Have you ever tried Bohri cuisine?? You haven’t even heard of that???
Bohra’s are a subsect of Shia muslims native to Yemen, who later spread to India and Pakistan. Not only their different style of cooking but also the unique way of serving the food, makes there cuisine unique from other muslim sects.
If you are wondering what is so unique about their cuisine. Then why not head for Salt, the only restaurant in Kolkata that serves authentic Bohri dishes.
An invite for dinner from the owner for Panch Phoron group brought us here. It is located near Golpark, opposite Nazrul Manch; more precisely, exact opposite to somnath hall.
The monotony of clean white decor is broken by fluorescent green. It can accommodate around 20 people at a time. One corner of the restaurant has been covered with fluorescent green veil where a family can sit and enjoy their food in privacy which reflects the basic of Bohra community i.e. eating together.
Bohra Muslim community is a group of Shia Muslim and the speciality of their cuisine is being less spicy. Before the beginning of meal, everyone is made to wash hands with a special pot-and-bowl type equipment named chelamchi.
The items we were served –
1. Malai Salli Kebab Chicken – Chicken seekh kebab coated with thin crispy batter was soft and tasty. It was served with salad and tomato ketchup.
2. Samosa Mutton – Samosas are made with filling of cooked spicy minced mutton, spring onions, coriander leaves and mint leaves. The coating is very thin and crispy.
Main course –
1. Haleem (Bohri-style) – It is a creamier variety that is subtly spiced, unlike the spicy Hyderabadi variety, which uses turmeric. The spices used are whole (tej, clove, tejpatta, black pepper) and a bit of garam masala to round off the kick from the whole spices. The creaminess comes from the milk that is added instead of water while stirring and beating the grains. Fried onions, mint and lemon are condiments, without which it would be deemed incomplete. Soft mutton pieces were perfectly cooked and appetizing.
2. Tandoori Laccha paratha – Soft paratha went perfectly with Hyderabadi chicken.
3. Hyderabadi chicken – It is rich in flavours and spices unlike Bohri recipe. Chicken was soft and tasty.
4. Dal chawal pallidu chicken – A very unique dawoodi bohra dish made on happy occasions. A layer of rice and tur dal and chicken served along with gravy made of besan with bottlegourd & drumsticks. The tur Dal is flavoured with tempering made of Curry leaves,fried onions and cumin seeds.
5. Mutton masoor Pulao & Surki – Layers of masoor dal, rice and mutton cooked with garam masala, coriander leaves,onions & yoghurt. This scrumptious one-dish meal is traditionally served with surki which is a cold soup made with the water of boiled tur dal, Dalia powder, chopped spring onions.
6. Dabba gosht mutton – Baked dabba gosht with mutton stock’s white sauce, macaroni, mutton
& Vegetables is a scrumptious casserole dish and a must try.
7. Coriander masala green chicken gravy – It’s a must try over here. Boneless Chicken pieces well marinated with spices and cooked with coriander paste and tasted amazing.
1. Mutton Biriyani – Bohra mutton Biriyani is a bit light on spices. It uses whole garam masala with mutton pieces, finely chopped onions, large cubes of potato. Biriyany was served with fried crisp onions and coriander leaves on top. Mutton was soft and well balanced on spices and the whole dish was delectable.
2. Chicken Biriyani – Bohri Chicken biriyani is again very light on spices. It has no plums and no tomatoes, yet it is a delicious and simple biriyani to relish.
Halwa – The halwa is prepared with dry dates and almonds, pistachios & cashews and has a grainy texture. It is actually named as kharak halwa. It is well balanced on sweetness and extremely ambrosial.
Overall it was an amazing experience and especially because it was the first time I tried this Bohri cuisine. Service was prompt.