Friday April 10, 2020

Chhau masks to ‘awe’ visitors this Durga puja

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photo credits:skymetweather.com

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Kolkata: The vibrant and stylised masks worn by practitioners of Chhau, the famed tribal martial dance from West Bengal’s Purulia, will adorn deities at a Durga puja here, organisers said on Saturday, hoping the look will “awe” visitors.

photo credits:durga-puja.org
photo credits:durga-puja.org

One of the biggest festivals of eastern India begins on October 19 and organisers are gearing up to put up their best displays to celebrate the homecoming of Goddess Durga and her family.

Members of the Ajeya Sanghati club in south Kolkata are going with the Chhau dance masks (that extend to several feet) to decorate the deities instead of the elegant shola-pith (sponge wood) ornaments and crowns.

“We are using the colourful masks as the look of our deities. In addition, episodes from the Ramayana will be narrated through giant Chhau masks,” Aparna Bose, a member of the club’s organising committee, said.

The powerful folk dance from Purulia resembles a war, and is characterised by leaps and swift martial art movements.

Many dance numbers are based on episodes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana. The depiction of birds and animals is a distinctive feature of the masks.

She said around 25 artists from Purulia were in Kolkata to craft the masks and sculptures.

“At the entrance, a Jatayu sculpture standing tall at 45 feet will greet visitors. The rest of the figures and masks are of similar height. The overall feel will be that of a shocking display of colours and we hope it awes visitors,” Bose added.

With inputs from IANS

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Foodies Must Try These Dishes from the Streets of Kolkata

Here are 5 must try dishes from the streets of Kolkata

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Foodies Kolkata
Here are the dishes from the streets of Kolkata that foodies would not want to miss. Wikimedia Commons

BY PUJA GUPTA

When you think about Bengali food, you will have a veritable carnival of sweet treats and seafood dishes parading through your mind. While roaming the streets of Kolkata, you will drool at all the delicacies; thats the Kolkata street food scene for you. Every true Bengali food lover has their recommendations or will suggest some must-try street food. But there are a few places which foodies agree you have to try!

Chef Ananya Banerjee, the owner of LAB studio, who hails from West Bengal, lists the top five must-try food items from the streets of Kolkata:

(1) Kathi-roll:The Kathi-roll of Bengal is a famous Mughlai influenced dish. The dish comprises of mutton and chicken rolls, spiced with fresh lemon juice, finely chopped green chilies, red onions and salt and is served as a roll in an egg paratha. Simply mouth-watering!

(2) Jhal Muri: This Bengali take on Chaat, distinguishes itself with the use of mustard oil or paste. This pungent treat is a must-have for a tete-a-tete over tea!

(3) Kobiraji Cutlet: “Kobiraji”, is a juicy cutlet, usually made with prawn coated with a lacy fried egg on outside. “When I was young, I remember going down to the Shyam Bazar- crossing for evening walks with my grandfather. After our walk, we would regularly eat prawn- Kobiraji from a food stall called Allen’s Kitchen. This tiny place has been serving the delicacy for more than 80 years,” says Banerjee.

Jhal muri
Jhal Muri is a Bengali chat that is loved by all foodies. Wikimedia Commons

(4) Moghlai Porota: This is surely not for the faint-hearted! It’s a flaky, crispy porota (parantha) stuffed with mutton mince and eggs. Have one and it will keep your tummy full for the rest of the day! The Anadi-Cabin, a restaurant on Dharmatala streets in Kolkata, is one of the pioneers in making “Mughlai-porota”.

Also Read- The Best Destinations for a Perfect Travel Experience

(5) Macher Chop: Among the many influences that the British gave us in their 200-year reign, the “chop” preparation is very popular. You go anywhere in the world, the word “chop” usually means “cut-of-a-meat”. However, in Bengal, it typically means fish, meat or vegetables, crumb-fried. You will typically get a whiff of that appetizing aroma, from the local roadside snack counters every evening around 5 pm.

It’s barely a preface into the sheer delights Bengali cuisine has to offer, but this must-try is enough to get you hooked! (IANS)