There is no other place which depicts the culture and architecture of a country more beautifully than Kolkata does. Kolkata itself is the land of beauty and there is no denial to that point. The simplistic yet traditional methods and ways in which people residing in Kolkata work is a marvel of magnificence and adorable. This kind of zealousness is also reflected in the type of food they make and like. If you are visiting Kolkata then you are in for a huge range of delicious delicacies which are cheap and tasty at the same time.
From sweet sugary traditional sweets to various types of savoured fish you will find all varieties of savoury which will indeed leave you bewildered with joy and pleasure. The place is beaming with joyous and protective people that you will never complain of hunger there. Kolkata has always served as an epitome of care and satisfaction that feelings like affection and love are radiating from that place. So if you are ever travelling to Kolkata this article will help you prioritize your list and will lay out a scheme for what all can you taste there to have an amazing experience. So the top 20 items which you can try out while you are residing in Kolkata are:
The phuchkas, there are nearly equal to the golgappas in North India. Sometimes Kolkata is synonymic with the Land of Phuchkas as these are available in every nook and corner. The spicy yet sweet taste drives you insatiable with hunger and the spicy water which is given complimentary after having these phuchkas serve as an extra delight. They are so addictive that you can never stop after eating one.
2. Kosha Mangsho (Mutton Curry)
If you are a meat lover and you enjoy the different flavours of red meat infused with herbs and garlic rolling on your tongue then this recipe is a must try for you if you are in Kolkata. The rich, thick and deep coloured gravy mixed with finely chopped mutton pieces just makes your day. However, this gravy is considered to be one of the spiciest food items of Kolkata. So if you are not up for spicy you shouldn’t taste this food item.
3. Mughlai Parotha
This recipe is considered to be the most famous in Kolkata and flocks of people travel to the Basanta Cabin (where this food item is prepared) on a daily basis just to take a bite of this stunning dish. This parotha is basically stuffed with minced meat and egg and is deep fried which adds on to the colours of this dish. Though this food item takes a lot of time to get prepared but the wait seems worth it when you taste this parotha. If you are a non-vegetarian it is guaranteed that you will fall in love with this dish after tasting it.
4. Bhojohori Manna (Bengali Cuisine)
This place serves the best Bengali cuisine you would have ever tasted. It pays homage to Kolkata’s evergreen culinary tradition. The basic purpose of establishing this eatery was to preserve the sanctity of the places culinary tradition and rich gastronomical lineage. Connoisseurs can savour timeless favourites ranging from Mutton Dakbangla to Daab Chingri. This place is also renowned for its seasonal delicacies which are actually unanimous crowds favourite.
You might have eaten “rasgullas” in your life however if you visit Kolkata and you don’t eat the traditional and the most famous sweet of that place then there is no point of visiting Kolkata. The juicy and lush roshogollas when squeezed in your mouth just take your heart away and then you can’t just stop after that. They are usually in white colour presented to travellers in a “matka” but now other colours and tastes are also available including kesar, pista and iilaichi.
The Tibetan cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in Kolkata. People in huge numbers travel to places just to take a whiff of these small and cute dumplings. The dumplings available in Kolkata are filled with various food items including chicken, mutton, cottage cheese etc. these dumplings are served with red hot sauce and a distinctive and different white sauce which is sweet and sour at the same time. The combination of the three just seems so amazing that stopping after one is equivalent to a crime.
7. Doodh Cola
This unique and special drink is prevalent and available at Balwant Singh Eating Joint and this drink is plain spectacular. The spectacular blend of milk and cola is difficult to imagine however, the state seems to reverberate on the taste buds and fills a person with freshness of thought and mind. Along with Doodh cola there are other types of tea available which are also neat to drink but this drink surpasses all of them as the uniqueness and magnificence of this drink is paramount.
This is an extremely spicy mix and blend of dried ingredients which you tend to munch on all day. The ingredients used are extremely different and one of its kind. It includes a mix of peanuts and fried chick pea flour infused with a range of spices and herbs making this dish a delicacy in its own way.
