Aaheli is one of the renowned names in the market, that serves authentic Bengali food. Cooking food in traditional style had always been their forte. This is the time when all restaurant serving Bengali cuisines are coming up with hilsa festivals and special menu. Aaheli, too, has made a position for itself by coming with ‘Aaheli te Ilishe Guri’ festival at the Axis Mall branch. Panchphoron was invited for a food tasting on the occasion of this festival. The décor of this place is quite stunning, which makes it easily distinguishable compared to the other eateries in the mall.
This year Aaheli has come with thirteen authentic and traditional Hilsa preparations.
1. Ilish Dim er Bora ( ₹355 ) – Fried eggs of hilsa is one the most heavenly things that a bong can desire of. So, this one is a must have as a starter. Also, the size of the eggs are quite large, enough to satisfy one’s love for hilsa eggs !
2. Ilish patishapta ( ₹555 ) – Aaheli needs a huge round of applause for coming up with such an innovative idea. Deboned Hilsa marinated with spices was made into a mash and stuffed into pancakes. Thus, the sweet patishapta was given a new form.
3. Bhaja ilish er moja ( ₹695 ) – Who won’t prefer to have a fried hilsa? I can leave everything to have a hot fried hilsa. My mouth has already started watering. So, don’t miss out on this !
4. Pui saag a ilish matha ( ₹325 ) – Pui saag is something which always has been an eternal part of a Bengali meal. It is generally cooked with the head of fish and when it’s hilsa, then needless to say, that it’s bound to be good.
5. Ilish matha diye dal ( ₹225 ) – With fine rice, this tasted heavenly. The dal was thick and consistent. The taste was amazing. If you are on for a complete meal, don’t let this go.
6. Kancha Ilisher jhal ( ₹755 ) – What was lovely about this dish was that the hilsa was poached instead of being fried. It was further cooked with black cumins in a light gravy.
7. Ilish er ullash ( ₹755 ) – A tomato onion gravy is one the commonest preparations of fish in a Bengali household, if not done with mustard paste. But hilsa is generally not cooked at home in this typical onion gravy. So, one must try this out.
8. Ilish Macher tenga ( ₹755 ) – The fish is cooked in a tangy gravy flavoured with tamarind, which imparts a unique taste to the fish, much like the well known ‘ilish er tok’.
9. Anarasi ilish ( ₹755 ) – Being an ardent lover of pineapple, this was something that had caught my attention. Moreover the fish was cooked with pineapple and served inside a hollow pineapple, which made it look stunning !
10. Ilish begun er tal-mil ( ₹755 ) – Here, hilsa is cooked with brinjal and black cumin. Hilsa with brinjal is one of the oldest hilsa preparations, and it was actually different from the others
11. Doodhe ilish ( ₹755 ) – This was creamy as the fish was cooked with milk and yogurt. Most importantly its taste is actually tangy which makes it unique from the other preparations.
12. Aam tel hilsa ( ₹755 ) – Aam tel which is generally had with puffed rice, as an evening snack is very wisely used in cooking hilsa. The tanginess of the pickle along with its spiciness is bound to create magic.
13. Narkeli ilish ( ₹755 ) – The name suggests this to be comparable to the famous Malaikari. This too is cooked in a coconut gravy and hence has a promising flavour like a Malaikari.
Apart from these preparations, there are two types of thalis :
1. Ilish Khichuri r Tal-mil ( ₹1175 ) – In this rainy season, this deadly combo can perfectly enhance your mood. Fried hilsa along with khichuri dripped in desi ghee is something that will definitely impress you.
2. Ilish Thalir Sanjog ( ₹1275 ) – This is a complete thali with different hilsa preparations and other accompaniments. This is a meal for a person and can occasionally serve two depending on the appetite.
Overall, Aaheli has a lot to offer this year. It’s time to relish these preparations and get nostalgic at Aaheli with the traditional flavours. The fish has been cooked with utmost care and paired with ingredients that make it even more delectable. The festival will continue for the whole of August so make sure you don’t miss out on this !