The Journey that is Bangaliana
A long, long time ago, Bangalore was a quiet, peaceful, beautifully clean & green city, lightly populated. There started flourishing a number of engineering colleges and institutes. Students from all over the country flocked to the city, droves from the Eastern region. Within a few years, the IT boom started and in no time, the city was bursting at the seams with a cosmopolitan milieu of populace of which, a considerable chunk was from Bengal.
The students and the newly-employed had left behind their homes, family, friends and… food! That special “Machher Jhol” Ma used to make, “Patishapta” made by Dida, “Tikiya Roll” from the street corner, evening hangout with friends at the favourite roadside tea shop. Most lived in PGs or shared rented apartments. Early settlers would tell you stories of surviving on “Bisi Bele Baat”, Lemon Rice with Kabab from the street vendor and Idli–Vada for breakfast. “Cooking” was a weekend-only exercise, if at all. Only respite was during Durga Puja, when each of the few Puja Associations had stalls setup by Kakimas and Mashimas, selling homemade Bengali food!
If the people come, can their food be far behind?
Gradually, Bengali cuisine stepped in the food scenario of Bangalore. One or two sporadic joints were opened who sold Kolkata-style Biriyani, Chicken Kati Roll and the likes.
Then one fine day in 2002, a first-generation entrepreneur and food enthusiast from Bengal came and opened a restaurant in Koramangala, unpretentiously called “Fish and Sweets”. It served simple, wholesome, home-style meals, which satisfied the hunger and delighted the heart! Slowly but steadily, the word spread and crowd started trickling in. Soon it was time to open a second outlet. The name was changed as well. Thus, started the journey that is “Bangaliana” – a brand name that has become synonymous with authentic, tasty Bengali food.
Since then, quite a number of Bengali restaurants have opened in the city, both casual as well as fine-dining. Oh Calcutta, Bhojohori Manna, 6 Ballygunge Place, The Esplanade, Panch Phoron, Shorshe, Koshe Kosha, Chakum Chukum, Kitchen of Joy, Deckers’ Lane – to name a few. Most of them are operational, while few have downed their shutters.
Nowadays, you can buy typical Bengali fishes like Rohu, Katla, Aar, Boal, Pabda, Tyangra, Koi, Magur, Bele in HAL Market, Russel Market, HSR Layout, Jayanagar 4th Block and many more local markets and supermarkets. Vegetables like Potol, Mocha, Enchor, Pui-shaak, Mishti Kumro are easily available. Bengali sweets shops like the iconic K.C. Das, Banchharam, Moyra – The Sweet Maker, have their outlets all around the city. The Bengali cuisine has become a favourite with good food lovers from all walks of life in Bangalore.
Till date, “Bangaliana” has 6 outlets in Bangalore city, one each in Goa and Pune. It has a catering service in Bangalore.
The menu offers gourmet delicacies like “Maccher Paturi”, Prawn Malai Curry, Mutton Dak Bangla, “Dhokar Dalna”, “Potol Dorma”, “Mochar Ghonto” etc. It periodically hosts special festivals like “Ilish Utsav” and “Fish Festival”.
“Bangaliana” is also proud to be associated with several cultural events like the Bengaluru Bengali Film Festival, Smaranik Theatre Festival.