In Kolkata, if one is hungry then there are lots of street food waiting for you. Even if a person is not that hungry, the street foods have an interesting quality to stimulate the taste buds and consequently convince the hunger management team to pass an approval. Among the various cities which have a wide variety of street foods, Kolkata stands incomparable. The City of Joy certainly makes sure that everyone enjoys munching on to their favorite delicacy. Let’s go down the memory lane and revisit some of the most talked about and super delicious stuffs of the “City of Joy”.
How often have you preferred munching on to puffed rice when hungry??A time or two? The city of joy has its own charm of preparing something really mouth watering out of puffed rice or “Muri” termed in Bengali. ‘Jhaal Muri’ is a spiced up version of “muri”. Shredded potatoes, cucumbers, onions and tomatoes, half a spoon of spice powder, small pieces of green chili, coconut slices and mango pickle dedicatedly blended with lemon puree is all you need to prepare a perfect plate of “Jhaalmuri”.
One can easily hunt down some legendary Jhaalmuri at the road side muri stalls at different areas in Kolkata. While travelling in the local trains of Kolkata, never forget to try some utterly delicious “muri” from the muriwala (Jaal muri seller) at the rail station or inside the train or outside the metro stations.
With tamarind water poured into the fried shells stuffed with smashed potato mixed with shredded green chilies, coriander and red chili powder, “Fuchka” (Phuchka) is something, for which your taste buds will crave for once you have got the taste of it. You can ask for an extra piece of “fuchka” and tamarind water which comes as a “phau”(free) as a souvenir for trying out such a delicacy as “Fuchka”. The taste and feeling is priceless.
“Churmur” is a byproduct of Fuchka, crushed and smashed with added chutneys and tamarind puree for those who are not fond of gulping down “Fuchkas”. Instead “Churmur” provides you the pleasure of relishing the dish for as long as you want. Visit the “Fuchka” and “Churmur” stall at Kali Bari, Southern Avenue. It’s a paradise.
If you are not fond of Jhaalmuri, well don’t worry my friend. There’s Bhelpuri for you. Puffed rice mixed with papri (chips), coriander, potato, onions chopped into pieces and tamarind chutney (sauce) gives the tangy taste of Bhelpuri. The best part is that the Bhelpuri is served in a cone of newspaper with wooden spoons which give you the real essence ofsavoring “street food”. Visit the areas at Esplanade, New market, Park Street, Rabindra Sadan, Maidan, New Alipore and Tollygunge Metro Station for some mouth-watering Bhelpuri.
A quintessential Bengali munch-on Ghoti Garam, is a preparation made out of Chanachur mixed with chopped onions, chillies, mustard oil and peanuts. The tinkling bell of the seller as he walksthrough the lanes of Kolkata making the kids go craving for a quick chomp, is something nostalgic. Take a walk around the Maidan and Victoria Memorial with your beloved, try some Ghoti Garam and it might just spice up your moment a bit more.
Can you name a food that makes you go hungry even if you are not? Well, try Chop & Telebhaja (battered and fried in oil) while in Kolkata. Beguni, Phuluri, Peyanji, Aalur Chop, Aam-er (green mango) Chop, Karaisutir Chop, Vegetable Chop, Aalu pokora, Daal-er Bora, Tomato Chop, Maach-er (fish) Chop, Dim-er (egg) Chop, Chicken & Mutton Chop are something in which if you never indulge then you feel guilty. Those oily battered fries are certainly for the brave at hearts. Believe it or not but it’s true, once you try them out, you are for sure to get addicted. Take a walk around the streets of North Kolkata, especially towards College Street, College Square, M.G.Road, Sealdah, Shyambazar & Bagbazar. It’s a hub for such battered fries, what we call “Telebhaja” in Bengali.
“Shingara” or “Samosa” is one of the favorite evening snacks for all the Bengalis. The fried envelope made of the dough of flour has a spicy mix of mashed potato and grams stuffed inside. It is then served hot with ketchup and chutney. A cup of tea with “Singaras” on a rainy evening is not just a symbolism of the Bengalis but also a priceless gesture for a lifetime. A Bengali household certainly remains incomplete without “Singara” as an evening munch-on.
Now this is something everyone is aware of. Kochuri and Radha Ballavi are hot favorites of the people of Kolkata. Served with “Cholar Daal” or “Aalu-r torkari” or “Aalu-r Dom”. A “Kochuri” gets sold faster than hotdogs. There are quite a few variations as well, for instance “Koraishuti-r Kochuri” (green pea pasted and stuffed in the flour dough before rolling them out and frying) & “Hing-er Kochuri” (contains an inside stuff made of Urad Daal paste mixed with Hing (asafetida) powder).This tastes yummy especially with “Alu-r dom” (a spicy &dry dish of potato) & “Cholar Daal” (gram or channa soup). Ask for “kochuri” and “radha ballavi” at any of the Kachuri stalls & sweet-shops in and around the City of Joy, and you will never be disappointed.
“Ghugni” is very much similar to that of “Ragda” being served at Mumbai. This is made out of boiled yellow peas with spicy gravy with potato and tomato cut into pieces. It is being served after garnishing with chopped coconut, coriander leaf, peanuts & dry bhujia on it. Never forget to ask for an extra spoon of tamarind chutney which comes as a topping. You will find this extremely delicious street food at the road side Ghugni stalls at any corner of North, Central & South Kolkata or at any of the fairs & festivals in the town.
Here you go meat lovers. The Kathi Rolls are exquisitely for you. Deliciously fried “Lachha Parathas” with a layer of egg and kebabs stuffed into it, Kathi Rolls are one of the exclusive & most popular street foods of Kolkata which can seduce your taste buds like never before. These mouth-watering Mutton Rolls or Chicken Rolls are widely available in various fast-food stalls throughout the city. One can visit the Park Street area of Kolkata to find a food joint named after this legendary dish, called “Hot Kathi Rolls”. Order one and let it roll…Bon Appetite..!!
Kolkata’s very own “Egg Roll” directly comes under the criteria of Fast Foods. Fried parathas with a layer of egg on it, stuffed with onions and tomato sauce, is what an egg roll stands for. It is not only easy to prepare but tastes yummy as well. An Egg Roll comes to the rescue when a bong feels left out due to hunger. You can find this highly popular street food in most of the fast-food joints in Kolkata. Visit Golden Spoon at Park Street, Zeeshan at Esplanade for some crispy and super delicious Egg Rolls.