Calcutta HC does a no-entry, bars 'pandal-hop till you drop' across Bengal

Despite a backtrack, Calcutta High Court’s missed the asura for overreach this puja.

While the rest of the country is fighting the Covid peril by opening up safely, the ball in Bengal seems to bounce along the exact opposite direction.
You’d think that with a spike in Covid cases and deaths in West Bengal, the good folks of the state would lend a collective hand to the Ten-Handed One to cow down the pandemic, if not buffalo down the more traditional asura.

Well, with ‘Pandal-hop till you drop’ remaining their credo in the face of a scourge and in the run-up to the five-day Durga Puja that starts today, Bengalis and their Bengal brethren seem to have passed that job to an entity the state has already passed the buck to: the judiciary. Or, as we suspect, the Calcutta High Court — which on Monday ordered ‘no-entry’ zones inside and around all pandals, relaxing its order a wee bit on Wednesday — didn’t quite wait for an invitation.

One would have sworn that apart from the fact that imposing no-go areas in areas not declared Covid-contaminated has little to do with ensuring people take safety measures — like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing —the court has also shown its puja enthusiasm (sic) to not just do the executive’s job, but also to play deity to the laity. Judicial overreach now finds the court sporting its prosthetic arms poking where it doesn’t belong.

While the rest of the country is fighting the Covid peril by opening up safely, the ball in Bengal seems to bounce along the exact opposite direction. Talk about it being in Calcutta’s court.

Celebrate Durga Pujo With A Plateful Of Shorshe Maach & Ilish Paturi

Durga Pujo, a festivity that celebrates the victory of good over evil, holds a special place in every heart. But one of the most-special aspects of Pujo is the mouthwatering food that gives the celebration a delicious twist.

This year, pledge to cook something new on Durga Pujo. Try these recipes by leading chefs.

Durga Pujo, a festivity that celebrates the victory of good over evil, holds a special place in every heart. But one of the most-special aspects of Pujo is the mouthwatering food that gives the celeb..
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Ingredients for gravy:
Kolkata bekti: 1 kg
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Green chillies: 3-4
Mustard seeds/sarson: 2 tbsp
Onion: 1
Tomato: 1
Pods of garlic: 3-4
Coriander leaves for garnish
Salt to taste

Ingredients to fry fish:
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
Cumin powder (optional): ½ tsp
Ginger-garlic paste: ½ tbsp
Salt to taste

- In a bowl mix the ingredients to fry fish.
- Apply marinate all over fish and rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Geat oil in a pan and fry fish till crispy.
- In a blender/mixer grind onion, mustard seeds, tomato and garlic to make a fine paste.
- Heat oil in a pan and sauté the paste.
- Tip in turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt till oil separates.
- Pour water (1 cup) and stir.
- Now add the fried fish, cover and cook on simmer for 5 minutes.
- Tip in the green chilies just before taking it off the flame and keep the lid on for few minutes.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed white rice or rotis.

(Courtesy: The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat)

Ingredients for gravy:Kolkata bekti: 1 kgTurmeric powder: 1 tspRed chilli powder: 1 tspGreen chillies: 3-4Mustard seeds/sarson: 2 tbspOnion: 1Tomato: 1Pods of garlic: 3-4Coriander leaves for garnishO..
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Mutton: 750 gm
Onion: 3 medium
Meat masala: 1 and 1/2 tsp
Bay leaf: 3
Clove: 5
Sugar: 1 tsp
Halved potato: 3 medium
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Black pepper: 12
Green cardamom: 4
Cinnamon stick: 1/2 inch
Mustard oil: 3/4 cup

Ingredients - For marinating
Garlic: 8 cloves
Powdered turmeric: 2 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 and 1/2 tsp
Yoghurt (curd): 4 tbsp
Ginger: 1 and 1/2 inches
Powdered red peppers: 1 and 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1 and 1/2 tsp

