For my business purposes, I go to the north-east part of India quite regularly. In fact, Guwahati in Assam and Agartala in Tripura is quite familiar to me. So the first time I got some black rice from Guwahati to my home, my family was kinda shocked. But I am good at nagging and Oindrila cooked the
But that’s long back and now, black rice is becoming a rage, even in Kolkata, thanks to a restaurant. And this post talks on that.
Black rice is glutinous rice. It’s grown mostly in South East Asia. In Manipur, this is very popular and named as Chak Hao. There and in Myanmar, desserts are made out of it. And owing to the typical glutinous nature, it comes out well. But there is this new place in Kolkata named Ekdalia RD, who is experimenting a lot with the variety.
So, Ekdalia RD is a small restaurant. If one goes from Kasba flyover towards Ekdalia Evergreen Durgapuja zone, it comes on your tight. Tucked in a lane, it’s visible from the main road. The parking space is limited to 2-3 vehicles, but paid parking is available on the main road. Surojit Rout has converted the ground floor of a residential building into a restaurant. Hence, instead of one or two large rooms, 2 small seat-out areas are there and there’s the show kitchen. The seating arrangement is done innovatively. Though I’d have loved the typical setup, But this one looks good and gels with the ambiance well.
‘Whenever we go to a new place, we tend to consult the person-in-charge for the suggestion. My friend and senior food writer Sabyasachi Roychowdhury were there in town and we met up there over lunch. We ordered crunchy papaya salad as starter and Surojit sent two pineapple based mocktails as welcome drinks.
Surojit used to be a hardcore finance guy working in
Sabyasachi da and myself, we both are a fan of Porkchop. And
And the next dish was Kingfish Steak. and this dish was the showstopper of the day. The quality was perfect and grilling was done right. If I go back again, I’ll go for this one definitely. But whatever be it, loads of care was given to detailed plating and it’s evident from even the pile-up of mashed potato.
Next dish was the famous Kadaknath chicken with black rice. For those who do not know, Kadaknath chicken is the black chicken locally bred in Madhya Pradesh. The meat and even the bones are black in color. Its fat content is very very low, as compared to normal chicken and thus, is said to be more healthy. This was my first tryst with Kadaknath chicken and frankly, I was not really impressed. Please don’t get me wrong, the dish was great, but the chicken tasted like a normal country chicken. There were black veins inside the meat (please check the pic) and it tasted of
The black rice, however, was interesting and I’m so happy that they sell this black rice preparation as an a la carte dish, other than an accompaniment.
The dessert was home-made Muffins. I am not really a fan of desserts, so maybe the next time, I’ll give it a skip. Overall, the experience was fantastic. I’ve seen these small owner-run boutique restaurants in other parts of the
And the rice festival at Gateway Hotel
But the second part of this
You can check on my Hilsa experience at The Gateway here
The entire menu was divided
- Badshahbhog from Birbhum
- Tulaipanji from Dinajpur
- Gobindobhog from Birbhum
- Gandheswari from Bankura
- Dudheswar from 24 Parganas
- Agniban from 24 Parganas
- Kalonunia from Jalpaiguri
- Bahurupi from Nadia
- Kananchur from 24 parganas and
- Kamini Atap from 24 PArganas
We tasted the thali and let me be honest, one thali is difficult to fully finish by one single person. I am, by no means, a light eater. But this was too much. 5 varieties of rice, including my favorite Black rice were there with fish, mutton, chicken and other accompaniments. And I must say, they’re a treat to simply look at.
I always believe in something. Whoever introduces something new, becomes the leader and I must thank The Gateway Management to think up of something like this. And managing the logistics and pulling up the show is a big deal in this case.
So, how many varieties of rice have you tasted ? How do you like the Black Rice ? Do let me know in the comment section.