The city of Calcutta comes alive in a very special way, every year, during Durga Puja.
This is, in fact, a time of great festivity all over India, when the Mother Goddess, Durga, the Ultimate Embodiment of strength, is invoked and her varied forms of Shakti (strength) are worshipped over Nav (nine) Ratri (nights).
In Calcutta – or Kolkata – exquisitely crafted life size clay idols of the Goddess Durga are set up in temples and on fabricated platforms (called Pandals) in various locations, all over the city. Durga is worshipped during these auspicious days as the Universal Mother, the Protector and the Slayer of the demon, Mahishasura. Communities vie with each other to come up with the most original theme for their pandals. People try to visit as many pandals in their town as possible, just to see all the diverse ways in which the themes are used to depict the victory of Good over Evil.
Food and festivity go hand in hand all over the world but Calcutta’s cuisine acquires a new vigor and vitality every year during Durga Puja. It is as much a social event as religious and the streets fill with people from all communities, walking through the night to see the various idols and sample all the foods available for sale. Calcutta excels in creating both traditional and innovative dishes during the five days of festivity.
We invite you to come into Calcutta Wrap & Roll during this festive time and try our Durga Puja Specials. This year our Puja Specials include Fish Chops, Green Pea Kachori, Aloo Dum and Kasturi Sandesh. (These dishes are usually only available on our Catering Menu.)
Fish Chops are my particular favorite. These are amongst the most popular snack foods in Calcutta. Basically a potato croquette, it has a filling of white fish cooked with aromatic spices. The vegetarian version has a filling of beetroot and carrot and is available on our everyday menu. If you haven’t yet tried it you have missed a true culinary gem.
Green Pea Kachori is a Bengali specialty and it fairly overflows with flavor. (Bengali is the language of the state of West Bengal, where Calcutta – or Kolkata – is located.) This Kachori is different from the North Indian Kachori. The dough used for the Calcutta Kachori is soft and it is filled with green peas cooked in whole spices, roasted and powdered to provide aromatic perfection. The green pea Kachori is traditionally paired with Aloo Dum.
The Calcutta Aloo Dum is rich and flavorful and made with whole baby potatoes cooked in an onion-yogurt sauce and then seasoned with roasted spices. Eating it with either the green pea Kachori or a Poori is a must!
The Kasturi Sandesh is Calcutta’s trademark dessert. It is a delightful, silky-soft, fresh homemade cheese creation, flavored with cardamom and pistachio. It is light and smooth and unforgettable.
Try one or all of these specials this weekend. You will not regret it. The only problem may arise from your wanting to see these specials on our Daily Menu!