- For marinating the mutton, mix garlic, ginger and onions.
- Grind them together in a mixer to make a smooth paste.
- Wash and clean the mutton.
- Add to it the ingredients for the marinade - yogurt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red pepper powder, some mustard oil, and half of the ginger/garlic/onion paste.
- Let it rest for about 2 hours.
- Ensure that you prick the mutton with a fork so that it absorbs all the flavours.
Heat 2 tbsp. mustard oil in a wok.
- Fry the potatoes till they turn golden brown.
- Keep them aside.
- For cooking the mutton, heat the remaining mustard oil in another wok.
- Add some turmeric to it.
- Temper it with the black pepper, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cloves, and cardamom.
- Add sugar to it.
- Add the remaining onion paste along with meat masala and fry for about 5 minutes.
- When oil separates from the mixture, add the marinated mutton.
- Cook at a low flame for about half an hour.
- Add 2 cups water (depending on how much gravy you want) and cover the wok.
- Let the mutton cook for at least an hour now till the mutton becomes soft and succulent.
- Ensure that the flame is at its lowest.
- Add the fried potatoes and garam masala, and give it good stir.
- Let it cool for some time and then sprinkle freshly chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with either steamed rice, maida luchi (pooris).

(Courtesy: The Westin Kolkata Rajarha)

IngredientsMutton: 750 gmOnion: 3 mediumMeat masala: 1 and 1/2 tspBay leaf: 3Clove: 5Sugar: 1 tspHalved potato: 3 mediumGaram masala powder: 1 tspBlack pepper: 12Green cardamom: 4Cinnamon stick: 1/2 ..
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Hilsa (sliced): 1 kg
Banana leaves: 6-8
Mustard powder: 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Red chili powder: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard oil: 3/4 cup
Green chilies (slit): 8-10

- Cut each banana leaf into half.
- Mix mustard powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, mustard oil and green chilies and apply this paste evenly on the fish pieces.
- Place three to four banana leaves on a tawa and then put another set of leaves on top crosswise.
- Carefully place the hilsa pieces on top and put the remaining masala and oil on top.
- Fold the banana leaves on the fish pieces and tie with a string.
- Place tawa over high heat and cook.
- Color of the leaves will start changing from green to yellow.
- It will take 20-25 mins for hilsa to cook.
- Cook the fish just before serving.

(Courtesy: JW Marriott, Kolkata)

IngredientsHilsa (sliced): 1 kgBanana leaves: 6-8Mustard powder: 2 tbspTurmeric powder: 1 tspRed chili powder: 1 tspSalt to tasteMustard oil: 3/4 cupGreen chilies (slit): 8-10Method- Cut each banana ..
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Prawn with head and tail: 10-12
Raw onion paste without water: 700 gm
Coconut milk or coconut powder: 800 gm
Green chilli: 50 gm
Ginger paste: 50 gm
Garlic paste: 50 gm
Mustard oil: 40 ml
Cinnamon stick: 50 gm
Green cardamom: 50 gm
Bay leaf: 6
Turmeric powder: 30 gm
Red chilli powder: 50 gm
Garam masala powder: 15 gm
Cashew nut paste: 50 gm
Ghee: 200 ml

- Wash and clean lobsters carefully; keep the head attached.
- Marinate lobsters with turmeric and salt and keep aside for 30 minutes.
- Heat mustard oil in large skillet and fry each lobster very carefully until golden brown on both sides for 5 minutes.
- Remove from oil and keep aside to add in the curry for extra flavors.
- Use the same skillet, add additional oil if required.
- Add onion paste and stir-fry briefly to release the fragrance.
- Add ginger paste and 2 green chillies in the pan; sauté for one minute on high flame.
- Add all dry spices including sugar and salt and stir well.
- Once oil starts oozing out from sides add cashew nut paste and fry for 1-2 minutes or until mixed together with spices.
- On low flame, add coconut cream. Mix well.
- Pour warm water, stir gently and bring it to boil.
- Add fried prawns/lobsters and stir lightly.
- Cover the pan and keep on simmer for 5 minutes.
- Flip prawns carefully and turn off the flame.
- Add dollop of ghee and fresh green chilli.
- Keep on steam for 5 more minutes.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.

(Courtesy: JW Marriott, Kolkata)

IngredientsPrawn with head and tail: 10-12Raw onion paste without water: 700 gmCoconut milk or coconut powder: 800 gmGreen chilli: 50 gmGinger paste: 50 gmGarlic paste: 50 gmMustard oil: 40 mlCinnamo..
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