Aamras Thali , A summer delight

Located in Bella Vista corporate park. Best for Indian vegetarian street food. Cooked with Indian spices. Tasty and spicy. Celebrates both North Indian and South Indian cuisines. Great vibe. Selection is ridiculously vast. And crowds love it.

Chatkazz:

The restaurant that specialises in Indian street food and their motto is to “live life with a little spice”. Today they have three outlets in Bella Vista and Sydney’s Little India, Harris Park.

According to Article in Australian GoodFood & Travel Guide, “ Chatkazz offers a warm venue for families and groups of friends to delve into a feast of flavours together.” Co-owner Dharmesh Rangparia created a busy eatery. He gave up his accounting job. He opened Chatkazz with two former classmates from an humble beginning. Today, Chatkazz serves over 200 dishes which include mango.

Mango:
Mango is believed to have originated from the region between northeastern India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Has strong association with thousands of year old Indian culture. The earliest name given to the mango in India was Amra-Phal.

In 1980s, I am lucky to be raised in historic town of Murshidabad,West Bengal, India which had over 150 varieties of mangoes , hundreds of mango orchids and enjoyed nearly 300 years old Rajasthani Sheherwali mango dish , Aam Kesari. My childhood experience made me a mango connoisseur and a lover of all things mango. A crossbred mango named Kohitur , which was created during the reign of nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah is my favourite.

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In 2015, noted Indian mango cultivator, Haji Kalimullah named a new variety of mango. Called it “Modi Mango”. It is a cross-breed of mangoes from two cultured Indian cities, Kolkata’s Husn-e-Aara and Lucknow’s Dussehri. Till today, mango remains part of Indian culture and mango tourism is growing in India.

While in Australia,mango culture has taken its shape too. According to ABC news, Sydney Markets in NSW had a mango auction that raised $26,000 for Save Our Sons in 2014. The charity supporting sufferers of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy(DMD). The long tradition of mango auction for charity funding started in 1970. Sydney Markets, raised $65 from the very first charity box of mangoes.

Today, Australians are in love with mangoes as it is readily available in abundance in every supermarket and on highway street side stalls. Mango summer salads and mango Soufflé are becoming favourite culinary dishes.

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Mango, is definitely shaping Australian summer culture. People are flocking to try Mango Lassi(Mango nectar, mango, yoghurt ) at The Pilgrimage( Macpherson Street, Bronte) or Coco Mango Pudding(young coconut pudding with young coconut meat, fresh mango jelly, mango sauce & sago served with coconut creamy sauce) at Mango Coco ( HayMarket, Sydney) or Aamras Thali at Chatkazz, Bella Vista.

Aamras Thali:
Each year, many Indian background people attend grand Australian Hindu festival celebrations with days-long praying, dancing and vegetarians feast. In Sydney,

for the first time, during Durga pujo, I wanted to try Aamras thali(a complete meal consisting of many dishes). It is a rare dish and different from regular Bombay Aloo Slice(Bread stuffed with potato and served with chutney & tomato sauce) or Mysore Sada dosa.

Aamras is a popular mango delicacy. It is a summer delight. It is part of culinary culture of Western India. States like Gujarat and Maharashtra enjoys Aamras every day in summer. Even though the mango dish is called Aamras , it sounds more Bengali than Gujrati. In Bengali , words Aam means mango and Ras means pulpy juice. So the word Aamras means mango juice. In Gujarati language, it is known as Keri, where keri means mango and Ras does not exist in Gujrati language. Another great example of the influence of Bengali language in other Indian states.

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Since 2019, in the beginning of Australia summer, Aamras Thali is all I wanted. The traditional brass Chatkazz Aamras Thali consists of poori, potato curry, aamras, dhokla and glass of lassi. A perfect celebration of typical Indian heritage style food that deserves all my attention.

Aamras Thali was followed by delicious Mango Pistachio Kulfi. According to Chatkazz, it is “a tall spire with a sweet mango ice cream on top, with earthy pistachio on the bottom⁣”. Followed by a serving of paan. Not many know that Chatkazz , Bella Vista has another secret. It’s serves sweeter Bengali paan (betel leaves) instead of Benarasi ones. Prepared in a traditional way for a great finish to an Indian meal.

Chatkazz is definitely the place for a mango experience.