During Durga puja, the one thing that everyone looks forward to is the puja bhog. But the piping hot khichuri paired with the tangy mango chutney and other delicacies on the bhog platter will be missed being had at the pandals this year. However, a lot of home chefs across the country have come up with a plan B to home-deliver bhog, which you can have while doing a virtual darshan of Ma Durga.
Bhog in a box
Pune’s Priyadarshi Banerjee has three different menus for Saptami, Ashtami and Navami. He will be cooking the food in the mustard oil which is typical of many Bengali kitchens. “I have less oily food on the pujo menu this time. Apart from the regular dishes, there is fish chop and chicken dakbunglow too. We also have a special biryani in which people will be able to enjoy the flavours of Kolkata,” shares Priyadarshi. On the other hand, Bangalore’s Srimoyee Ray Banerjee has a non-vegetarian platter on offer for Saptami and Ashtami, and a veg platter for Navami. “Everything that Bengalis love to eat is a part of my platter, including kosha mangsho and chingri maacher malai curry. I am getting orders for small get-togethers at peoples’ homes,” says Srimoyee, whose sells a thali for Rs950 approximately.
While many are experimenting with the dishes, home chefs Dipanjan Mukherjee and Sabyasachi Roy are sticking to the traditional delicacies. “Generally, bhog has vegetarian dishes only and that’s why we are offering the traditional khichuri, labra (mix-veg), aloo dum, and tomato chutney to people. We use senda namak and no garlic or clove in the meals,” shares Sabyasachi.
‘Home kitchens are trustworthy’ Mumbai-based home-chef Shibanie Bose recently re-launched her home kitchen and introduced a pujo special menu which has been receiving great response. “I think home kitchens have become a preferred option amid the pandemic because these are small businesses and people feel it’s a safer option to order from a home kitchen than a restaurant. I am cooking the meals with my mother and we have restricted the order limit to 40 people daily. We have two platters- the vegetarian platter costs Rs700, and the non-vegetarian one is for Rs1000. The platters have dishes like dry fruit pulao, beguni, soya bean chunk curry, paneer curry, chicken tikka biryani, egg rolls etc,” shares Shibanie.
While Sourabh Ghosh, who is a Kolkata-based home chef shares, “Safety is of paramount importance in the current situation and we are making sure to maintain that while cooking. That’s why I am cooking the meal orders alone. It’s safer and helps maintain the quality and taste too. I take only 20 orders per day and deliver the orders myself”