A home cook will serve rustic fare from the eastern state that you’d be hard-pressed to find in Mumbai
The humble cuisine of Odisha is often overlooked, thanks to the state being sandwiched between culinary powerhouses West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. This weekend, home cook Ananya Banerjee will put the spotlight on fare from the eastern state at a pop-up.
Ananya Banerjee with guests
“I spent a few years of my childhood in Odisha, so I grew up tasting the cuisine. It’s sad that no one serves Odia food in restaurants,” says Banerjee. She shares that food cooked in the northern parts of the state shares similarities with Bengali cuisine, making use of mustard oil and seafood, while the southern parts use ingredients like tamarind and curry leaves, staples in south Indian cooking. “Then, there is the region around Puri and Cuttack, where the food is influenced by the Jagannath Temple’s kitchen.”
Banerjee’s menu will include a mix of dishes from across. “The first course will have Bori Chuda [fried lentil dumplings] and Santula [mixed veggies slow-cooked in their own juices],” she says, adding that another interesting item is Pokhal Bhat, fermented rice served with accompaniments like fish and prawn chutneys, sautéed greens, and spiced potato mash.
Non-vegetarians can look forward to the Machha Soriso Tarkari (mustard-based fish curry) prepared differently from its Bengali counterpart, and Chicken Batibasa, which features poultry slow-cooked in an earthen pot.
“While finalising the desserts, I realised I didn’t want to get into the rosogolla debate,” Banerjee laughs. “Instead, I will be serving Khaja [sugar-coated crispy fried dough] and Chana Poda, which tastes like a baked cheesecake made with paneer,” she adds.
On: August 26, 1 pm
At: Sewri (exact address provided on booking)
Cost: ‘1,100 (vegetarian); ‘1,325 (non-vegetarian)