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Pithé Power: The pursuit of sweetness at Big Bongg Theory

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An elderly family friend used to quip: “Drinking without smoking is like juvenile without delinquency.” Me, I like to extend that conceit to Makar Sankranti without pithé — the one is unthinkable without the other. 
Last January I scarcely knew when this annual rite of passage of Bengalis came to pass. I was still a bit of a newbie in Delhi, still finding my feet in the city. I was not up to making pithé to celebrate the occasion. So a much-loved festival that is redolent of my childhood and my mother and grandmother became one more day that came and went.
But not so this year. Happily, I was invited to a pithé-making lec-dem at Big Bongg Theory, Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar’s restaurant in Shahpur Jat that serves some seriously authentic Bengali cuisine. Sanhita Dasgupta Sensarma, a lawyer by training and a passionate food lover, was the other organiser of the event. I hoped to pick up some nifty pithé-making tips, and needless to say, tuck into lots of varieties of this esoteric Bengali d…