9. Fruit Kulfi
If you had thought that Kulfis come only in a regular shape, size and taste then you are highly mistaken and you haven’t visited Kolkata. The kulfi offered at Kolkata is one of a kind. Various types and tastes of kulfi are present which makes a person’s day. Usually the people selling kulfis have an extremely low key establishment and we tend to ignore such shops but in Kolkata tasting kulfi especially fruit kulfi is sheer bliss. The other famous kulfis available and suggested are mango, custard apple and banana.
This dish is considered the most common and famous dish is Kolkata. In this delicacy the vegetable of your choosing is wrapped in a banana leaf and is marinated in a mixture made up with curd and corn flour infused with some other spices. After that the vegetable is deep fried and served with various sauces and chutneys to the person. This dish seems to be wonderful and the aroma arising out of the freshly fried vegetable fills you with desire to try out this procedure with almost every vegetable.
11. Chicken Kabiraji
This is a dish prepared with a lot of toil and hard work. This dish contains minced chicken; bread crumbs rolled in thick garlic and chilli paste which makes this dish a spectacular blend of the traditional culinary falvors of Kolkata. This starter is prepared best at Mitra Café not far from the main city. The only problem is that this starter is so famous that there is always a long line to eat this so it might become a little hectic for first time travellers.
12. Kathi Rolls
Usually we tend to relate kathi rolls to North India however Kolkata serves one of the finest and best Kathi rolls. They are available in various forms and fillings including mutton, chicken, cottage cheese, egg etc. with different types of sauces enhancing the taste of these fillings. These rolls are so huge that they will satiate your hunger in one serving and also it is easy in the pocket so nothing to worry about the money. However, the places where these are served aren’t very well organized and neat. So if you have hygiene issues then you cannot try them.
13. Chelo Kebab
This dish is going to be recommended to you by every true blue Bengali as this dish is a savoury which each person will enjoy (apart from the vegans). This dish is basically a platter of mutton and chicken kebabs served with some roasted and stir fried vegetables with some different types of sauces flooding the plate. This dish is also served with some egg and various kinds of melted cheese which just melt in your mouth and prove to be irresistible.
These are specially prepared only in Kolkata and only during the festive season. This unique type of candy is available in both sweet and salty forms depending upon the person who has ordered them. They are perfect mix of corn flour, sugar and curd and the different and beautiful shapes in which they are fried and sold are just amazing. They are not available at all places but just few places.
15. Radha Ballavi/ Hinger Kochuri
These sell like wild fire in Kolkata and are a huge rage there. It is a popular breakfast dish there and people tend to stand in long queues to get these packed and tasted. These fried “puris” are twisted with a whiff of asafoetida and certain different spices which add flavour to the tasteless dish. This is a must try if you visit Kolkata and the plus point is that it readily available there.
If chick peas is something you like then you surely cannot miss this delightful delicacy. The chef tends to experiment with different flavours and herbs with the chick peas to make this delicacy a success. It is available in every nook and corner of Kolkata and is very famous there. It is also served with differently moulded breads and sauces which makes this an absolutely delicious appetizer.
17. Mishti Doi
This is extremely famous not only in Kolkata but all over India. If you taste this curd then you will forget all types of yogurt you have ever had. It is a perfect blend of milk and sugar and it is presented to you in a “matka” or a cup which makes it traditional and sweet at the same time.
18. Kabiraji Cutlet
This dish is not readily available in Kolkata. You can find it only at very old places and vendors. However, this dish is next to amazing. It is basically a deep fried fish fillet tossed with vegetables and spices and is served with fried chips and tartar sauce. This can be called as an Indian version of the dish called “fish and chips.”
19. Chinese Cuisine
Kolkata once was home to many Chinese people however over the period of time that number has declined. If you prefer Chinese food, there is a perfect spot where authentic Chinese platters are available at cheap prices called the Tiretti Bazar. The only problem is that this place opens up really early so to actually taste the food you have to be first in the line.
This was the list of top 20 food items which you absolutely should not avoid and miss when you are backpacking through Kolkata. These dishes highlight the beauty of the culinary style of Kolkata and the traditional upkeep of the place. You really should rush to Kolkata right away to savour each and every dish there.