Madly Bangalee | Bengali food in Delhi

Madly Bangaalee - Interiors
Madly Bangaalee – Interiors

Craving for some Bengali food? I have found a perfect little place for you.

Having lived in Kolkata, there are times when I miss my Bengali food. Owing to my love-hate relation with Kolkata, I had never imagined that a day would come, when I would feel this way. So, itching for some chops and rolls, I went to Delhi’s mini Kolkata, Chittaranjan Park (C.R Park), on a not so sunny afternoon.

I couldn’t wait to have Fish Chop, Mutton Chop, Chicken Seekh Roll and Mutton Seekh Roll. I straightaway headed to Ashirbad in Market no. 3 and had one of the best rolls in Delhi. Soft moghlai parantha and juicy chicken paired with fresh onions, chili sauce and egg, this was heavenly. Maybe not as good as what you get in Kolkata, but certainly came very close. To be honest, I don’t get the fuss around food not being same in different cities. It simply can’t be! The produce, the meat and the spices are different in every region. Hence, I am content with the Kolkata Roll of Delhi, which is the best possible version of the original dish.

The mutton seekh roll was also yummy. I loved the fish chop and mutton chop, both of which had spicy potato filling with crunchy coating on top – my perfect evening snacks, to kick off my Bengali meal.

While driving idly to market number 2, Gurjas and I, spotted numerous groups of men playing cards, ludo and carom (adda), a sight so synonymous with Kolkata.

As soon as we reached Do Number Market, we spotted a relatively new looking place on the first floor. The board read ‘Madly Bangalee. I could spot the graffiti lining the walls and instantly felt like visiting the place.

And as I entered, to my amusement I discovered a relatively hip joint, a rarity, as compared to other humble eateries in the vicinity. Nevertheless, a sense of deja vu instantly followed.

It was 4 PM and the staff was sleeping on the chairs. The graffiti on the wall depicted the leisurely activities (buying fish, adda, eating mach-bhat) in a Bengali’s life. We learnt that the Assamese owner of the restaurant had actually drawn these, himself. Opened recently in the second week of June, it was earlier a small kiosk in the same market.

I noticed bottles of Bhut Jholokia’s (spiciest red chilies) pickles and Bamboo Shoots put on display. The menu, although mostly Bengali, also had Chicken Kiev, which they have retained from their kiosk menu.

The humidity was draining all the energy out of me and the air-conditioning wasn’t helpful either. Without even wasting a second, I placed an order for Aam Pora Shorbat. Actually, I would have done that despite the weather conditions, as it’s my absolute favourite. The thick mango shorbat, is made with boiled raw mangoes pulp, jeera, salt, sugar and chunky masala. It was the best Aam Pora Shorbat I’ve had in Delhi. The sweet, tangy, spicy Indian flavours in this drink were refreshing. It is served in various restaurants in Kolkata before starting the meal. Sometimes, restaurants even serve it to patrons, waiting to get their tables.

Then I ordered Kosha Mangsho and Luchi, the dish I crave to eat whenever I think of Kolkata. Cooked in mustard oil, the mutton curry is made with coriander, yoghurt, pepper, cinnamon, garlic-ginger, onions, tomatoes, bay leaves, cloves, turmeric and sugar. Big pieces of potato and thick curry with juicy pieces of mutton, this luscious curry is best enjoyed with Luchi (Bengali poori with all purpose flour (maida), instead of Atta). Luckily Shubham joined us soon and I was happy to have a Bengali on board with us. I fondly remember the delicious Kosha Mangsho his Mom had prepared, when we visited them in Lucknow. She had put hours of work into making the lavish food spread with Bengali delicacies, which made Shubham, who loves Butter Chicken turn into a typical Bengali. So when he ate his share of Kosha Mangsho at Madly Bangalee, I was glad that just like me, Shubham too gave his nod of approval. The perfect balance of spices, sweet, soft potatoes and well cooked mutton pieces was mouthwatering. The curry tasted home like, simple and unadulterated. Though, they weren’t consistent with their Luchis, as the second batch turned out to be crispy and flaky, they did, however, replace the luchis with softer ones, upon our request.

With the last bite of luchi, we licked our fingers. The meal brought back all the fun times I had eating in ‘The City of Joy’. I feel licking fingers after the meal is quintessentially Bengali and a sure shot indication of a good meal.

Madly Bangaalee - Sweets
Madly Bangaalee – Sweets

We paid the bill and went to Annapurna for some Cham Cham and Rosogullas. By this time, the humidity had reached to a point that we were drenched in sweat. The food, the faces and now the customary humid weather. I guess, that was God’s way of making my Bengali sojourn, complete.

I guess, now I can put aside my craving for Bengali meal. Well, perhaps, only for a while.


In a nutshell:

Location: First Floor, Market 2, Chittaranjan, New Delhi, Delhi 110019

Atmosphere: Depicting a true picture of Bengali life, this café has a pleasant feel with comfortable seating. You may spot the staff sitting and sipping cha or lazying around.

Service: A sweet bunch of dadas who’re happy to serve you. And, they even provide paper soap in finger bowl, yeah, you won’t find this anywhere else, but here.

Food: Authentic Bengali food, perhaps meant for a non-bengali like me.

Must Haves: Aam Pora Shorbat, Kosha Mangsho

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