shop of Delhi, proudly serving gluttons since 1929!

 

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