We have an amazing article for our readers today from a friend who has a love affair with the delicious foods available at the Kolkata’s Food Streets. Grab your napkins and get ready to be hungry!
Do you know what the most amazing thing about nostalgia is? You have feelings which are always rose-tinted and enough to bring a smile on your face. Being a non-Bengali, I proud of my deep connection with Kolkata— the city of joy— that even my Bong friends-in-exile-in-Delhi can’t guess! I call it a yummy and delicious connection and they call it a foodie connection.
A food trail through the meandering of Calcutta (Not Kolkata), some old but amazing restaurants, little-known shops that sell fantastic food and the almost ritualistic visits to those ‘must-eat-at’ food joints.
Though, there are various shades of Kolkata, no stories about Calcutta, oh, Kolkata can ever be complete without its food. Not mine, at least.
Food is my first love and whenever I hit Kolkata, the whiff of the food takes me to alleys where you can easily spot street vendors selling lip-smacking foods. Believe me, food and Kolkata go hand in hand. See, you can even say in one breath. So, last year, when I travelled to Kolkata I was happy to relive ‘those’ moments. I gauged on the spicy, tangy, crunchy & punchy flavors of the ‘City of Joy’ which took me back to the time when I first saw the beauty of the city through the eyes of an eight-year-old girl who couldn’t even take the entire span of the Howrah bridge in one glance.
Reunion with Jhal Muri
My history buff father took us across the Howrah bridge just to give some history lessons – when it was built, history behind it, and many more. Though, my mother was heaving on a side, I think it was her ‘Amar Prem’ moment, after all it was first time that Dad took us with him on his official tour. At the end of the journey, Dad treated all of us with Jhal Muri and I was smitten.
It was twenty years ago when the first time I met ‘her’ and truly fell in love. Yes, it was Jhal Muri— the puffed rice dish with the twang of the mustard oil, the crunch of the chanachur, the freshness of tomatoes with the pinch of salt and lemon.
In ‘aamar Kolkata’, I can still get Jhal Muri (which you can call bhel at your risk) for Rs 10. These muri wallas around every street corner will be happy to whip a ‘customized’ plate for you!
Egg Rolls? Why Not!
Though, it was my official visit, I still managed to savor egg rolls at a shop away from a stone’s throw away from my hotel in Kolkata. Don’t underestimate the power of those hands who are busy breaking eggs over fried dough so that you can get your egg roll.
Believe me, they are doing it for dozens of years. I always prefer to have my roll with double egg. A much deeper look (of course, before eating) and you will be amazed to see the perfect compatibility of egg and bread! Of course, after having this, you can sleep with mouthwatering dreams.
Puchka, Hungr Pangs Start Assailing!
Even before writing anything, that puchka craving has already started. I have no inhibitions in accepting that I have always loved eating puchkas from street vendors and hate the idea of ordering and eating puchkas (in a sophisticated manner) at the restaurant.
Whenever I am in Kolkata, my eyes automatically start searching for puchkas bhayia, and this time I found him standing right outside my hotel in Kolkata, which I booked through Yatra, an online travel portal. The perfect blend of crunchiness, sweetness, and spices of these puchkas is so tantalizing that I always end up eating three plates in one row. By the way, one plate consists of 10 puchkas, “aar ektoo puchka diye den Dada.”
Time to WELCOME Chinese and Continental Food
For a mountain girl like me, sea food is like a luxury.
Luckily, the chef of my hotel in Kolkata was a master in Chinese and continental food and served me with chicken and cheese salad, Seared Mushrooms, and Chicken Broth with pawn pie. Do I need to define heaven?
Time to bid adieu to the city
Before waving the final goodbye, I made some tough decisions— should I eat mohan bhog and Lobongo Latika or Mishti Doi and rasgullas? What about Bhapa Doi, Malai Chom Chom and Pantuwa? Should I pack all or three of them?
Finally, I decided to eat Mishti Doi and rasgullas and packed all the other sweets. The taste of both the sweets lingered all the way to Mumbai and made me happy as after all I am back from home.
Indeed, Kolkata is no less than a paradise for food lovers. It is the myriad delicacies which make it difficult for any foodie to leave the city. So, when the city offers so much (to eat), there is no reason to hold yourself back. In fact, if you are looking for the best hotels in Kolkata through travel websites, make sure to check out the nearby eating joints. Be local to enjoy the real taste of local food!
Are you ready to explore the city from the eyes of a food connoisseur?