Dal, maach and aloo bhaja

Bengali Food in Pune

Hunting for a Bengali food restaurant in Pune did turn out to be quite tiresome. There are a  few, but we were looking for real authentic Bengali food. In short, we were not exactly looking for restaurants which have Bengali cuisine mentioned in their specialties and posto spelled wrongly in their menus.

So, our search finally brought us to a restaurant at Baner in Pune – Food n Snax. We went for  dinner out there and were delighted to see justice being done to the Bengali cuisine. Besides the restaurant menu, there was a menu dedicated only to the Bengali dishes.

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The restaurant was a small one with hardly 5 tables and each table could accommodate a maximum of 4 people. The rush of people ordering Bengali dishes for pick up made it clear that number of seats was not exactly a challenge for the restaurant. (Of course, a few more tables would not hurt.)

A look into the menu made it pretty clear that this was a reasonably priced restaurant. So, the next step was to figure out the value for money. My friend, the co-author of the blog asked me to choose from the dishes. Well we both have good appetites, but nevertheless, we did not want to waste any food. So the idea was to choose amongst the most common Bengali dishes, but let’s say it this way, not so common in Pune.

So, our order went this way – aloo posto, puri, aloo bhaja, rohu maach jhol, dal and rohu maach shosho baata.

The service was pretty fast and we had the food served at our table in no time.

Puri and aloo bhaja

Puri and aloo bhaja

The dal and aloo bhaja were of the typical taste that you get in a Bengali resturant anywhere in India. This typical is the good typical. We wanted the typical taste. Then it was the puri and aloo posto that we tried. Though oily, the puri was soft and good. The aloo posto on the other hand was just average. It did not exactly have the flavour that I was looking for. It seemed more of a common aloo dum curry that is served in almost all restaurants.

Next was the simple rohu fish curry or what is referred to as the rohu maach jhol. That did work for me. It was a commendable Bengali style fish preparation. A common mistake done by people when trying to prepare a Bengali style of fish curry is the use of ginger and garlic. In Bengali cuisine for fish curry, we mostly avoid ginger and garlic. Fish has its own flavour attached to it, which should not be diminished by ginger or garlic. Every non-vegetarian dish does not have a general cooking formula.

But then there was the rohu maach in shosho baata. Shosho baata rohu maach means rohu fish cooked with grounded or smashed mustard seeds. They say there is memory attached to each part of our body. This definitely brought up a few good memories attached to my tongue. Of course, my interiors have recently created the acidic type of memories, but then it was worth it.

Shosho baata maach

Shoshho baata maach

So, do we recommend this restaurant? Yes, definitely. It was worth a shot.

Would we go back there? Yes, for the shosho baata rohu maach and to try out the other dishes which our bellies did not allow us.

Is it the right place for a perfect hangout?

Not exactly. Too few tables. But then the food does work.

They have an outdoor catering outfit too, if you intend to order Bengali food in bulk for any event.