Anybody who has grown up in the city of joy and has been a regular in the mela (fair) circuit will fondly remember the line of food stalls that adorned these fairs. Most of us who had been to book fairs in Maidan area before it shifted to Milan Mela ( opposite Science City) would remember queuing up for their favourite Benfish products at Book fair. After I finished my quota of buying books, I hated waiting with my parents at UBI auditorium listening to panel discussions or dragging my feet along with their snail paced stroll around the little magazine stalls. My mother sensing my irritation would whisper into my ears that the Benfish stall is another 5 min walk and I would cheer up. Reminiscing about childhood and Kolkata book fair another blogger proudly announced to a T.V reporter that she came to book fair for ice-cream.
Read her post http://roadtoneverland.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/why-i-dont-love-books/ as she fondly shares her experience.
Similarly I never missed a trip to the Durga Puja at Park Circus Maidan, Kolkata for the sheer joy of attending a mela(fair). What I love about Durga Puja in Chittaranjan Park, Delhi are the food stalls. The variety of food that one gets to gorge on is a pure delight for an epicurean. In Delhi, Bijoli Grill had replaced my craving for Benfish products. I made it a point to call up Bijoli Grill to figure out their stall. I wish Bijoli Grill served their ice-cream soda.
This Puja I am looking forward to an interesting stall called Bento Bong. As its facebook page claims, the idea of the stall stemmed from a lazy lunch of friends and transformed into a business venture. Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar, who wears many a hats (linguist, photographer and a trained kitchen hand) is a one woman army. As I jokingly remind her about the impending thesis submission she says Bento Bong will help her to put together her act. She takes out a sample of Bentobong box from her backpack and her eyes light up as she passionately weaves a tale of Bengali food that she will be cooking and serving along with two other helping hands. The meals will be served in handy boxes.
Kicking off on 9 October three Bento boxes will be available in the following combinations:-
Snack Bento – I ( Fish Fry, Veg Cutlet, French Heart Cookie, Salad, Kasundi) – Rs 120
Snack Bento –II ( Prawn Orley, Fish Fry, Veg Cutlet, French Heart Cookie, Salad, Kasundi)- Rs 180
Meal Bento ( Rice, Moong Dal, Bora, GaldaChingriMalaiCurry,DoiRui, Mishti Pan)- Rs 320
As she gives me a tour of the stall in Co-operative Ground, Chittaranjan Park explaining to me her plans, a surprise waits for me. She asks for two chairs and we sit in the empty stall. She opens a flap and takes out a Bento Box . Anumitra says, “Try it out”.
I open the box with care and find a gift of “fish fry”- a nice generous fillet of fish coated with breadcrumbs sitting pretty in front of me. The juicy, moist pieces of fillet fill my mouth and secretly I yearn to taste the Meal Bento where my favourite GaldaChingrir Malai Curry – a prawn preparation in coconut milk will be served. I leave the Co-operative Ground with content and intention of getting back to try Bento Bong and other food stalls in the vicinity of Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi.
For more details and updates visit Bento Bong page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BB.bentobong).