Home Art & Culture Mumbai: Mumbai Bengal connection and the contribution of Bengalis to Mumbai read full story here

Mumbai: Mumbai Bengal connection and the contribution of Bengalis to Mumbai read full story here

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Mumbai: Mumbai Bengal connection and the contribution of Bengalis to Mumbai read full story here

The connection of Bengal and Bombay (erstwhile name of Mumbai), dates back to the pre-independence period.

Seventies saw the huge migration of top corporates from Bengal, to be precise from Kolkata to Bombay. Then and now Bollywood Industry has innumerable Bengali talents be it in direction, acting, music. As per 2011 census Maharashtra has a Bengali population of 4.4 lakhs and the Bengalis with their skill and ability have not only acquired the top positions  in corporate sector, but also in various fields of art like music, acting; the stone work in jewellery is ruled by Bengali. Artisans, flower market reflects huge Bengali population. Restaurants show a huge number of Bengalis  involved whether as entrepreneurs or chef; and it’s not only men, Bengali  women too with their knowledge,  talent, skill, perseverance and their faith on themselves have acquired a respectable position in the ever happening Business Capital.

Today, when I decided to make a series on Bengali Women Entrepreneurs in Mumbai,  as a foodie by nature the first person who came to my mind is a lady with a smile, that is the way I would like to describe her, Sharmila ,the Entrepreneur, the owner of Savory Kitchen, in Thakur Village,  Kandivli East.

Brought up in Mumbai,  she does not have much influence of Kolkata, yet she loves Bengali culture, fond of typical Bengali food “Macher jhol bhaat ” ( fish and rice). Very calm and quiet by nature, Sharmila always preferred a home where she can find peace. Not ambitious, neither dreamt big rather never ever she thought of doing anything on her own.  She was a total homemaker, bringing up her children enjoying peaceful happy life.

Sharmila was always passionate about cooking.  And way back in 2010, she suddenly got an opportunity to put up a stall for one evening during Durga Puja, the festival Bengalis are known for, where the home chefs were allowed to show their cooking skill; she grabbed the opportunity and made Chicken Biryani. Within a few months she got a similar opportunity in the year ending celebration in her society.  In both the occasions her dishes were sold in minutes and she gained huge appreciation and that was just the beginning. After that she started getting small party orders from friends from her society and gradually just by word of mouth the magic of her amazing cooking skill crossed the boundaries of her society, spread to the entire Kandivli region, Malad , Goregaon. She continued to work from home and supply orders.

Her sister who had been and is still her strongest support and who always had faith on her elder sister insisted her to think seriously and give a proper shape to her excellent cooking skill.

“Savory Kitchen”, ( the word Savory means ” good food, good drink “), started on 1st May 2019, but the search for the place and the planning began three years back, when she for the first time felt that she wants to move on with her cooking skill and for doing something big something more she needs a proper set up.

Savory Kitchen is at your service from breakfast till dinner; they have veg and non-veg thalis too at reasonable price. While the regular menu focuses on Chinese and North Indian Cuisine, Savory is ready to serve Bengali cuisine or even continental dishes for party orders. The restaurant offers special dishes / packages on every occasion.

Sharmila says while operating from home for the last six years,  she has learned a lot, gained experience,  got enriched in every way which she now realizes every moment and so now she is not hesitant in taking up challenges and participates in events, food festivals, exhibitions, competitions with confidence and at ease.

Apart from her passion for cooking, trying new dishes, she loves greenery and herself has developed a beautiful corner garden in her balcony.

She has a fascination for beautiful sarees. She loves soft music and being a beautiful singer herself. She loves watching movies.

When asked where she sees herself after five years she replied “I see myself as owner of two restaurants,  one being a fine dining” Savory Bangla” and promises to serve exotic Bengali dishes at affordable prices and at least one “Savory Cart”, Savory on Wheels, and of course satisfied and happy “. Always a smiling face, sweet behavior and honesty is her USP, may all her dreams come true.

News Input by: Debjani Basu Mullick

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