If you are following me on my social media handles than I am sure you must know that lately, I have been travelling a lot to Kolkata. And if you are not following me yet, then you must follow as I am sharing all my travel and fashion related updates in Insta and Facebook primarily.
The past month had been quite hectic, I had to travel twice in a month to Kolkata. It’s been a month that my husband got transferred to Kolkata, perks of working in a bank. Nevertheless, I got a chance to visit the city of joy during any holidays and long weekends. Kolkata is my favourite city when it comes to shopping and eating. It is a city of joy in all glorious ways. There is so much to do, see and go around that I guess even a life would fall short.
When it comes to food in Kolkata, I had enough of my share of the city’s best Biryanis from the best restaurant or popular Biryani joints and also had quite a lot of Puchkas/ Pani-puris and Roshogulla and Kobiraji cutlets of which I have lost count by now. This time I wanted to go beyond the regular stuff and I wanted to explore more from the street stalls. Let’s begin with my list of some of the best food items you must taste when in Kolkata.
Top 5 Popular food you must eat in Kolkata
1 Hot Moong Dal Chillas
Chillas are not new for me as I have always loved them and prepared them at home as they are quite healthy and make a nice evening snack. But while roaming on the footpaths of Park Street I saw a man making some Dosa kind of items on a huge iron tray. Curiosity drew me near him and I asked “Ki bannacho eta?” ( What are you cooking here?) He replied in Hindi- Madam, chilla bana raha hu . ( Madam I am making Chillas). The way he was preparing and the crowd that gathered around him could not stop me more from ordering one for me. It was so delicious that we had six. He charged Rs 40 per chilla. He added two chutney one made of green chilly and pudina and the other made of garlic and topped the chillas with lots of finely chopped Onion.
2. Chilled Kesar Kulfi
Just near the Chilla stall, there were few more stalls which sold some of the most delicious snacks. There are a Jhal Muri (Hot puffed rice mixed with onion, Bhujia, peanuts, salt and other spices) hawker, a stall that sold various kinds of Channa (fried or roasted peas, peanuts, etc). After gulping so many chillas it was time for some dessert so we had Kesar Kulfi. This may be quite popular among you but for me, it was something different. He had two flavours one was Kesar-pista and the other I could not remember. He took out the Kulfis from a huge matka (earthen pot) sliced it with a knife and served on a plate. It was mouthwatering and so delicious that again we had two, each of us. It is also located on Park Street.
3. The quintessential Biryani
Every time I visit Kolkata I say my husband ” Ai baar Biryani Khabo na.” And guess what I end up eating almost everyday. So well even this time it was same, but the only thing different was I want to try a new place for Biryani. I had been to Aminia, Arsalan a lot of time for Biryani of course. So this time I wanted to visit some other place. I went to College Street with my husband for buying some books for my school and we were so hungry by the time it was 12 pm. I searched in Zomato as spotted a restaurant named Sufi Palace which was quite nearby.
We had mutton Biryani and Chicken stew. So when in Kolkata you must have your plate full of Biryani, whether be it in Aminia, Arsalan which are one of Kolkata’s oldest joints for Biryani and if you like to experiment like me you can try some other place too. I also had Biryani from a Restaurant maned Shukno Lonkha located in Madhyamgram.
4. Sweet and delicious Sita Bhog
It’s not in Kolkata or anywhere in West Bengal that I had my first spoon full of Sita Bhog. But it was in my school when a colleague bought Sita Bhog for us from Burdhaman, a city in West Bengal itself which is said to be the place of origin of Sita Bhog. It is a famous Bengali dessert made from Cottage Cheese (in Bengali we call it as Channa) and looks like white rice or pulao or vermicelli. It is very sweet in taste and you can find mini gulab jamuns in it. It tastes very good if mixed with Moori or Puffed Rice. Perfect tea time snacks and you can munch it even while reading a book or watching a movie. Sita Bhog is widely available in all sweet shops in Kolkata, so if you had enough of Roshogullas and Lengchas than Sita Bhog deserves your attention too. They sell generally in the measure of kilograms so eat as much as you can.
5. Hing er Kochuri , aka Radhaballavi at Dakshineswar
We visit Dakshineswar for offering our prayers to Goddess Kali at the famous Dakshineswar Mandir but for a food lover like me along with Devi Darshan (Visiting the Goddess) it was feasting on some delicious Hing (Asafoetida) er kochuri which is famous in Kolkata. It was 15th August, the day we visited and a huge crowd gathered to pay their prayers to the Goddess. There was a huge queue, and unfortunately it was raining cats and dogs. All my enthusiasm got washed away with rain.
After all Puja rituals, finally, I came to my most eager spot where there was an array of small stalls fully packed with devotees coming from all over Bengal and maybe other states were relishing on their plate full of Hing er Kochuri. I pushed my way to a bench at the end and made myself comfortable. It started with Hing er kochuri with chana dal, then I ordered Doi Bora and at the end Roshogulla for dessert. It was in the real sense quite a sumptuous meal.
Also, I wanted to have some tea in those cute “Matir Bhad” that is earthen cups but the sudden rain compelled me to get a cab and return home. Hing er Kochuri is popularly known as Radhaballavi in Kolkata and makes a proper breakfast menu. It’s not like I had these kochuris for the first time but the ambience, the crowd, the hunger after standing for long hours in a queue made the dish tastier and relish-able.
For the final verdict, I recommend these items must be tried when in Kolkata, for some time we should try to taste something different. Some food tastes much better in a particular setting like tea tastes definitely better when it is drizzling outside, plain rice with mangsho’er jhol (Mutton/Chicken Curry) unites our family on a Sunday lunch, popcorn seems more munchable while watching a movie. These are the moments which should be enjoyed in life. Food is definitely one thing that has given me some of the best moments of my life. That taste, memories of that moment lingers on my mind even now. Hope you liked the article. Some love and pour in your comments and hit the share buttons. Till then take care.