Article Updated October 19 2015

List of Must-See Pandals for Durga Puja 2015

1. Sushant Lok – Near C-141/142, Opposite Genpact Health Centre & Sushant Arcade.

2. The Sushant Lok Cultural Society , Sushant Lok 1

3. Sushant Lok , Near Paras Hospital

4. Suncity Sector 54 – Aravali Sanskritik Parishad,Community Centre

5.South City II, opposite "F" Block market, Dakshin Gurgaon Pooja committee

6. Sector 56, Kendriya Vihar Durgotsav Samity,

7. Sector 56 – Ankur Cultural Society

8. Sector 56 – Bangiya Parishad Gurgaon

9. Sector 45/46 – Sahastrabdi Durga puja committee, Green Woodcity,

10.Sector 14, Purbapalli, Community Center,

11. Sector 47, Rail Vihar, Sri Sri Durga Puja Samit

12. Valley View Estate on Faridabad Road

13. Banglar parampara – Used to be at Community Centre Phase I and now shifted to Community Centre, Phase III

14. Phase 5, at Dlf City Club

15. Palam Vihar, Kali Bari

16. Sector 10 A – Saradiya Durgatsov Samiti.

 

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The Durga Puja celebrations are ever growing in Gurgaon and each year it gets better than the last one. This would be my puja here and I love it. Do I miss Kolkata? Not really as I can have all the fun and yet avoid the crazy crowds in the Pandals that Kolkata is famous for.

Please note the places in Gurgaon you must visit for a glimpse of the idol

You cannot separate the two – all puja pandals will have their food stalls. I am going to list out some of the stuff that I love. Before that it’s probably important to understand why Bengalis love the food even more during Durga Puja. We “probashi bangali” simply meaning Bengalis who live outside home town, don’t always get the authentic food we grew up with. It’s during this time that everyone in these food stalls try to outdo the others in the traditional taste… to the extent of getting cooks from Kolkata.

This holds true for all of us – that no matter where, how much we love the pizzas and pastas – what tastes best is the food we grew up with. I still love the taste of the egg rolls I used to have in Lake Town (where I lived in Kolkata). They put diluted chili sauce and used cut cucumber and onion in the fillings.

So let’s follow the food trail in the pandals that you can see! There is so much more, but I just highlighted few of my personal favourites in the sequence of what I have been eating or planning to do so in the next few days. I am so lucky that puja lasts for days, so I have enough time to try out everything.

Morning: Breakfast is severed as early as 8:30 am in the pandals – what I would recommend is

Kochuri_Cholar_Dal-601x336

Picture Courtesy and For Recipe, pl visit Ms.Tahira's Article on Mission Sharing Knowledge

'Say it like a Bengali'

Luchi and Chholar Dal      Puri and Dal
Jilipi    Jalebi
Shingara  Samosa
Cha  Tea

Lunch:  around 1ish – have something light

Bhog

Pic Courtesy : MID-DAY

Bhog – this is the Puja Prasad that is served in the pandal. It usually consists of khichuri ( Khitchri) with fried vegetables and papad. In most cases, it is for members and in some pandals people can buy food coupons for the Bhog. One will have to check with the organisers at the Pandal.

Snacks: –  pm, light fill … don’t hog too much here as you have the grand finale dinner coming up

JhalMuri

Pic Courtesy: Indian Eagle

  • Phuchka – Pani Puri . But as all Bengalis would agree they are different. Don’t miss out on this one – a veritable bomb.
  • Jhal Muri – Puffed rice mixed with masala , potato, onion, chilies – seasoned with mustard oil

Dinner:  8 pm … now that is what I wait for all day … yummilicous!

Fish Fry

Pic Courtesy and For Recipe : Mix and Stir

  • Rolls – Parathas with all kinds of fillings – Eggs / Chicken / Mutton and if you really want to go for the double egg single chicken ( my personal favourite)
  • Fish Fingers – yum… ask for kasundi ( mustard sauce Bengali style). My son loves this one!
  • Kobi raji – Mutton Cutlet
  • Fish Fry – this is a larger version of Fish Finger – has more masala in it
  • Vegetable Chop – for the vegetarian friends of mine ( I don’t touch vegetables during Pujas)
  • Biryani – Rice cooked with meat, each region has its own taste, including Kolkata so a must try for biryani lovers. It has its origins in Awadh but that’s a different story.
  • Chicken chaap – again one of my husband’s favourite – Chicken Legs in a curd based marinade and slow cooked with ghee.
  • Mutton kasha – Mutton in a gently bhuno-ed gravy … yum, don’t miss this one.
  •  Fish Kalia & shorshe maach – how can you come to a Bengali gathering and not have fish in either the tomato based curry or the exotic mustard sauce.

Dessert

Misto Doi

Pic Courtesy and For Recipe, visit this website

  • Raj Bhog
  • Rollogolla – plain and Gur one
  • Kacha golla
  • Sondesh
  • Misti Doi

Each puja pandal is different and I would recommend you visit as many as you can. I haven’t visited all the Pujas yet but 90% of the above list is covered.  If you want a feeling of what happens in Kolkata you must visit sector 56 – Bangiya Parishad and Phase III . According to me they are closest to the Kolkata puja that I remember. The food stalls are the best.

I simply had the best biryani, last night at Sector 56 – Bangiya Parishad at the stall called – Dastarkhwan. The chefs has apparently been hijacked from both arsalan as well as aminia – Landmarks in Kolkata.

There were just so many stalls to choose from… hence more visits today as well. Do try the home cooks as well – sweet aunties with casseroles and paper plates. They are as authentic as you can get.

And end the day with mishti paan !

Do write in the comments as what is your favourite place in the pandal that I might have missed !