Aaheli is the first Bengali fine dining restaurant in the city opened its door on 1993. The name and symbol of Aaheli means authentic food, located in the heart of colonial Kolkata right next to New Market. At Aaheli, one can enjoy from a mammoth spread of a la carte menu and also from a sumptuous thali menu. Bloggers from PanchPhoron were invited to taste few of their dishes from the new menu, which were lost in the sands of time.
To start with, Pur Bhora Bhetki where scrambled fish pieces filled with spices to form a filling. This is coated with bread crumbs, deep fried for that crispy outer shell. Chingri Mochar Chop is an amalgamation of prawn and banana blossom croquet deep fried for that exquisite texture. Mourolar Piyaji is an interesting concoction of flavorful tiny river fish batter fried with fresh cut onion.
To continue, Chirantani Chitol Muithaa is a roulade of chitol fish poached and cooked in golden gravy. Phoolkopi Rai Shorse Palong in which cauliflower cooked with spinach in presence of mustard. In Chingri Ramta, jumbo sized prawns sauteed in clarified butter and cooked in onion and coconut gravy. Bhapa Chhanar Utshab is a gravy dish where homemade cottage cheese delicate dumplings cooked in yellow gravy drizzled with saffron.
Mocha Chingri is a mixture of banana blossoms and shrimps. Raj Thakur er Kasha Handi is a unique dish of its kind where mutton chunks cooked with array of whole spices in clarified butter. Rasun Bhapa Mach is steamed preparation of bhetki fillet seasoned and infused with garlic paste. Mohini Mochar Kofta is a banana blossom dumpling cooked in onion gravy.
Lets salute this honest effort by Aaheli to revive those lost culinary art of Bengali cuisine. The restaurant gives a zamindari ambiance and feeling where delicacies are served in traditional bell metal utensils along with cutlery. Through theme based food festivals in Bengali calendar like Poila Boishak (Bengali New Year), Jamai Sasti, Durga Puja, Poush Parbon, etc one can enjoy exquisite, which is cooked using freshly grind spices. For the price one has to pay also need to have thick fat wallet like a zamindar. Service is slow like an old school but the management can do better with the taste of such wonderful creation.