History of Royal Bengal Kitchen

“The herds are shut in byre and hut
For loosed till dawn are we.
This is the hour of pride and power,
Talon and tush and claw.
Oh! Hear the call- Good hunting all
That keep the Jungle law.”

These are some famous lines from Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book. We had the book as our text in 8th Grade at our school, Loretto Convent, in Kolkata, India.

Bengal Tiger. Photo by brian.gratwicke

Bengal Tiger. Photo by brian.gratwicke

Bengal Tigers dwell in tropical jungles, brush, marsh lands and tall grasslands in fragmented areas of Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Bhutan and Myanmar, which was previously Burma. The vast swampy delta of the two great Indian rivers, the Brahmaputra and the Ganges extends over a vast area. Mangrove forests, swamps and forested islands form a dense weaving design with many small rivers and streams. This is the home of Sunderban National Park, the sanctuary of the wild Bengal Tigers. The Bird Sanctuary at Sajnakhali is in that area also.

Roma's Royal Bengal Catering kiosk

Roma's Royal Bengal Catering kiosk

My mother’s family was from the Sajnakhali village in the Sunderban area of West Bengal, the home of the gorgeous Bengal Tigers. (Later, when the government took over the area for the Tiger and Bird sanctuary, my grandfather bought a house in Kolkata in the early 1800’s. My mother was born in Kolkata.) About two hundred years ago, my distant great great uncle was only four weeks old and his mother and grandmother massaged him with oil in the front open porch of their house and went inside for a second to get warm water to bathe him. When they came back they found only the cloth that the baby was wrapped in. The baby was taken away by a Bengal Tiger. I named my former restaurant “Royal Bengal Kitchen”, and initially my catering service “Roma’s Royal Bengal Kitchen,” in the honor of my lost great great uncle. I am also working on my cookbook, “From the Royal Bengal Kitchen.”

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