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Fairs, Festivals, Melas

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Hilsa festival in Kolkata
by Shankha Gosh

     Kolkata: Fans of the Hilsa fish, which is a major delicacy in West Bengal , throng the ongoing Hilsa fish festival in Kolkata to gorge on their favourite dishes. Prices of rupees 400-550 per kilogram notwithstanding, the month-long Hilsa festival is attracting huge crowds. The festival, hosted by Tero Parbon , a Bengali cuisine restaurant in Kolkata, has a wide variety of Hilsa delicacies to offer. Recipes on offer include boneless Elish, a steamed fish dish called 'Bhapa Elish', fish cooked in poppy seeds called 'Elish Posto', a creamy preparation of Elish Malai, fried fish in the form of 'Tele Mashla Bhaja Elish', a sour fish preparation of 'Elish tok' and a lot more. This year, the restaurant is offering a special dish named ' Elisher Horogouri ', which is famous across the Bangladesh . The speciality of the dish is that it tastes both sweet and spicy. For customers like Shampa Chakravorty , obsessed with Hilsa fish, the taste of the fish is so incredible that they refuse to miss any opportunity to savour it even though the prices are sky-rocketing. "The taste of Elish is different from all other fish. For Bengalis, Elish is the supreme fish. That's why even though with high prices, we miss no opportunities to savour it. Other things are sacrificed to enjoy the taste of Elish. The taste is incredible. Elish cannot be compared with any other fish," Chakravorty said. Subrata Ghosh Choudhuri , the director of the restaurant said, that the fish festival has almost become a yearly festival like Durga Puja for the Bengalis in the region. The festival has been organised to offer a wide variety of Hilsa delicacies before the fish hits the market. "Every year we do this festival to present to the people of Calcutta a wide range of Elish items," he added. The festival that started on June 10 will continue for a month.
-June 13, 2009

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