Kolkata is the called the City of Joy. Have you ever wondered why? Is it because of the literature,or Satyajit Ray or football? Yes, all of it, but the real happiness for Kolkata person is food. Kolkata food is not about just rasogulla or fish, but everything in between, i.e., it’s the wide range of street food that one could never stop eating upon without hurting their wallet too. The watery eyes after a spicy puchka, the morning,doodh cola at BalwantDhaba, and the beguni with tea are the everyday rituals for most people in this city. So let’s divulge into the streets of the City of Joy and look at the treasure trove of street food.
One may usually ask what sets the Kolkata Puchka apart from Delhi’s Golgappa or Bombay’s Panipuri. It is just the dry chili powder added into the potato and chickpea filling. No flavoured chutney is served in the fillings in the Puchka unlike in the Golgappa or the Panipuri. The cost of a puchka is just a rupee. It’s totally worth to one’s wallet and stomach.
Beguni is either eaten as an appetizer before lunch or as a snack with hot masala tea. Beguni is slices of bringal coated in gram flour batter and fried in mustard oil. It is the perfect appetizer for Kolkata winter.
3 Aloo Chop
Aloo Chop or potato fritters is another popular Bengali snack, prepared in the same way as beguni, and eaten with spicy puffed rice or mint chutney.
4 Jhaal Muri
The most affordable street food found at any street corner.;it is spicy puffed rice or muri mixed with capsicum, tomatoes, bell peppers and chaat masala, peanuts and sprinkled with lemon juice to give it a tangy flavor. This snack is a healthier alternative to fried potato chips.
5 Fish Kabiraji
This Kolkata’s version of fish and chips (but without the chips)and having a spicy twist of flavors. The bhetki fillets marinated in egg yolk and then coated with breadcrumbs, coriander, green chillies and lemon juice are deep- fried till it turns golden brown and finally served with mustard sauce and salads.
Have you ever eaten the stuffing of golgappa separately? In Kolkata, the stuffing in the puchka, i.e., the churmur, is eaten as a separate snack. The preparation of Churmur is similar to that of the puchka stuffing, except, in the Churmur, crushed puchka bits are added to give it a sort of crunchiness.
7 Aloo Kabli
Aloo Kabli is the Bengali’s potato salad available in the streets. It is made with diced slices of boiled potatoes, mixed well with chickpeas, coriander, chili powder, pepper, chaat masala with a teaspoon of tamarind sauce to give it a tangy taste.
8 Dahi Phuchka
Yes, it is a weird combination, but still delicious as toppings of curd which is mixed with spices. This filling makes the street food more flavoursome.
9 South Indian Delicacies
Dosas and idlis in Kolkata are available at roadside stalls. The flavors of these cuisines are slightly modified to suit the taste buds of Kolkata people. Nevertheless, it is a healthy and inexpensive meal to indulge.
Ghughni of Kolkata has a charm of its own. Ghugni is an appetizer made with matar dal with a heavy garnishing of salad toppings and chillies.
11 Bhel Puri
This too is snack composed of puffed rice and tangy salads and lemon juice. Its flavors are heightened by various chutneys. This street snack is available mostly at tourist spots of Kolkata.
12 Papdi Chaat
Prepared by using a crunchy, spheroid shaped ingredient made out of flour and served along with bhujia, coriander, and curd.
13 Bread-Butter Toast
A street food with the English element of buttered toasts with an omelette stuffed between them is very delicious and cheap and is available everywhere.
A perfect Sunday morning breakfast which turns into lunch during weekdays for office goers. Kachori with chola dal or aloodum gravy is a Kolkatan’s version of puri-sabzi. This street food accompanied with jalebi not only satiates the taste buds but is also light on the wallet.
15 Mughlai Paratha
These parathas made with potato, cheese, or chicken stuffing and served with a vegetable salad, tomato sauce, and green chillies and often eaten as a main course.
The street Kebabs are as heavenly as the ones available at expensive restaurants. These spicy kebabs served with mint sauce are really affordable.
The Chinese cuisine available at Kolkata is a treat to the taste buds of the Kolkatans. It is a favourite among youngsters and office goers.
18 Momo And Thukpa
These Tibetan dishes are a fusion into Kolkata’s street food culture. Steamed or stir-fried Momos with gravy is currently a favourite. The dumplings in the original recipe did not include chicken or vegetable stuffing. That’s Kolkata’s additional element. Thukpa is a broth made of noodles and chicken and is a light yet filling meal.
Kolkata and Bengalis love adda (discussions) at every nook and corner of the neighbourhoods. An adda is incomplete without tea in a bhar (earthen pot). The most famous ones are lemon tea or masala tea and black tea accompanied with biscuits or toast.
20 Frothy Beverages
Lassi is a popular drink, both in Punjab and Bengal,especially in the summers. The Lassi is best available at roadside dhabas while aakherrosh (sugarcane juice) is available everywhere. Coconut water is again found everywhere in the fruit bazaars.
From breakfast to dinner, from office-goers to home-makers, from snack to dessert, the Kolkata street food culture is vibrant and suits everyone in the City of Joy.