June 19, 2014

Mango Haat at ITC Sonar,Kolkata

“In keep with ITC Hotels philosophy of being ‘rooted to the soil’, we celebrate the unique diversity of flavours through which Murshidabad mangoes delight connoisseurs of the fruit. This is in keeping with our commitment to sustainability and Responsible Luxury.” – Atul Bhalla (General Manager, ITC Sonar)

Have you heard of Bimli, which carries a classic legend direct from the enchanting history from the Nawabs’ era. During the rule of Mir Jafar, a maid called Bimli worked hard in the leisure garden of the Nawab. While being pleased with her work the Nawab named a new verity of mango that was being cultivating in his garden “Bimli’. Yes Bimli is the name of one of the sweetest and fleshy Mangoes that Murshidabad takes the pride of cultivating it.  Or what about Kohitoor the most legendary Nawabi Mango from Hakim Aga Mohammadi Bagh which would only pluck by hands and would be kept wrapped in cotton wool to keep it fresh. After every 12 hours, the mango has to change its position to ripe uniformly and should be cut with a sharp bamboo wedge but not by a knife. 

Bhavani, Bira, Anaras, Kalapahar Saranga, Molamjam, Ranipasand so and so forth- what do you think they are!!!!They are nothing but all the name of the varieties of Mangoes that leave the trail of the legends of the Nawab’s era again. Moorshidabad, not Murshidabad then used be the Heart of Bengal, the torch bearer of the Indian culture and architecture – The Nawab’s land of luxury.  In the pages of History Murshidabad It was the place where once 200 varieties of mangoes grown alone in the orchards of Murshidabad.

To start with - Thanks to Murshidabad Heritage Development Society (MHDS), iLEAD and ITC Sonar whose joint effort presented ‘Mango Haat’ to introduce the exquisite verities of mangoes where many got extinct but still there are many to bear the pride of the heritage land Murshidabad through the trail of history, the land once famous for its highly nurtured exotic mangoes. Being a part of Kolkata Food Bloggers the invitation to experience the journey with the legendary Mangoes from Murshidabad along with the history was a stupendous experience that last Sunday evening gifted us.

Along with the varieties of Mangoes on display a delectable high tea table enriched the taste buds of the guests. All the delicacies very creatively and sumptuously presented and the common ingredient of all was nothing but Mango. Even it really won the heart to see Sushi made out of Mango. The event became more interesting when Mr. Pradip Chopra the president of Murshidabad Heritage Development Society (MDHS)and the Chairman of iLEAD, enlightened our knowledge with a short documentary mainly based on
the  book – Mangoes From Murshidabad”, written by him.  It not only travelled us several years back to get the glimpses of how Mango used to get cultivated but also introduced to the Sheherwali cusines like Aam ka launi, Aam Chana ka Kutti, Kachhe aam ka kheer etc and there famous mango cutting techniques. If we literally define ‘Sheherwali ’, it means ‘City (sheher)’ dwellers. History says that the Jain Community who settled down in Murshidabad (Jiaganj, Azimgang) was called Sheherwali. Most of them came from Rajasthan with a connection of some business purpose and then settled down here. Apart from their delicious cuisine the most captivating part was their mango cutting technique. It is like a ceremony that has to go through five phases to get the perfect slices of the fleshy mango pieces without having wasting the juice or any finger prints on the flesh.

#The Mangoes has to be soaked in water for 4-5 hours and washed carefully.
#Then the skin has to be cut with two kinds of techniques.u
#Again the mango has to be washed.
#Then the pieces should be cut with utmost care.
#And then serve carefully.
The event was very encouraging to see the effort to bring back one of the glories of the Heritage place like Murshidabad and exhibiting the exquisite collection of mangoes that is not only a rare experience but also an eye opener to take the pride of the treasures that Bengal own.
(All the sources of information was found from the book: Mangoes From Murshidabad, Compiled & Designed by Pradip Chopra and Team iLead)

1 comment:

Hamaree Rasoi said...

After Seeing the FB posts in ITC Sonar, was waiting for this blog.