2019 marks the 187th anniversary of the Durga Pujo at the Mukherjee family in Girish Bhawan in Bhowanipur. It was in 1832 that the family patriarch, Harachandra Mukherjee started Durga Pujo in his premises. His son, illustrious advocate, Girish Mukherjee continued on his fathers footsteps. A tradition that is still continued by the family with the same pomp and splendour.
One of the highlights of the Pujo is that the same kathamo (wooden structure on which the idol is constructed) which was used in 1832 continues to be used to this very day.
And senior members of the family shall regale you with stories of Mahanayak Uttam Kumar, in his heydays, being the star attraction of the Pujo jatras in the family courtyard.
There are no animal sacrifices in Girish Bhavan, the deity here is offered an array of vegetarian delicacies and sweets. There’s shukto, rice, khichuri, vegetables, chutney and a smorgasbord of traditional sweets, but there’s fried rice and vegetable biryani as well in the menu !!
Doshami sees Maa Durga offered the humble panta bhaat (yes, yet again !!!) before she heads for the hills.
(Also no trucks, the menfolk of the family carry Maa Durga to the Adi Ganga where she is immersed).
In this post, the fifth of my Bonedi Barir Mahabhog series, I recreate the Girish Bhawan er Chhanar kalia recipe, following the exact steps as shared by Mrs Indrani Mukherjee, who is a daughter-in-law of Girish bhawan .
And I am grateful to Indrani aunty for allowing me to share this with my readers.
Chhanar Kalia. Homemade Chhana caressed with a hint of mace and nutmeg and oodles of love. Fried to a gorgeous golden. Cooked in a curry perfumed with asafoetida, ginger and whole spices. Food heaven !!!
If you are keen to learn what is served to the deity in the various bonedi barir Pujo as part of their bhog, do stay tuned for more !!
And if you haven’t already, here’s my posts on what’s in the bhog offered to Ma Durga.
PS – Please do not reproduce the content without appropriate permission.