Kolkata is a vibrant city in India that is avidly known for its colonial architecture, affinity to art, and cultural festivities. Though it wasn’t sufficient, so the city also has a remarkable culinary street-food landscape that beckons foodies from all over the world.
An exciting variation of Pani Puri or Golgappa, Puchka is the most popular street food in Kolkata. What makes the Puchka different is the potato-and-black-chickpea filling that is boldly seasoned with the Muri masala. This special spice-mix native to Kolkata gives the Puchka a distinguished flavor that will linger on your tastebuds for hours.
Basically Puchkas with a crushed texture, Churmur is yet another Kolkata Chaat classic. It has crushed puri, mashed potato and chickpeas, tamarind, lemon, and of course, the Muri masala piled on a plate. This spicy, tangy dish looks as inviting as it tastes so.
Kathi Roll is a dish that originated in Kolkata and traveled across the globe, winning millions of hearts in the process. Equally popular among Indians and foreigners, this dish constitutes a skewer-roasted kebab lovingly wrapped in a paratha and filled with juicy, flavorful condiments such as the zingy mint coriander chutney.
Luchi Aloo Dum
Luchi is a type of deep-fried Indian flatbread, resembling a puri. Aloo Dum is a veggie dish prepared using baby potatoes, tomato puree, and a hoard of aromatic spices. Luchi Aloo Dum has the prototypal Bengali kick to it that you should definitely not miss out on.
This is a quirky potato snack that chefs in Kolkata spin out in a matter of seconds. This spud-star dish features chickpeas, onions, and tomatoes that are coated in a thick tamarind chutney that is too marvelous for words. The combination of spices used uniquely builds the flavor of this humble dish.
This dish derives its name from the Hindi word for eggplant- Baingan. Beguni refers to slices of eggplant that are thoroughly coated with spiced gram flour batter and deep-fried to achieve a crispy texture with a pleasant golden-brown tint.
A Bengali variant of croquette, Aloo Chop is a fried potato snack wildly popular in the city. This item stands out especially because of the Bhaja Moshla, a masala that involves fennel seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, and red chili, which is indigenous to Bengali kitchens.
Jilipi, also known as Chanar Jilipi, is Kolkata’s rendering of the famous Jalebi. Contrary to its gram flour-made counterpart, Jilipi is prepared using Chhana, or cottage cheese. This swirly treat is deep-fried and then immersed into a sticky sugar syrup. Jilipi is an iconic Bengali dessert that is a must-try, even if you do not particularly have a sweet tooth.
Doi Bora, or Dahi Wada, is a scrumptious dish that stars airy fritters made from black lentils. The Bora are doused in rich, velvety curd and seasoned with black salt, tamarind chutney, and a snappy garnish of sev and fresh coriander.
Ghugni may sound whimsical, but this dish happens to be an absolute favorite among Kolkata locals. To prepare Ghugni Chaat, dried yellow peas are cooked and paired with boiled potato, freshly chopped onions, and tomatoes along with a handful of snappy ingredients such as green chillies, lemon, coriander, and a variety of masalas.
If you are health-conscious and are looking for a light snack that you can enjoy on the go, Jhalmuri is just the item for you. Translated as “spicy puffed rice,” it is a variation of Bhel that involves peanuts, namkeens, crunchy onions, and tomatoes tossed together with puffed rice and funky spices.
Exploring the streets of Kolkata and not finding non-vegetarian is nothing but ridiculous. Even more absurd, if you didn’t find Dimer Devil stalls there. A local favorite, Dimer Devil, is a more wholesome version of deviled eggs. Hard-boiled eggs are wrapped in a potato mixture and deep-fried after being coated with batter and bread crumbs. The potato, in numerous stalls, is replaced with minced meat to make this snack even more inviting.
Chicken kebabs are yogurt-marinated pieces of chicken that are grilled to absolute perfection. Served with onions, a wedge of lemon, and an assortment of chutneys, the sheer sight of this meaty delicacy is sufficient to make people direct their footsteps towards kebab stalls.
If you love meat, and you love paratha, there is no way you can turn away from this stunning dish. Paratha dough is flattened and generously stuffed with eggs and minced meat. The edges are then tightly packed, and this stuffed parcel is deep-fried and served hot.
Kolkata’s Fish Fry, locally known as Mach Bhaja, could easily pass as the desi version of Fish and Chips. Delicate fish fillets are smeared with turmeric, lemon, and salt with hints of garlic, green chili, and coriander and subjected to a sizzling crumb-coated searing. This dish is best enjoyed hot with a side of excellent cucumber salad and Bengali mustard sauce.
Rice Dumpling And Soup
If you are craving some good ‘ol Chinese comfort food amidst all the Bengali extravagance, worry not. The city’s fast-food culture has warmly harbored stalls that serve lip-smacking Chinese stir-fries and an excellent variety of rice dumplings and soups. Head over to any such stall, and brace yourself for a fantastic taste that will hit you in the right spot.
A popular dish for brunch-time, Kochuri Sabzi is a loving hug for your tummy. While the slurp-worthy sabzi is typically made from potatoes, Kochuri is a Luchi-like crispbread that is stuffed with a zingy green pea filling.
This is a classic Bengali sweet that has created for itself a massive fan following right across the country. Milk, curd culture, and jaggery or sugar come together to form this dish that can easily replace ice cream as an after-dinner dessert. Mishti Doi is definitely a must must-try.
A yet another vegetarian savory snack wildly popular in the city, Singara is Kolkata’s rendition of the samosa. It is a crisp golden-brown item that has bhaja moshla seasoned peas tucked inside along with peanuts. Despite being a no-onion, no-garlic treat, Singara makes for an immensely enjoyable bite.
Ghoti Garam is basically the first cousin to Jhalmuri. It is a mix of namkeens, onions, and green chilies, which works wonders on your tongue, especially when the special ingredients- raw mango and grated carrots- join the show. It is extremely easy to spot Ghoti Garam sellers on the bustling street of Kolkata.
As though a kulfi wasn’t fun as is, the city hosts numerous joints that serve as an exciting variant of this cult classic. It is a type of stuffed kulfi in that the pulp of fruits like mango is scooped out and used to prepare the kulfi, which is then stuffed back inside the fruit. Slices of this stuffed fruit are served on a plate as Fruit Kulfi.
Thus, Kolkata boasts an absolute food parade that you should unquestionably participate in if you are looking for a wild culinary adventure.