Bong Blast!

 
I don’t claim to know much about Bengali Food & Flavors; but today’s lunch was just too yummy for me not to write about.. Its a quaint little place called Bhojohari Manna in a lane right behind our house in Oshiwara in Mumbai.. And like the Manna De song it is named after, it has a casual, homely, and utterly inviting vibe..
Why did I go there today and what was so special? Our dear friends Rohit & Apoorva reminded us that during Durga Puja time, they’re sure to have a fantastic special menu.. So despite being the hardcore North Indian, I happily headed there for lunch.. Before I begin the actual review, I want to tell you about the discovery of the day. Rohit informed me that the lemons served here(in picture below) are traditional to the Bengal region and are called Shatkora. They have not as sour as our regular lemons and are more orangey! The Aam Panna is also deeeelicious…
Now, please be warned that this isn’t a review, review.. I can’t understand or pronounce half the Bong-named dishes.. This post is more a ‘call to action’.. Coz the flavor riot that BM has going on ought to be experienced.. So here’s the deal.. During ‘pujo’ time, the place dispenses with its usual a-la-carte menu in favor of 5 days of ‘special set thalis’. We got so lucky, because today turned out to be the last day. And that also meant, the yummiest thali. The non-veg thali is INR 600 (all in) and the vegetarian is INR 450 (all in).. I promise I’m not biased against vegetarianism; but really, to truly appreciate the Bhojohari experience, only go non-veg.
Special Thali Menu
This substantial thali, served by extremely sweet, eager, and mild mannered Bengali men; is really like Bengal on a plate. Like I admitted, my own food aesthetic is either North Indian, or Western. Despite that, I can tell you that the flavor profile and diversity of the dishes on this thali will really blow your mind. And my husband Kartik (who, though not Bong, but has a strong Cal connection and has introduced me to Kasundi) tells me on good authority that its super-authentic too – much more so than the urbanized fair that a place like Oh Calcutta would churn out.
There is a pungent, ‘wake up you sleepy head’ preparation of Mustard Whole Fish(Pabda Shorshe) which is balanced out with yoghurt so it goes down smoothly. Then you have a mildly spicy Mutton Korma, that falls off the bone with onions that have been caramelized to a goo! There are two of the most giant prawns ‘chingri’ in a sweet & spicy curry(Bangda Chingri Bangali Roast). A typical Bengali sweet daal. All in generous portions, with two huge mounds of rice – one plain, the other a sweetish matar pulav. To literally top it off, something that’s a lot like the Parsi ‘salli’, or what I have grown up eating as Aloo Laccha. The fried potato thins to add that perfect textural ‘crisp’ to your curried madness. Its all super yum and super filling.
The meal is finished off with two good sized Gulab Jamuns.. And that too my favorite kind.. ie without any khoya or dry fruit in the center.. Just plain Gulabo Goodness. I tell you, I’m so fed up of having everything dry-fruit stuffed being married into a Marwari family.. this was a rare and welcome treat.. My only grouse.. The Gulab Jamuns are served chilled.. And I’d rather have them piping hot.. So I got mine to go and heated them at home.. Suggest you do the same.
I didn’t really taste the Veg Thali. So here’s a picture and I request Apoorva, who had the thali, to share her thoughts in the comment section.
Image
By the time you’re done licking your fingers and your plate, they dunk some yummy paan in front of you.. That’s their sweetest way of saying, adios.. And its no wonder, because the line of hungry and expectant customers outside beckons a quick turn-around.. Not ‘sagar-quick’ (for those familiar with Delhi), but fast enough; though I’m not complaining.
Even in normal course, the Bhojohari experience has to be had.. Attentive staff, a delightfully authentic and interesting menu, and good value for money.. So whenever you’re in the mood for flavors that are totally unique, head to the Bong Blast at Bhojohari Manna!
Tip: Regular menu favorites include the Aam Panna to drink, the Chingri Malai Daab which is prawns cooked and dunked in Coconut, and the most mouthwatering dessert – Natun Gurer Ice Cream, which is the new-jaggery ice cream that is specially flown in from Kolkata; keepin it totally real!
Bhojohori Manna Oshiwara Address : 3 & 4, Reliable Business Centre, Near Om Heera Panna Mall, Oshiwara, Mumbai. Phone Number 022 65993385, +91 9223173135

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One thought on “Bong Blast!

  1. The yum stuff first- chana dal and the jhinge alu poshto. Got to order these again. The mix sabzi-dunno what its called- was nice too, except it had egg plant, which does not work for me personally. There is no escaping the essential paneer ‘item’- so it was there in the form of kofta in gravy. Tomato chutney was forgotten and brought to us in the end as dessert! The sweet rice was more suited to the non-veg thali with the mutton. I agree with anuja on hot GJs rather than cold ones. They need to be warm to melt in your mouth. All in all, would i order the veg thali again? No, but i would definitely pick the best from the thali and order that again.

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