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Hungry? Try Chinese Diaoyutai Food for a new experience at ongoing Chinese food festival in New Delhi

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A Chinese recipe for dumplings, Wikimedia
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New Delhi, April 20, 2017: When you get to know that six chefs have specially travelled from China to curate delicacies that represent the essence of Chinese fine dining, it won’t be out of place to expect scrumptious dishes to be served on your platter.

At an ongoing Chinese food festival here, I didn’t have very high expectations but I sat tight for those traditional dumplings, stir-fried vegetables and simple noodles to come my way.

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A shocking surprise awaited me — on offer was the Chinese Diaoyutai cuisine with its absolutely bland flavours and unpalatable recipes.

The style, culture and etiquette associated with the Chinese food is unmatchable. Contrary to its complex presentation, the Chinese Diaoyutai food happens to be extremely simple and colourless. This kind of food will change the perception of Chinese food in India.

The Diaoyutai food festival is on here at Capital Kitchen, Taj Palace till April 22.

Starting with the assorted cold platter, the four course menu winds up with simple desserts — fresh pea paste cake and fresh fruit.

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Hot weather calls for cold food. The assorted cold platter was a combination of fish, chicken and shrimps. With small bites of the three meats, it was a good way to start the meal. There is nothing on the menu was for those who like hot and zesty foods.

This was followed by Fricholoma soup with chunks of chicken in it. I had to ask for some chilly sauce to spice it up a little. The improvisation went well with the cottony pieces of chicken.

The one thing that never disappoints is undoubtedly wine. I clubbed the not so appealing Diaoyutai cuisine food with white wine and it all went just fine.

For the main course, there were braised delicacies, pan fried cod fish chinese, baked mutton chops, steamed jiaozi, braised asparagus with mushroom, glutinous rice and whisker noodles.

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Baked mutton chops were visually quite appetising. It was going to be that one part of the whole course that should not have failed. That tasty look made me feel that it was nicely cooked in mouth-watering masalas but unfortunately, it came out as hard and dry.

It was hard to chew and not so great in taste.

I chose to skip the braised delicacies that were visually quite uninviting unlike the Chinese delicacies from Sichuan that the Indian tongue is used to feasting upon.

Steamed jiaozi was basically a dim sum that went great with the chilli sauce I had been using to give life to the food.

Pan fried cod fish chinese was just edible and so was the whisker noodles that we ate with it.

For dessert, there was fresh pea paste cake and fresh fruit. As they say, all is well that ends well and the end was decent. The cake was not so sweet but nice to eat.

For the sake of a new experience, one can and one should definitely go to the festival and explore this very different Chinese cuisine. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC