Being a native to Kolkata, how can I not highlight the tasty and affordable street sacks that the City of Joy, has to offer. I have spent most of my childhood in Assam due to my dad’s transferable job but my month-long summer vacations were spent at my grandparent’s house in Kolkata.
Every other night, a guy on a mobile stall will roam in our neighborhood selling dosa, banging on his iron/steel ‘tawa’ letting us know of his arrival. I used to get all excited for having dosa as dinner.
Gradually, I have found my way through some of the tastiest street foods of Kolkata without which my trips are incomplete to my native city.
Just writing about them is making my mouth watery and I have gone into my food dream. Coming back to my list, I have compiled here ten tastiest street foods found in Kolkata that will give your taste buds an orgasm.
Phuchka is a mouthwatering street food of Bengal and very dear to a Bengali to a point where Phuchka always wins over the likes of it – Golgappa and Panipuri.
Phuchka differs from Panipuri/Golgapa/Gupchup in terms of content and taste. It uses a mixture of a boiled gram and mashed potatoes with Indian spices as the stuffing and is tangy rather than sweetish while the water is sour and spicy.
The only time you are allowed to eat Phuchka multiple times a day and during odd hours is during Durga Puja. Oh, I miss those days.
2. Chicken & Mutton Rolls
You can find many stalls saying Kolkata’s Kathi Rolls in other cities but the original mouthwatering rolls are found in Bengal only. The juicy morsels of chicken/mutton pieces along with freshly chopped onions and boiled potatoes are wrapped in a paratha, coated with egg.
For eggetarian, you can opt for freshly chopped onions and boiled potatoes filling but the paratha will still be coated with egg. These are easy to make at home as well. You just need to observe the technique at the stall and replicate it at home.
Ghoogni is an evening snack in Eastern India, especially in Kolkata that you will crave for once you had the tasted it. The recipe is really simple involving black grams, dried yellow peas or dried white peas, cooked in the traditional eastern Indian style gravy.
It is then garnished with freshly chopped onions and cucumbers. This snack will warm you and your heart on cold winter evenings.
4. Beguni (Brinjal/Eggplant Fritters)
Have you ever imagined the thin slices of eggplants can make such a delicious evening snack? Never right.
Eggplants are sliced and battered before being either fried or deep-fried in oil. Hot begunis with a cup of tea, on a rainy day, is to die for. Crispier the better.
5. Mocha Chop (Banana Blossom Fritter)
Chops or Croquettes are a staple food for Bengalis. Ask any Bengali, and you’ll surely find the mention of ‘Chops’ in their list of top ten Bengali snacks! Whether it is Aloo (Potato) chops or Mutton chops, every Bengali’s mouth starts watering upon hearing the mere mention of it.
One such favorite of mine is Mochar Chop. Mocha means Banana flower, which is a very unique vegetable and can be cooked in many delicious ways, like curries, koftas, cutlets and many more.
6. Fish Kabiraji
Fish Kabiraji is one of the ultimate Bengali street food creations, which deserves every Bengali food connoisseur’s salute. I myself have grown eating amazing Fish Kabiraji’s in the busiest streets in Gariahat, a shopping lane in Kolkata.
The marinated fish fillets are dipped in beaten eggs mixture, followed by rolling in bread crumbs to finally fry in hot oil. Resulting in one of the heavenly street foods to die for.
I miss it in Bangalore and even though many Bengali restaurants have popped up in recent years, they cannot match Kolkata’s taste. So, whenever I come to Kolkata, I make it a point to have Fish Kabiraji at least once.
7. Egg Devil
Dim or Egg Devil is ‘a comfort food’ for us Bengalis. We often nag our moms to make this on rainy days while we play the melodies of Rabindra Sangeet on our computer/mobile phones.
As per the culinary history, the word ‘devil’ was coined in the year 1786 to describe a food preparation that was deep-fried and seasoned with hot spices and condiments, extremely pleasing, and certainly not related to satanic thoughts.
No list will be complete without mentioning the National Sweet Dish of Bengal i.e. Rosogolla. I know, there is no such thing as the National Sweet Dish of Bengal but I feel there should be especially after winning the contest of the origin of Rosogolla against Orissa.
Technically, it is made from ball-shaped dumplings of chhena (an Indian cottage cheese) and semolina dough, cooked in light syrup made of sugar. This is done until the syrup permeates the dumplings.
Now for all the Rosogolla lovers, different flavors are available to experiment with. If you don’t believe me check out the picture above. You should definitely check out the street food tours that will help you to gain insight & taste some delicacies at the same time.
9. Mishti Doi (Sweet Curd)
Rosogolla and Mishti Doi have both captured the hearts of Bengalis and no meal is complete without them.
Mishti doi is prepared by boiling milk until it is slightly thickened, sweetening it with brown sugar or khejur gura (date molasses), and allowing the milk to ferment overnight.
Traditionally, earthenware is always used as the container for making mitha doi because the gradual evaporation of water through its porous walls not only further thickens the curd, but also produces the right temperature for the growth of the culture.
A pinch of cardamom is very often used to add fragrance to the sweet curd. You can find some similarities with the baked yogurt of the West but largely differs from it due to the technique of preparation.
10. Cadbury Sandesh/Mishti
Cadbury Sandesh/Mishti is a recent addition to the glorious culinary history of Bengalis and a dream come true of every sweet lover. You get the goodness of chenna and naughtiness of Cadbury chocolate flavors, a great initiative by Cadbury’s to prove their versatility. A must item to taste on your tour to Kolkata.
There are many more street foods which I didn’t mention here like Kachori, Piyaji (Onion fritters), Jhal Muri, Chowmein, Luchi Aloo Dam, Sweet Boondi, Jaynagar er Moa (Laddu) and to taste them all, you have to come to Kolkata. Hope this list intrigues your taste buds enough to make you fly soon to Kolkata.
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