BENGALURU : Luchi with mutton kosha during Durga Puja or suji ka halwa as prasad during Navratri. Celebrations are incomplete without a grand feast. But with no permission from the government for setting up food stalls nears pandals, city chefs and homechefs are keeping the festive feast low-key this year. Some restaurant are letting go of buffets for take away/dine-in thalis, while others are whipping up takeaway boxes for the Navaratri prasad.
Bengaluru Oota Company, near Cambridge Layout, is giving out special Habba boxes. Home chef Divya Prabhakar, who runs the venture, says, “The box mostly contains Gowda and Mangalorean food and all the dishes are packed separately. One box serves one person.”
The box is priced at `650-700 and has to be ordered beforehand.Subhankar Das, chef and owner of Esplanade, a chain of Bengali restaurants, says this is his busiest time of year. A Bengali himself, Das knows about his community’s love for food. Every year Esplanade has made an elaborate menu for their buffet but this year, things will be different.
“We are changing the buffet plans to a thali to maintain safety protocol and social distancing. This will be served only between Oct. 23-27. All non-vegetarian dishes are portioned and will be served in a bowl. The bread, rice, dals and the gravy will be served at the table,” says Das, adding that this year he will miss having stalls at the pandals due to government orders.
The usual spread of 16-17 dishes has been brought down to 13-14, featuring star dishes like Mutton Dak Bunglow, Shorshe Chingri, Fish Orli, Pantua, Roshomalai and more. Other popular restaurants, like Bangaliana and Lazeez in Koramangala, are currently shut for dine in. Takeaway, however, will still be available at the outlets.
Bengalureans celebrating Navratri can also look out for special fasting or Satvik food options. Neel Sharma, who runs a home kitchen called Griham, has come up with a prasad box of puri and channa or suji ka halwa. Vegetarians can head to Khandani Rajdhani, at Orion Mall, for festive takeaway specials.
Maharaj Jodharam Choudhary, the corporate chef of the restaurant, says, “Our rotational menu encompasses the essence of the Indian traditional dishes. This year we have included dishes like dal batti churma, rotla, and moong dal halwa.” Also on offer is the unlimited traditional thali at a special price of `399, plus taxes.