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Joransanko Thakurbari’s ‘Glutton Club’ where voting happened on basis of best dishes!

28 October, 2020 16:40:33
Joransanko Thakurbari’s ‘Glutton Club’ where voting happened on basis of best dishes!

Jorasanko Thakurbari had laid the path for several events and ideologies that were part of Bengal Renaissance. Surprisingly, there is mention of a ‘Glutton Club’ in Thakurbari where regular elections were held and getting votes depended upon how well the members were treated with good food. Once it so happened that poet Jasim-ud-din stood as a candidate in the club elections and his inability to satisfy the appetite of the general members almost made him lose the elections. 

At that point to save his grace came Rabindranath Tagore’s nephew and the well-known artist of Bengal Renaissance, Abanindranath Tagore. Though we are aware of Aban Thakur’s artistic skills, specially his work with alpona and Bengal Art, many of us do not know that he was also known as ‘chef of the chefs.’ So Aban Thakur decided to play the savior by cooking ‘Josi Kebab’ an experimental dish that was hardly cooked anywhere before, His dish placed Jasim-ud-din in the winning stride. Unfortunately, Abanindranath’s ‘Josi Kebab’ was never ever cooked again as the formula for the delicacy was kept a secret. 

Under the British rule, one gets mention of many other ‘glutton clubs’ in Kolkata set up by stalwarts of Bengal. Perhaps 19th-century is the one that can be apparently identified as the golden age of Bengal. This was the era when the progressive Bengalis were starting to peep into Mr. Wilson’s hotel (Now called The Great Eastern Hotel), Spences and the Palety leaving behind ordinary food joints. What we can call globalization in the world of cuisine. Interesting, Bengal did not have tea stalls or shops around busy junctions like we see today. Instead, enthusiastic Bengalis set up cabin joints like ‘Basanta Cabin.’

Story Tag:
  • Jorasanko Thakur Bari, Kolkata

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